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Checklist and Guidelines for Using BYU-Idaho Online Courses for Research Projects

The process described in this document helps the University manage research projects performed using the online courses and ensure that the research is sound. These guidelines have been developed in coordination with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment together with the Office of Faculty Development and Mentored Research, and we encourage anyone interested to also review that office’s guidelines and policies prior to beginning their project. For questions or help with this process, contact the online external research coordinator (Curtis Henrie – (208) 496-1576, henriecu@byui.edu).

Research Project Checklist

The following checklist must be completed before you can start your research. The Online External Research Coordinator (OERC) will keep a copy of this checklist for your project on file and will authorize you to begin your research once all items are submitted. It is recommended that the items on the checklist be completed in sequential order. Click on each item below to view a drop-down of additional information and details related to each of the items on the checklist:

1. Submit an Application for an Online Learning Research Project

Your first step is to inform Online Learning that you are interested in exploring a research project by submitting an application

It is strongly recommended that you share a draft of your application with the OERC before final submission. The OERC can assist you with filling out the application or answer any questions you have as you fill it out. The OERC can also review and give initial feedback on your research proposal. The application will be reviewed by the OERC for completeness and correctness.

2. Gain Approval from Online Directors and Managing Directors

The OERC share your research proposal with the directors and managing directors in Online Learning and Curriculum Development. All research projects using Online Learning or Curriculum Development resources (courses, students, instructors, etc.) must be approved by this group. Information about the group's decision on your proposal will be communicated to you through the OERC. You must first obtain approval from Online directors and managing directors before beginning the BYU-Idaho IRB process. The OERC will alert the BYU-Idaho IRB office that your proposal has been approved.

3. BYU-Idaho IRB Approval and Research Clearance

Obtain IRB approval from the BYU–Idaho Office of Faculty Development and Mentored Research to perform your research study. You must first obtain approval from Online directors and managing directors before beginning the BYU-Idaho IRB process. See resources to complete the BYU-Idaho IRB process. To submit a proposal for IRB review, complete the Online Registration Form for Faculty Projects. When requested to supply a BYU-Idaho email address, simply provide the best email address for communication. Once granted approval, provide a copy of the signed letter or approval email to the OERC.

4. Degree-Granting Institution IRB Approval

All research completed with Online Learning/Curriculum Development requires IRB approval from the participant’s degree-granting institution. A copy of the signed IRB approval needs should be submitted to the OERC as well as the BYU-Idaho IRB office.

Timeline Considerations

Plan for any content or design modifications that need to be implemented in an online course. Changes to a live online course must be made at least one semester prior. BYU–Idaho online courses are created and set up several months before they're offered. The course lead must also be informed of any course changes in advance.

Role of the Online External Research Coordinator

The OERC has the following responsibilities:

  • Help researchers complete the approval processes outlined in this document
  • Suggest effective ways for collecting data or assist with data collection where appropriate
  • Coordinate updates and communication between BYU-Idaho Online Learning and external researchers
  • Assist with sharing findings with the BYU-Idaho Online Learning organization

Distribution of Results

BYU-Idaho Online Learning makes an investment in external research to produce findings that can help further the mission of BYU-Idaho and Online Learning. Sharing the data and project findings with BYU-Idaho Online Learning are considered essential to the research partnership. The OERC will determine with the external researcher(s) on how to best share research data and findings.

BYU-Idaho maintains the right to review results of external research before the results are publicly disseminated. The purpose of this is to ensure institutional integrity and protection of students’ private information.


About this article

Responsible: Online Learning Researcher (Curtis Henrie)

Accountable: Director of OPR (Ben Fryar)

Consulted: N/A

Informed: OPR, RED Team

Sharing: Unrestricted

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