Loyola University Chicago

Institutional Review Board

Classroom Projects

Instructor Facilitated Classroom Projects Involving Human Participants

Students often conduct projects involving human participants to fulfill requirements for classes at Loyola. Although such projects are not typically considered “research,” as defined by federal regulations, they must be conducted with the utmost regard for University policies, ethical standards and, the welfare of human participants. Because students in classes may have limited experience and knowledge regarding these matters, it is essential that instructors take responsibility for educating students about the ethical conduct of classroom activities and ensuring that ethical guidelines and University policies are followed. When classroom projects are for instructional purposes only and involve no risk to participants, the instructor may complete the Faculty Assurance Form for Classroom Projects and submit it to Research Services for review by the Compliance Manager. This procedure places the responsibility for ensuring appropriate design and ethical conduct of class projects involving human participants on the instructor.

Depending on the purpose and the nature of the class projects, IRB review of individual projects may be required. For example, if a class project may be presented in a forum outside of the university, may be published, or may be used for thesis or dissertation research, it must always be submitted for IRB approval. In addition, if the project involves vulnerable populations or collection of sensitive information, it must also be reviewed by the IRB. In deciding whether IRB review is required for course related research projects, instructors should carefully review the guidelines listed below.

The following classroom projects must be submitted for IRB review--

Projects that:

  • a. may be presented in a forum outside the university, may be submitted for publication, or may be individually supervised as an honors thesis, masters thesis, or dissertation project; or
  • b. select individuals from a federally-designated vulnerable group such as pregnant women, prisoners, and children; or
  • c. propose to investigate opinions, behaviors, and/or experiences about sensitive physical or mental health-related information such as sexually-transmitted diseases, depression, or eating disorders; sexual behavior; incest; rape; molestation; or illegal behavior.

Download: Faculty Assurance Form for Classroom Projects

IRB Main Page