TO: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE FACULTY FROM: AD-HOC PARTICIPANT POOL COMMITTEE (Jason Sikorski) SUBJECT: PARTICIPANT POOL [please note how “no-shows” are handled] DATE: 01/06/2015 The Department "participant pool" using the on-line system will be starting up again for the Spring 2015 semester. We are using the Sona System http://ccsu.sona-systems.com/ for the scheduling of studies. You will soon receive instructions for participants if your students will be using the system to earn research credits (please note that the required number of credits for PSY 112 students is 6). WITH THAT SAID, WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE INSTRUCTORS TO ARRANGE THEIR SYLLABUS IN A MANNER THAT ALLOWS FOR STUDENTS TO EARN ADDITIONAL POINTS FOR PARTICIPATING IN ADDITIONAL STUDIES. IN SHORT, THERE IS ALWAYS A PARTICIPANT SHORTAGE IN OUR DEPARTMENT. WE CAN ALL PLAY A ROLE IN MINIMIZING THIS PROBLEM BY FACILITATING INCREASED PARTICIPATION. All Faculty will be receiving instructions for posting studies on the Sona website. Here’s a little more detail about Sona: Sona is a totally on line tool that allows researchers to post their studies. Potential participants can “sign-up” for studies from any computer with internet access. How long they must sign up before the study occurs depends on the study and will be specified in the study description. The latest time that a student may cancel an appointment for a study also varies from study to study. They will automatically be reminded of their appointments, and all records are kept on-line, in a secure environment. Individual students will be able to access their personal records. If you or your students have a research project and would like to collect data via the participant pool, please contact us for further information or with questions. If you are teaching a course other than PSY 112 but would like to give your students credit for participation in studies using the Sona system, please contact Jason with the course number, course title, days and hours that the class meets, how many credits students must complete at a minimum and the maximum number of credits that can be earned. We will then add it to the system so that credit can be properly applied. Students under the age of eighteen years will have to submit the permission form included with this memo. Sona divides users into four categories: Participants, Instructors, Researchers, and Principal Investigators. Participants are undergraduate students who volunteer for studies for credit. Instructors are faculty members who teach courses that require or award credit to students for research participation. Researchers are faculty members (or their assistants), graduate students, or undergraduates taking PSY 222 (Research Methods Two). They are conducting the research. Principal Investigators are faculty members who are conducting research (they will have dual status as P.I.s and Researchers), and/or faculty members supervising graduate students who are conducting research, or faculty members teaching PSY 222. There is a fifth category called Administrators. That would primarily be Jason Sikorski. We will tell faculty members who wish to gain Administrator access how to do so, as long as you promise not to change any parameters of the system without consulting with us. The rest of this memo is organized so that you can focus on information specific to your status. If you are not using the Participant Pool in any way, you might want to keep this memo for reference, in case you get questions from students. Instructors and their Participants There are a few things to which we would like to draw your attention. 1. Note that most PSY 222 students will have finished data collection well before the deadline . Thus there will be few, if any, options for students who wait until the last minute to fulfill this requirement. 2. All students, including those choosing option 2 (research papers instead of participation in studies), must register with Sona Systems on-line in order to receive credit. They must use a unique, working email address to register. They must also indicate to which course the credit should be posted. If they are taking more than one course that gives credit for research participation, they can access their personal account and reallocate credits whenever they wish. 3. Attached to this memo is a form for copying that is to be used for students under the age of eighteen who wish to participate in studies. They return the signed form to their instructor who can either keep it on file or forward it to Jason Sikorski. 4. Please note that students who sign up to participate in a study, but do not show up (or who do not cancel before the cancelation deadline), will be assessed one “unexcused noshow” penalty. Students who accrue 3 “unexcused no-shows” will be barred from further participation and limited to option 2 (writing papers). IF YOU HAVE A STUDENT WHO COMPLAINS ABOUT BEING BARRED FROM THE SONA SYSTEM, PLEASE HAVE THEM CONTACT JASON SIKORSKI. 5. Two problems we anticipate are (1) students not receiving their passwords because there is a typo in their email address, or because their mailboxes are full or not accessible; (2) students neglecting to indicate to which class they want their experimental credit posted. These details should be emphasized to participants. In addition, students are only to use ONE email address in order to earn extra credit through SONA research participation. Should students use more than on email address to earn credits for the same class, they will be immediately barred form earning extra credit points through research participation for the remainder of the semester. This tactic has been used by students to sidestep being barred from the SONA system. 6. If/when glitches arise, please contact Jason Sikorski ([email protected] or 832-3148) who will do everything he can to fix problems. 