Antonio is studying new approaches to strengthen memory. He can apply these techniques to creat
interactive Web-based instructional modules. He plans to test these modules with students in a general psychology course, forwhich he is a
teaching assistant. He expects that student volunteers who use the modules will subsequently perform better on examinations than other
students. He hopes to publish the results in a conference proceeding on research in learning, because he plans to apply for an academic
position after he completes the doctorate.
Should Antonio seek IRB approval for his project? (Hint: what are the two questions you
would ask in orderto determine whether IRB approval is necessary?)
lfthe answerto question #1 is yes, what type oflRB review would be
Can this protocol be exempted? Why orwhy not?
Do student volunteers need to give formal informed consent? If so, what
information needs to be included in the consent document?
Case #2: Course Assignment
Two weeks into the new semester, the Professor in
Mary’s course on Family Health gives the class a special assignment that was not on the course syllabus. Overthe next week, everyone in
the class is to talk with three classmates, who are not in the course, about the way theirfamilies deal with medical emergencies and
chronic illness. Next week they should come to class prepared to report on their interviews. The Professorwill then gather information
collected by all the students and may write a paper on the topic. The Professor indicates in orderto protect classmates’ privacy; no
names should be mentioned during discussion.
The assignment makes Mary uneasy. Mary believes that the assignment should be reviewed by the
When Mary raises her concerns with the Professor, the Professor assures herthat her informal conversations with classmates are not
research and therefore not subject to any regulations. When Mary reminds him that his potential publication may contribute to
generalizable knowledge,” his response is that even ifthis assignment meets the definition of research, it can be exempt because no
names will be recorded, and therefore, no IRB review is necessary.
Is the Professor’s last statement correct?
Is this course assignment
lflRB review is required, should each student submit an application to the IRB? Why orwhy not?
Can this “course assignment”