FAQs for SoTL IRB Proposals
As research that involves human participants, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) studies usually require the oversight of the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about IRBs and SoTL at KSU, compiled by Hillary Steiner, CETL Associate Director for SoTL, and Angela Bain, Office of Research Assistant Director of Research Compliance for Human Subjects.
Do SoTL studies require IRB approval, or are they exempt from review?
Any research study that you plan to disseminate as scholarship and employs human subjects requires IRB review. Studies that are classified by the IRB as “exempt” are exempt from the regulations upon determination of exemption by the IRB office. While exempt from the regulations, studies determined to be exempt still must adhere to KSU IRB Policy: Exempt Research. Studies that do not meet the exemption criteria are reviewed and must receive approval by the IRB. In both cases, you must not begin work on the study until you have received a letter from the IRB Office confirming approval or determination of exemption. Studies are submitted to the IRB for review in Cayuse. You can log in to Cayuse using your NetID and password here. For more information, please see IRB Policy: Determination of Engagement in Human Subjects Research.
If SoTL is the only research I’ll do with human subjects, must I complete the CITI training?
Yes. Anyone conducting research that employs human subjects must complete the appropriate CITI training course. Faculty conducting research for SoTL should complete the Social, Behavioral, and Educational Human Subjects Research Course to satisfy this requirement.
Can I use individual student data from previous semesters of my own courses in my study?
Use of educational records for research, which includes assignments, test scores, attendance, etc., must follow the requirements of FERPA. FERPA requires signed and dated consent to use educational records for research purposes. You must describe this in the consent process section of your IRB submission. If you will only use aggregated data, FERPA is not applicable.
What if I’m not planning to publish or present my study? Do I still need IRB approval?
It is recommended that you contact the IRB/Human Subjects Office. Upon clarification as to the purpose of the study, IRB/Human Subjects Office staff will make a determination and provide guidance based on IRB Policy: Determination of Engagement in Human Subjects Research.
What are the rules on providing incentives (e.g., extra credit points, pizza and drinks, or a raffle) to students participating in my study?
Research incentives cannot be coercive or in any way entice subjects to participate in research. Even with the use of incentives, participation always must be voluntary on the part of the subjects. When extra credit is offered, there must be a non-research alternative that is equal in time and effort to allow a student to receive the same amount of extra credit without participating in the research. This must be articulated when recruiting and when consenting students to participate in research.