7. As always, should students taking a course with a research requirement not wish to participate in research projects, they may earn their research credit by reading published research reports and writing brief papers summarizing them. Students can deliver their papers electronically to [email protected] They still must be registered with SONA to receive the credit. Of note, given that it is 2015, I took the liberty of eliminating the paper drop box option for submitting extra credit research papers to earn extra credit. Since we only received 2 papers through this route last semester, I’m quite certain that we can use that space in Barnard for better things. 8. If you are listed as teaching PSY 112, or if you have indicated that you are providing credit for research participation or options, the instructions for distribution to your students are being e-mailed to you and you can distribute the instructions to your students electronically (e.g., through Blackboard) and/or request copies be made by the Copy Center. The instructions will also be posted on the department website. Some faculty also link from their course page in Blackboard to both the http://ccsu.sona-systems.com/ site and to the [email protected] address to make it more convenient for their students. We encourage you to do this if you will be using Blackboard for your course. Please review the handouts and contact us with any questions or comments about the procedures. Remember, the 6 units of credit are the Department requirement for PSY 112, you may, at your discretion, offer extra-credit to students who participate more in these research options. OF COURSE, WE ALSO HOPE THAT PROFESSORS WHO TEACH OTHER CLASSES IN OUR DEPARTMENT WILL FIND A WAY FOR STUDENTS TO EARN EXTRA CREDIT IN THEIR COURSES FOR PARTICIPATING IN RESEARCH. AFTER ALL, WE ARE THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE RIGHT????? 9. It must be stressed that we have no way to award credit to students who participate in studies but are not registered with the Sona system as detailed in the instructions that all will be given. We would like to strongly suggest that instructors have an early assignment - perhaps worth a nominal amount of credit – where the students must print out and turn in the email that they receive from Sona with their logon information. This will help ensure that all students are registered. 10. Typically, research projects do not begin until at least two or three weeks into the semester. We anticipate that the largest number of projects will be occurring from early February to March (this is the time that many Research Methods students will be conducting their projects using the subject pool). However, students may begin checking the website http://ccsu.sona-systems.com/ beginning the first week of the semester. Please stress to your students not to wait until the last minute to fulfill their requirement because availability of projects is typically lower late in the semester. As always, and consistent with the mandate in the APA 2002 Ethics Code Standard 8.04b, students have the option of not participating as a research volunteer, they may choose to write brief research papers to complete the research requirement. The final deadline for all research participation is May 1st at 5:00 p.m. and for paper submissions (option 2) the deadline is also May 1st at 5:00 p.m. Researchers and Principal Investigators There are a few things to which we would like to draw your attention: 1. I will be emailing the entire department a list of instructions for researchers and principal investigators. You should read this document carefully and distribute copies to your students as you wish. Of note, the actual schedule of rooms available to researchers will not be available until 2 to 3 weeks into the semester, so please don’t expect to receive these instructions until then. 2. We ask that you go over the “Instructions to Researchers” carefully with researchers working under your supervision. Respectful treatment of participants and proper debriefing is essential to making this an ethical and educational experience. We ask that all written consent forms include the following statements: “My signature signifies that I am either 18 years of age or over, or that I have filed a parental consent form with my instructor.” “ If you have questions about your rights as a research participant or if you have a research- related complaint please contact Dr. Jennifer Hedlund, Chair, CCSU Human Studies Council at (860) 832-2968, e-mail [email protected] 3. We also ask that descriptions of studies allow the participants to choose studies based upon content or topic rather than length of involvement or additional incentives like “Free Candy”, etc. 4. One research participation credit is awarded for each ½ hour of participation. For example, a 20 minute study should be worth 1 credit. A 45 minute study should be worth 2 credits. Some studies may occasionally use an additional credit as an incentive for performance. Of course, in the end, all participants would receive the additional credit. Please instruct researchers under your supervision to be judicious with the awarding of credits. They are in finite supply. When participants reach their required number they often stop participating unless extra credit is being allowed by their instructor. Research credit must be awarded via Sona the day it is earned. The deadline for research participation and awarding of credit is May 1st. 5. Rooms For Researchers. Each semester, usually after the drop-add period has ended, the Registrar provides us with days and times for classrooms where researchers can conduct their studies. We ask for a variety of days and times, including evenings. These are then listed and provided to researchers and principal investigators. Researchers can sign up for rooms, days, and times in half-hour blocks. We ask that researchers sign up for no more than one hour per day per room. We also ask that researchers do not sign up more than two weeks in