Classroom Protocol

All student research with human subjects is subject to review by the Institutional Review Board.

When students conduct human subject research as a part of a classroom assignment, the instructor may wish to apply for a approval for all the students rather than asking each student to apply for IRB approval of his or her research proposal. Classroom protocols are approved that meet the requirement for exempt or expedited review only. If students are proposing research that needs full board review, they must apply individually to the IRB for approval of their projects.

Classroom protocols expedited research project are defined for two types of classroom research activity:

  1. The entire class may be doing the same assignment (e.g., all students are collecting data on a survey form which they will later analyze together as a class).
  2. Each student is doing individual research within the parameters of a classroom assignment (e.g., students must create a research project, according to specifications delineated by the instructor, and carry it out).

Any consent forms used must include the instructor’s name, department and telephone number so that potential subjects may contact him or her with questions regarding the research.

Classroom Research Project
Fill out the online IRB application at IRBnet and indicate it is a classroom protocol under protocol type. Include (upload with your application) any of the following that you will use:

  1. the written assignment
  2. questionnaires
  3. cover letters
  4. consent forms
  5. any other documentation which explains the research

Once this classroom project has been approved, students do not need to submit any additional proposals for this research to the IRB, although instructors may wish to have students submit proposals for review by the faculty member as part of the assignment.

Individual Student Research Projects
For a classroom assignment in which all students (or several groups of students) develop their own proposals for research that qualifies as exempt or expedited, faculty may submit a classroom protocol for the entire class. Fill out the online IRBnet application and include:

  1. a copy of the assignment
  2. examples of the kinds of research students might propose (including examples of possible research questions)
  3. model consent forms

The classroom assignment must also include an IRB application form which students would complete and submit to the instructor who will review it before students are permitted to begin their research.

Continuing Review
Full Board and Expedited research projects are subject to continuing review and must be resubmitted to the IRB at least once a year. Exempt reviews do not need to be reviewed again unless the research project is changed in some way.