Open Case Studies

What is the Open Case Studies (OCS) project?

The Open Case Studies project is an educational resource of experiential guides that demonstrate how to effectively derive knowledge from data in real-world challenges.

All case studies can be found in our OCS search tool .

Our case studies can be used:

  • by educators to help them teach
  • by students to help them with their classes
  • by independent learners to help them learn

Find out more about how others are using case studies and what they think of them in this study.

Learn more about the OCS project and how to use our case studies using our guide: Website version PDF version and more
Our case studies cover many concepts!
Statistical topics: from correlation to the influence of multicollinearity on linear regression
Data science topics: from making simple plots to building dashboards and performing machine learning (ML), a type of artificial intelligence (AI)!

What problem are we addressing?

Despite unprecedented and growing interest in data science on campuses, there are few courses and course materials that provide meaningful opportunity for students to learn about real-world challenges. Most courses frequently fail to frame the lectures around a real-world application and provide unrealistically clean datasets that fit the assumptions of the methods in an unrealistic way. The result is that students are left unable to effectively analyze data and solve real-world challenges outside of the classroom.

Problems with previously suggested solutions

In 1999, Nolan and Speed argued the solution was to teach courses through in-depth case studies derived from interesting problems, with nontrivial solutions that leave room for different analyses. This innovative framework teaches the student to make important connections between the scientific question, data and statistical concepts that only come from hands-on experience analyzing data. However, these case studies based on realistic challenges, not toy examples, are scarce.

What are we proposing as a solution?

To address this, we are developing the Open Case Studies educational resource of case studies, which demonstrate illustrative data analyses that can be used in the classroom to teach students how to effectively derive knowledge from data. This approach has successfully been used to teach data science courses at many universities, including:


If you have the time, please fill out our survey (1-10 min).

Recent Posts

Welcome Qier Meng and Michael Breshock to OCS Team!

Welcome Qier Meng and Michael Breshock to the OCS Team! Qier and Michael have recently joined our team as Research Assistants to assist …

OCS work featured in JHU Hub

Looking for a Student to Join the OCS Team

The Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab is seeking a Master’s student to assist with a project to create interactive elements for existing …

OCS team awarded DELTA award!




Stephanie Hicks, PhD

Assistant Professor (Principal Investigator)


Leah Jager, PhD

Assistant Scientist


Margaret Taub, PhD

Associate Scientist


Carrie Wright, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist


John Muschelli, PhD

Associate Scientist

Research Assistants

OCS Alumni

Recent & Upcoming Talks








Open Case Study Search

Find the right open case study for you!