Sample Project Information Statement
Project Type: Type IV (Federally-Defined Research)
Project Review Procedure: IRB Review, Level II (Expedited)
Note: This Project Information Statement was prepared for student subjects in a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning project being conducted by a St. Olaf faculty member. Numbers in brackets are keyed to the items on the St. Olaf Project Information Statement checklist. The sentence or paragraph preceding each bracketed number conveys the information indicated by that checklist item. Permission to post this sample consent form has been received from the Principal Investigator for this project and is on file with the St. Olaf IRB.
You are invited to participate in a study of teaching and learning in 50 introductory courses in theology, religion, religious studies, Biblical studies, or similar disciplines, nationwide. We hope to learn information about how teaching and learning take place in the class—information that will help future teachers of such courses to improve their teaching.[1, 10] The outcomes of the study may include such items as published articles, books, on-line resource materials for teachers, conference presentations, and workshop materials. Your teacher has accepted our invitation to be part of this study; now we are asking students in the class to agree that some of their work completed for the class may be used in the study.
The study will not take any extra time from you except what your teacher requires as part of the course.
Your name will never be used in any outcome of this study. All your work will be anonymous.[9a] There are no known risks for you in this study. The benefits include an opportunity to benefit from your own self-reflection on your learning and to help future teachers of theology and religion.
If you agree to participate, some of your course material, including some of your papers or exams (all used without your name) will be sent by your teacher to the Principal Investigator and used in the study, along with similar material from students in the other 50 classes around the country. Three times during the semester, your teacher will ask you to reflect in writing, anonymously, during a few minutes of class time, about what aspects of the class are helping your learning, and what suggestions you have for changes. Your teacher will review these anonymous writings and will also share them with the Principal Investigator for the project. Finally, at the end of the course, you will complete an anonymous course evaluation, again addressing the effectiveness of the class for your learning, and your suggestions for change. These materials will be sent by your teacher to Prof. Barbara Walvoord, the Principal Investigator, at the University of Notre Dame, and will be included in the study along with similar material from about 2000 students.
Your decision whether or not to participate
will not affect in any way your future relations with your teacher
or your institution. If you decide to participate, you are free
to withdraw your consent and to discontinue participation at any
time without any penalty. If you have questions, please ask
your teacher, or you may contact the project’s Principal Investigator,
Prof. Barbara E. Walvoord, Ph.D., Decio Hall 334, University of
Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46507. Phone: 574-631-0101 or e-mail