An Educator’s Guide to the Open Case Studies
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An Educator’s Guide to the Open Case Studies

A Guide for using Example data analyses with real-world data inside and outside the classroom

About the Book

This guide describes how case studies from the Open Case Studies project ( can be used for instruction about topics in data science, statistics, public health, and more. Each case study is open source and free. They provide a complete tour through a data analysis from start to finish. The case studies are appropriate for high school through graduate education. We also describe how instructors can modify existing case studies or contribute their own case studies to our collection.

Guide users will learn about :

  • The Open Case Studies Philosophy
  • The infrastructure of our project and entry points to using case studies
  • Examples of how educators have been using our case studies
  • Ways to modify and adapt existing case studies
  • How to create new case studies
  • How to contribute case studies to our collection

Currently our case studies are written in R using R Markdown. Familiarity with R is helpful but not required.

About the Authors

Carrie Wright
Carrie Wright

Carrie Wright is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Fred hutchinson Cancer Center and a member of the Fred Hutchinson Data Science Lab. Previously Carrie was an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab. Her work focuses on making data science and informatics more approachable and accessible. She is also a faculty member of the open case studies project, the Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) Training Network (ITN), and a co-founder of the LIBD rstats club, a community designed to encourage others to learn more about R programming and statistics. Learn more about Carrie at

Michael Breshock
Michael Breshock

I am a research assistant working on the Open Case Studies project. This project is a product of the Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I recently graduated with a master’s degree from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering. My thesis work was about Open Case Studies and advised by Dr. Carrie Wright.

Personal Website:

Lyla Atta
Lyla Atta

I am an MD-PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in the JEFworks lab. I am interested systems biology and data science and am excited about how computational and mathematical methods can be used to understand complexity in disease. In my free time, I like to read, go to art and history museums, and take photographs. Learn more about me at my website.

Table of Contents

  • About this guide
    • Formats
    • Summary
  • Introduction
    • Learning Objectives
    • Motivation
    • Target Audience
    • Curriculum
    • Open Case Studies Philosophy
    • Open Case Studies Anatomy
    • Starter Kit
    • Feedback
    • Contact Us
    • References
  • Open Case Study Infrastructure
    • Learning Objectives
    • OCS Website
    • Feedback
    • OCS Case Study Search Tool
    • Open Case Studies GitHub Organization
    • OCSdata
    • Session info
    • References
  • Use of Open Case Studies
    • Learning Objectives
    • Open Case Studies in the Classroom
    • Case Study Recommendations
    • Example Use Cases
    • Examples of assignments
    • Session info
  • Modifying open case studies
    • Learning Objectives
    • Modular use
    • Modify a case study
    • Create a case study
    • Session info
    • References
  • New Case Studies - Building and Contributing
    • Learning Objectives
    • Case Study Libraries
    • Submission Process
    • Offical Case Study Guidelines
    • Session info
    • References
  • About the Authors
  • References

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