Workshop Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to this year’s Case Studies in Science Workshop, the focus of which is to train science faculty to teach with cases, to write their own cases, and to assess their students’ learning with cases. The purpose of this page is to help you prepare for the workshop. We hope that these FAQs provide you with the answers to most of your questions. For further information, please contact our workshop coordinator Carolyn Wright at or 716-645-4900.

Dates, Location, Costs, & Lodging



The dates for the 2019 Case Studies in Science Workshop are May 20-24, 2019.


The workshop location is107 Talbert Hall on the North (aka Amherst) Campus of the University at Buffalo. A map of the North Campus and the location of Clemens Hall is available online at  Directions to campus are available at


The workshop costs $975.00, which includes all workshop sessions; materials; computer access; meals as follows: lunch: Monday-Friday; dinner: Monday-Thursday, and light morning refreshments. You will also receive a copy of the book Start With a Story by Clyde F. Herreid and a one year subscription to our case study collection teaching notes and answer keys.


In addition to travel expenses, participants are also responsible for reserving and paying for their own lodging.

We have arranged for a limited number of rooms for a special price for a limited time at the closest hotels to the university. Please see details below. Also please note that none of the hotels operate a shuttle service to campus but they are all within walking distance. You should plan to walk approximately 25 minutes to the workshop location in 107 Talbert Hall from your hotel.

Buffalo Marriott Niagara,1340 Millersport Hwy, Amherst, NY, 716-689-6900. Room block under name "UB Case Study." Rooms are non-smoking, standard (one king or two double), for $137.00 / night and will be available until April 19, 2019.

Comfort Inn University, 1 Flint Road, Amherst, NY, 716-688-0811. Room block under name "UB Case Study." Rooms are non-smoking, standard (one king or two double), for $90.00 / night and will be available until May 1, 2019.

Getting to Campus: From the hotels listed above it is a short 10-minute walk to the campus shuttle. The shuttle schedule will be supplied near the time of the workshop. Total time to walk from these hotels to the workshop location in 107 Talbert Hall s about 25 minutes.

Other hotels, see:


Registration is now full for the May 2019 workshop.

If you would like to be placed on our waitlist, please email Carolyn Wright at


The workshop is a full five days, beginning on Monday at 8 a.m. and ending on Friday at 4 p.m. For a more detailed breakdown of each day’s activities for the workshop, see the Workshop Schedule. Please note that in the afternoons of each day you will have time to work on writing and researching your cases—work that most groups continue in the evenings after dinner in order to complete their cases by the end of the week.

The first day of the workshop is an overview of the case study method—its history and rationale—and a demonstration (which workshop attendees participate in) of the classical discussion method of case teaching used by business and law schools. This is followed by an analysis of classroom teaching techniques and finishes with an overview of the principles on which case studies are constructed. Workshop participants then break into small groups based on common interests to begin the work of drafting their own case studies.

The second day demonstrates how case study teaching can be integrated with a revolutionary teaching approach called “Team Learning.” Pioneered by Larry Michaelsen of the University of Oklahoma, this method is a combination of Cooperative Learning and Mastery Learning. Students work in permanent small groups. They receive no formal lecturing but work on problems throughout the semester, with individual and group tests; project work forms the basis of their grades. At the end of the second day, participants again work together in their case writing groups.

The third day provides an opportunity for participants to hear from experienced teachers who have tried different case study methods in different disciplines. In this way, “newcomers” to the method can see how readily the technique can be adapted to any curriculum or teaching style, ranging from lecture to discussion to small group methods. Again, in the afternoon, workshop participants work in their groups on case study design and development.

During the fourth and fifth days of the workshop, all workshop participants teach a case in front of a group of students hired for that purpose using the cases they have developed (for more information, see Practice Teaching Sessions below).

Practice Teaching Sessions

The final two days of the workshop each participant teaches a case study in front of other workshop faculty and to students we hire specifically for these teaching sessions. The idea is to provide you with a supportive environment to try out something new in your teaching. Past workshop participants have noted that the student participation and feedback from these sessions and the opportunity to observe their colleagues teach and have colleagues observe and comment on their teaching are some of the most useful aspects of the workshop.

We will have approximately 60 undergraduate students signed up to participate in these sessions. Many, but not all, of them will have science backgrounds. The students’ role is to read, listen to, and participate in the cases—by engaging in discussion, working in small groups on related activities, role-playing, etc.—like ordinary students. After the session, the students evaluate the case and the teaching style and techniques of the instructors.

You can choose to teach alone or pair up with someone else at the workshop and team-teach your case or teach as part of a group, although we ask that these groups not exceed three people. You should plan on having 50 minutes to teach your case.

