- D. H. Hepting
- Participant Pool
Participant Pool in Computer Science
The following motion was passed at the CS Department meeting on Wednesday, December 5, 2001.
With the support of the local Research Ethics Board (REB),
instructors have been able to offer the research credit to students since January of 2002.
Daryl Hepting is the Participant Pool Coordinator (
if you have any questions ).
“That, in the interest of supporting research that relies on the
involvement of human subjects (including but not limited to software user studies)
and of providing increased educational opportunities to students,
be it moved that the CS Department establish a Participant Pool
(as detailed below, subject to REB [Research Ethics Board] approval)
and create the position of ‘Participant Pool Coordinator’ to administer it.”
The purpose of the Participant Pool is to provide students with the
opportunity to participate in research related to the concepts that they study and
to provide informatics researchers (from the Computer Science Department unless
otherwise noted) with fair access to participants.
Instructors teaching any undergraduate CS course may choose to enroll their course
section(s) in the Participant Pool. Enrollment shall be done on a semester by semester
basis, only at the discretion of the instructor, by notifying the Participant Pool
Coordinator in writing. If an instructor of a course that has multiple sections wishes
to enroll his or her section of the course, instructors of the other sections of that
course shall be encouraged but not required to enroll their sections as well.
Instructors teaching undergraduate courses that have an informatics-related theme,
though offered by other academic units, may choose to enroll their course section(s).
Participation of other academic units in this way would qualify researchers from those
academic units to access the Participant Pool for their research.
Researchers who wish to use the Participant Pool must have permission from the
Participant Pool Coordinator and approval from the REB.
Any class enrolled in the Participant Pool shall offer students a research credit,
which is equivalent to at most 2 percentage points towards their final grade in that
course. This research credit must be treated as a bonus above the normal evaluation
of their work in the class. To earn this research credit, a student must participate
in 1 or 2 hours of research activities. 1 percentage point of credit is earned for
each hour (or part thereof) of participation. Students may not earn research credit
in different courses for the same research participation. Students not wishing to
participate directly in research activities shall have the option of an alternative
means to gain this research credit. Students wishing to avail themselves of this
option shall notify the Participant Pool Coordinator, in writing, within two weeks
of the beginning of the semester.
Alternative means of gaining research credit shall be limited to the following
2 methods, detailed in the following text. Students may either assist with the
execution of a study or submit short paper(s).
A researcher must choose to provide opportunities for students to gain research
credit by assisting with the execution of a study. If a researcher decides to do this,
details must be provided in advance, in writing, to the Participant Pool Coordinator.
As with regular research participation, students who choose this option will earn 1
percentage point of credit for each hour (or part thereof) of assistance, to a maximum
of 2 percentage points.
Students may choose to prepare a 3-4 page report (12 point font, single-spaced,
1 inch margins) that reviews a published research study. A researcher using the
Participant Pool must provide the Coordinator with a list of publications from which
students may choose one as the basis for their report. In this way, the reports are
linked to a particular research project. Students shall explain, in their own words,
the research questions, methods, and conclusions of the study and discuss the strengths
and weaknesses its methodology. An accepted report shall earn 1 percentage point of
credit. Unacceptable reports shall be returned for revision. A student must write
2 such reports to earn the full research credit for a course. The Participant Pool
Coordinator shall oversee the evaluation of these reports.
Research credit shall only be available in semesters that have active research
projects. In semesters with no active research projects, the research credit for
any course in the Participant Pool shall not be available solely through alternative
In addition to the administration of the Participant Pool, the Participant
Pool Coordinator shall be responsible for the advertisement of the Participant Pool to
students and faculty.