Transparency and consent are important for any study concerning human subjects. For our class, you can use the template consent form. Go to the IRB forms page, click Class Project Forms, and download Sample Consent Form. Remember: this is just a template, but there are a few key elements that you will need to provide for your subjects, no matter how you plan to confirm their consent.
Key elements: Informed consent
- Tell your subject(s) what the project is about, for what class, and for which instructor.
- Describe as clearly and concisely as possible what they will be doing and why.
- Let them know that the research is for class purposes only.
- Indicate that their participation is voluntary and their answers will be kept anonymous and confidential (if applicable/as requested).
- Provide your contact information as well as your instructor’s.
- Thank the participant(s) for their time and let them know that they are more than welcome to read your final paper based on the research.
With observations and interviews, the template consent form linked above is fine—though you should, of course, edit it to fit your project. With surveys, there are a few other ways to receive consent. One way is to have the form at the beginning of the survey, but, instead of a signature, include a disclaimer that any and/or all answers to the questions may be used for the class project. You can even have the first survey question be, “Do you consent to participate in this research project?