Human Subjects in SOTL Research: The IRB
Faculty who engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) almost always involve human subjects as part of that research.
Federal law mandates that research involving human subjects be subject to review so as to protect the rights and welfare of participants. At Stonehill, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that all federal-and college-policies regarding human subjects are enforced.
Not all academic research with human subjects requires the same level of review, however, and much of the study we do on teaching is, as we shall see, federally exempted from full institutional review.
This guide is meant to help Stonehill faculty doing SOTL research determine what level of review they need (if any) so as to be in compliance with IRB policies. (NB: This guide describes Stonehill IRB expectations when involving Stonehill students in research; if you are researching at another institution or with a different population, then the expectations may differ.)
Please note that this guide is meant to highlight areas of particular concern to those doing SOTL research and is not a comprehensive guide to the IRB process at Stonehill. Faculty should consult the IRB website for complete information about policies and procedures. In addition, faculty may contact Tom Gariepy, Chair of the IRB or Bonnie Troupe, Director of Academic Development with questions.
A pdf version of this guide is also available.
- Who Comprises Stonehill's IRB?
- Types of Institutional Review
- Non-Research Activities
- Exempt Research (Does Not Mean "No Review is Necessary")
- Observational vs. Experimental SOTL Research
- Submitting Your Proposal
- Informed Consent: Protecting Students' Rights
- Things to Keep in Mind When Developing SOTL Research
- Conclusion/Further Reading
- Sample IRB Proposals from Stonehill Faculty