advance. The Sona system will automatically warn you if you have double-booked – BUT IT DOES NOT PREVENT DOUBLE-BOOKING so if you are supervising students please emphasize that they should not double-book EVER. 6. Do not plan a study in a room and at a time already taken by another researcher. A Graduate Assistant will be monitoring to see that no one violates the rules with regard to how far in advance you sign up for a room, or how may blocks you reserve for a single day. SONA does not know which rooms are ours. It will not warn you if you sign up for a room that we have not reserved. You must consult the list that we provide. GRADUATE ASSITANTS AND THE SONA COORDINATOR, DR. SIKORSKI, WILL BE MONITORING THE SONA SYSTEM AND LOOKING FOR RULE VIOLATIONS ON A WEEKLY BASIS. RESEARCHERS WHO VIOLATE THE SONA RULES FOR RESEARCHERS WILL RECEIVE A WARNING EMAIL FROM THE SONA COORDINATOR. YOUR FACULTY SUPERVISOR/COURSE INSTRUCTOR WILL BE COPIED ON THIS EMAIL AND ON ANY FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE. RESEARCHERS WHO VIOLATE THE SONA RULES FOR RESEARCHERS A SECOND TIME WILL RECEIVE A SECOND WARNING EMAIL FROM THE SONA COORDINATOR. SHOULD RESEARCHERS, DESPITE TWO WARNINGS, ACCUMULATE A THIRD VIOLATION OF SONA RULES, THEIR STUDY WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE SONA SYSTEM AND THEY WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO COLLECT DATA FROM PARTICIPANTS. THE RESEARCHER’S STUDY WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE SONA SYSTEM UNTIL THEIR RESEARCH METHODS PROFESSOR OR THEIR FACULTY SUPERVISOR FOR THEIR RESEARCH STUDY CONTACTS THE SONA COORDINATOR TO INSTRUCT THE SONA COORDINATOR TO ALLOW THE RESEARCHER TO AGAIN BE ALLOWED TO COLLECT DATA. EACH INDIVIDUAL PROFESSOR OR SUPERVISOR MAY REQUIRE STUDENT RESEARCHERS TO PROVE THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF SONA RULES BEFORE AGAIN BEING ALLOWED ACCESS TO PARTICIPANTS VIA SONA. ANY SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION OF SONA RULES WILL RESULT IN CONSEQUENCES DECIDED UPON BY EACH INDIVIDUAL FACULTY SUPERVISOR OR RESEARCH METHODS PROFESSOR. Here is a brief summary of the rules that will lead to violation warnings: - Signing out more than two time slots per day (1 hour) - Signing out rooms more than 2 weeks in advance - Choosing a room and time not attached to the list of rules (unless you worked something out with another professor and got your own rooms signed out) - Any Study Description Violations (See Rules for specific details on this) - Failing to Show Up or Showing up Late by more than 10 minutes to a scheduled study time - Failing to assign credit to participants in 2 days 7. On-Line Studies. Department policy prohibits undergraduates from conducting on-line studies, unless approval is provided by an individual professor in the department. Graduate students and Faculty may, of course, conduct such studies. We ask that researchers conducting on-line studies that award SONA credit be respectful of the finite size of the participant pool. We suggest that on-line studies be made available early in the semester (the first two weeks) and late in the semester (the last two weeks) when few undergraduate studies are available. Only 2 of the 6 credits earned by individual students through SONA participation can be earned through online studies. Please let me know of any problems that you or your students experience so that we may continue to enhance the process for all involved. We believe that the process has been useful as a learning experience about research in psychology for the students, but are always looking for ways to make it even more meaningful for our students. The pool has also been greatly appreciated by our students who are conducting research. Please feel free to contact us with your comments, suggestions, or questions. Thank you for your assistance. Jason Sikorski January 2015 To the Parent or Guardian of a Psychology Undergraduate Student under the age of 18 at Central Connecticut State University Faculty and advanced students in psychology conduct research in their areas of interest. In order for the research to be conducted, we request that volunteers participate. Often Psychology students serve this role. They get to see exactly how our research is conducted, and they are a valuable resource for us as well. All research conducted with people at CCSU is reviewed by an Ethical Review Board as to its acceptability, no questionable research is allowed. Participants are guaranteed confidentiality and anonymity. They are entitled to full and complete information about each study in which they participate. Students must be at least 18 years old to participate (if under 18 they need written parental permission).[NOTE: RESEARCH PARTICIPATION IS NOT REQUIRED. If for any reason students do not wish to participate in research projects they do not have to. They may earn their required units (and extra credit) by another option, which involves reading articles and writing short papers.] If you wish to allow your son, daughter, or ward to participate in psychological studies during the Fall 2014 semester at Central Connecticut State University, sign and date this letter, below. If you have further questions about the research activities, please contact Dr. Jason Sikorski at (860) 832-3148, email: [email protected] If you have questions about your son’s, daughter’s or ward’s rights as a research participant or if you have a research related complaint please contact Dr. Jennifer Hedlund, Chair, CCSU Human Studies Council at(860)832-2968,e-mail [email protected] ______________________________, who is under 18 years of age, has name of student my permission to participate in psychology research studies at Central Connecticut State University during the Fall 2014 Semester. ________________________________ Signature of parent or guardian _______ date The student should return this document to their course instructor who will forward it to Dr. Sikorski.