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Education Study Risks

One of the Board’s primary concerns is to evaluate risks or the potential that harm will come to participants as the result of their participation. In an education study, the Board will generally weigh the risks to participants based on if the participant's identity is linked to their data, how sensitive the procedures and the resulting data will be, and what the participant will sacrifice as a result of their participation. As you develop your study, consider ways in which you can reduce the level of risk for your participants.  Not only will you protect your participants, you will save time in your IRB review.

One aspect that you should also consider is that if a student is in a classroom, he or she is generally obligated to participate in the classroom activity. If your study is the classroom activity, you should develop alternatives for the student, such as provide another class to attend or an alternative activity. On the consent form under "What your child will do" explain to the parent what will happen if the student does not participate in the study.

Section Topics:

Social risks for students
Waste of child’s educational time
Undue influence and student confidentiality issues
Activities that could adversely affect student grades
Burdening new teachers and student teachers
Lack of voluntary participation

Related Topics:

University Students as Participants

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