Spring, 1999: Research Requirement/Extra Credit for Psychology

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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.
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