Questions to Consider when Planning L&T Research

Potential DilemmasQuestions to Consider
Conflicts of Interest and Power Relationships
  • “Could any part of the research design interfere with the effectiveness and/or credibility of an instructor and/or with students’ interests and/or ability to learn?"
  • “Are there ways in which participating in this research - or not - might be something that students feel like they had to do? If so, why?”
  • “Could a third-party help with the consent and data collection process to mitigate power-differentials?”
Consent Process
  • “What would you want to know before making a decision about participating in this research?"
  • “In what ways might students feel compelled to participate or compromised in their ability to withdraw from the study without consequence?”
Fairness and Equity
  • “Are there any individuals or groups that this research might directly or indirectly exclude?"
  • “How can I be sure that the results of this study can be accessible to all participants?"
Privacy and Confidentiality
  • “Are there ways in which this research design might, in any way, compromise participants’ confidentiality?"
  • “Are there adequate safeguards to protect participants’ information and data?"
  • “Have I obtained informed consent from all students’ whose data I am using in this study, regardless of when said data was collected?”

Adapted from Fedoruk, L. (2017). Ethics in the scholarship of teaching and learning: Key principles and strategies for ethical practice. Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning Guide Series. Calgary, AB: Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary. 

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