The first day of the practice teaching sessions, on Thursday, we will all start out together in a large classroom that can hold all of the students and all of the workshop faculty. Someone each year has volunteered to teach first and we use this session to acquaint everyone with the process. This first “kick-off” session will be facilitated by our workshop leader Kipp Herreid.

After the first session, we will split up into three to four classrooms, with about 15 students per classroom. We will have a printed schedule which will list the instructors, the classrooms, and the case topics. When not teaching, workshop faculty observe their peers and provide them with feedback, choosing for themselves which case study practice teaching session to attend.

There will be a facilitator in each classroom. These people are experienced case study teachers who have gone through our workshop in the past. The facilitator’s job is to introduce you and your case to the students and then turn the classroom over to you. After you have finished teaching, the facilitator will distribute a set of evaluation forms to the students for them to complete and will then collect and turn these directly over to you. The facilitator will then lead the students in a discussion about the case and your teaching.

The classrooms are fairly standard. They all have overhead projectors, blackboards or whiteboards, a desk, and seats that can be moved for small group work, if desired. We can provide you with flipcharts and paper, markers, overhead transparency pens, etc., as well as make copies of any handouts or transparencies you need to teach your case.

We can also arrange for a “technology-enabled” classroom. If you need access to a computer to teach your case study, let us know at the workshop as soon as possible and we will arrange for such a classroom for your use.

So that you can prepare handouts and other materials for your session, we will be arranging for you to have a guest computer account during the workshop, allowing you to access computers on campus to do research and develop materials for your case study teaching session.

We encourage you to bring your own laptop.  Past participants who have brought laptops with them have found them to be very useful.

Advance Preparation

We will be sending you the URLs for some background reading as it gets closer to the dates of the workshop. In addition, you will have an “assignment” for the first day of the workshop to read a case study. Similarly, we will send you the URL for the case via email so that you can read it online before the workshop. We will be running the case early Monday morning with the workshop participants playing the role of students.

You may want to begin researching a topic you are interested in teaching before you get here and bring your research materials with you. While you will have time in the afternoons and evenings to prepare for your practice teaching session, some advance work is recommended.

Computer Use


We strongly recommend that you bring your own laptop to the workshop to research and write your case studies.

Guest Accounts

Guest computer accounts are being set up for you so that you will have your own username and password to log on to the University’s network from your own laptop and from computers in computer labs and libraries on campus. We will be giving you a handout in your registration packet with the locations and hours of operation of the various computer labs you can use as well as your guest computer account information.These facilities have limited summer hours.

Please note that the University at Buffalo is a PC-based campus; there are no Macs in our campus computer labs.

The computers in the libraries and labs on campus are equipped with a variety of software, including Internet applications and web browsers, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You will be able to print from the campus computers. Be sure to save your work to your own storage device.

Internet Access

You should be able to connect to the Internet from your laptop using your guest computer account while here on campus.

For more information about campus Internet access, visit If you have questions, you can also contact (before you arrive or any time while you are here) the Campus Computing Help Desk at: 716-645-3542, or

Getting Around

Directions to Campus

For detailed directions to campus from various points via different modes of travel (by car, plane, bus, and train), you can use our university’s interactive web site available at: A map of the North Campus (better known by cab drivers and hotel staff as the “Amherst Campus”) is available online at


Getting to the University from the Airport

You can take a cab in from the airport; the fare should be about $25 to $30 and the trip should take approximately 20 to 25 minutes. There should be cabs at the curb at the airport, or you may call Airport Taxi to send one. Their toll-free number is 1-800-551-9369. If you have chosen to stay at a hotel at your own expense instead of on-campus in the dorms at ours, many of the hotels near the campus run a shuttle to and from the airport. For more information about airport services including car rental, a map that shows where to catch a taxi, and telephone locations, visit the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport’s website. Uber and Lyft are also now available in Buffalo.

What to do in Buffalo

There is a lot to see and do in Buffalo before and after the workshop. We encourage you to visit Niagara Falls. Please visit our website About Buffalo: Things to Do, Places to See for highlights, including information on the Falls.

Weather & Attire

Buffalo in early summer is generally quite pleasant, with cool lake breezes that keep temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Rain is likely. To keep an eye on the forecast as your departure date approaches, visit your favorite weather website.

We dress for comfort for the workshop. For some of you, that might mean informal, but others may like to dress more formally. We encourage you to wear the clothing you will feel most comfortable in. Be sure to pack your rain gear and some comfortable shoes, as your schedule may include a fair amount of walking. A jacket isn’t a bad idea either.