Using the Classroom to Recruit Participants

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Students in University of Oregon classes are occasionally asked to participate in research. In such cases, the researcher should ask the instructor to give her/his permission to use class time to conduct a study. Because students in classrooms comprise a captive audience, care should be taken to respect their rights as subjects and as students. If participation as a subject is part of the academic work of a student, it must not be a coercive requirement, and informed consent, if appropriate, must be obtained. Alternate means of receiving credit if a student chooses not to participate or chooses to withdraw during the course of the study should be provided. To assure that students feel free to refuse to participate without concern that the evaluation of their classroom performance will be affected, the instructor should not be present during any research activities. Furthermore, the instructor should not be informed nor be aware of who participates.

When investigators wish to audio record or video record university classes, students have the right to refuse participation. At the same time, students should not be penalized by losing significant classroom instruction in the event they decide not to be recorded. The following procedures should be used: the investigator must notify students in advance that the class session will be recorded; Recording must be stopped long enough before the end of the class to allow students to ask questions without appearing on the recording; and students must be given a full explanation of the project after the recording and given the option to arrange for deletion of their participation on the recording.

Because research involves time that would otherwise be used for instructional activities, departments may wish to promulgate policies with regard to classroom research. The CPHS/IRB recognizes that participating in research and receiving information about the research may be pedagogically relevant.