An Example of the Application/Revision Process

The following examples, submitted in 2015/16 are to provide you with an overview of what the process may resemble when applying for ethical approval for your SoTL project. This SoTL project was approved by the York University Office of Research Ethics and is meant to reflect the iterative process taken by the Principle Investigator (PI) and the requests for revision made by the ORE.

Below you will find links to the following:

The purpose of this study was to assess whether attendance and early feedback given
to students in the form of quizzes could be used to predict their performance on a final cumulative exam in a large lecture-style course. The goal of the study was to identify key factors to students’ academic success in a course that can then be shared with students at the start of the course.

To initiate the ethics process, the PI submitted the completed HPRC Protocol Form to the ORE. To supplement this process, the PI drafted a letters to students to inform them of the study and invite them to participate. As is also required in seeking ethical approval, the PI was also required to submit a copy of the Online Consent form by which students would give their permission (informed consent) to participate in the study.

After a period of approximately three (3) weeks, a member of the ORE contacted the PI via email with a series of requests and recommendations. In order to receive ethical approval, the PI was required to make these changes and respond to how and where these changes were made. If changes were not made, then a response offering a rationale as to why they were not being made would have been required.

The PI in this case, wrote a letter to the ORE addressing the comments, recommendations, suggestions, changes that were required. Additionally, the PI forwarded copies of the documentation evidencing how these changes were incorporated. The PI made slight changes in in wording in the letters to students. Here is an example of the revised messages to students. Another request from the REB was to modify and make explicit certain aspects of the Online Consent Form. Here is a copy of the Revised Online Consent Form.

With these revised documents, ORE conducted an expedited review and the PI was given ethical approval to carry out the SoTL project.