Classroom-Based Research Projects
Many courses in the OU curriculum include instruction on research design and research methods.
Often the course instructor includes an experiential learning component in the course assignments.
This message is designed to help you determine if the classroom-based research project will need to reviewed and approved by the IRB.
There are four criteria for classroom-based research projects.
- First, they are usually very limited in scope and sample size.
- Second, the classroom-based research projects will not result in generalizable knowledge that would be acceptable
for scholarly presentation or publication. [Explanatory note: Presenting results to a class or for a departmental/college/University
research presentation event does not constitute public dissemination or contribution to generalizable knowledge.]
- Third, the classroom-based research project asks participants for non-sensitive information.
- Fourth, the research data are collected in a manner that assures the anonymity or confidentiality of the participants.
If your classroom-based research project assignment meets all four of these criteria, then no interaction with the IRB is required.
There are three types of research projects that have an elevated level of risk and would require IRB review to determine if they are Human Subjects Research.
- Projects that include deception or that may elicit a strong emotional response from the participant and require referrals to mental health professional.
- Projects that include a physical testing procedure such as large volume blood draws, or exposure to radiation.
- Projects that gather data from protected or vulnerable populations such as children, cognitively impaired persons, prisoners, the elderly.
Here are some suggestions for the course instructor supervision of these projects.
- In the past, many research methods instructors have found it useful for their students to complete the IRB application documents as part of a classroom-based
research project to give them experience that will be valuable when conducting their own undergraduate honors project, thesis or dissertation research.
Require students to complete the CITI training using the link on the IRB website. Complete the IRB documentation as a part of their training.
You can access the IRB documentation paperwork on the IRB website under the link "Student Classroom Research".
Do not use the electronic iRIS system for classroom projects. IRB website: http://irb.ou.edu
- The course instructor reviews all IRB documents for completeness and accuracy.
- Require students to conduct their classroom research in the same ethical manner that applies to "regular" research - i.e., informed consent required, minimal risk,
obtaining approval from the supporting site or organization, etc.
Samples of informed consent templates that have been used for other classroom projects are available on the IRB website.
- For all classroom activities, whether research-related or not, please remind your students to clearly identify these activities as
"classroom-based research projects" on campus and within the community.
If you are uncertain about whether your classroom-based research project requires IRB review, please contact the IRB office at (405) 325-8110 or email@example.com.
Links to documents used for Student Classroom Research:
Training Requiremants Links: