Research Participation

Purpose

Research participation is the laboratory component of both PSYCO 104 and PSYCO 105. The goal is to introduce you to research in psychology by giving you the opportunity to take part in research projects being conducted by members of the Department of Psychology. Taking part in studies gives you an opportunity to see first-hand how we conduct research in this field.

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Experiential learning program helps UAlberta students dip a toe into the world of research

Katie Willis - 01 October 2020

Whether you are a first-year undergraduate student today or you studied introductory psychology at the University of Alberta decades ago, you likely got your first taste of the world of research in the Department of Psychology’s Research Participation (RP) program.

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Grading
Research participation makes up 10% of your final grade. Each 1 credit appointment is worth 2% and can take up to 50 minutes to complete. Each 2 credit appointment is worth 4% and can take up to 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete. Be sure to obtain at least 1 research participation credit during the term to avoid a “missed term work” notation on your transcript.
Ethics Approval
All research participation studies are carefully screened by both a University of Alberta Research Ethics Board and the Research Participation Program. You will not be placed at any known risk for physical or psychological harm.
Confidentiality
All information that you provide during research participation is confidential. In most cases, your name will not be stored with your information. In other cases, your name will be removed from the data at a later date. Only members of the research team and Research Participation Program administrators will have access to your data.
Study Results
You are encouraged to ask questions and get more information if you are interested in a project. You can also ask to be sent a summary of the findings of any project in which you have been a participant (excluding the mass testing survey, offered in Fall and Winter term).
Taking Part
Sign up for research appointments using the online Research Participation (RP) system available through your eClass course page. Please see eClass for the date and time that the RP system link will be available. You can take part in research participation right through to the last day of class. Signups for appointments will close at 8:00 pm (Mountain Time [MT]) on the last day of class because a 1-credit appointment can take up to 50 minutes to complete.

At the beginning of each research appointment (online or in-person), you will be provided with an explanation of the study and the tasks that you will perform. You will then be asked for your consent to participate. Please take your time reading through the consent form to make sure that you understand the nature of the tasks, the participation options (i.e., study or alternate task), and any instructions provided. If you have questions or would like additional information, you can ask or contact the researcher.

If you decide not to participate in the study activity after reading the consent form, you can choose to complete an alternate task to receive credit for the project. The alternate task will not take longer than the scheduled appointment. The alternate task may involve either a) watching a video or reading a paper on a topic related to the research and then answering some questions or b) taking part in the study activity, but without the researcher using your data for their project. If you choose the alternate task, it must be completed during the session to the researcher’s satisfaction in order to receive RP credit.

If you read the consent form and decide not to participate in either the study or the alternate task, please exit the online project or leave the session and contact the Research Participation Coordinator. If you agree to participate in the study but then decide later on in the session that you would not like to continue, you may stop responding and exit the online project or leave the session at any time without penalty.
Online Appointments

For online projects, appointments may be one of two types:

  • Appointments with a deadline: used for most projects that do not require interaction with a researcher (e.g., completing a survey)
  • Appointments with a start time: used for all projects that require interaction with a researcher (e.g., a Zoom call)
In-Person Lab Appointments
For in-person lab appointments, all sessions will have a start time. Find each appointment location a day or two before your session (to avoid getting lost) and arrive at your appointment at least 5 minutes early. Remember to write down the appointment name/date/time/location. Bring your ONEcard to the session for ID.
Cancelling Appointments
If you are unable to participate in an appointment during the semester, please cancel through the online RP system up to midnight (MT) the day before your appointment.

If you need to cancel on the same day due to illness or an urgent matter, please email rescred@ualberta.ca (from your UAlberta email account) or leave a voicemail message at 780-492-5689. Be sure to leave your name, student ID number, appointment name/date/time, and reason for cancellation or else we will not be able to process your request. As long as you have provided sufficient information and contacted us before the appointment deadline or start time, your cancellation will be processed once the Research Participation Coordinator is available (or on the next business day if necessary).

You can cancel any appointment that you have signed up for as long as it is done before the deadline or start time of the appointment. This will allow you to sign up for a different appointment without penalty.
Missed Appointments
Failure to cancel before missing (or being late for) your appointment will result in loss of credit for the study. In the RP system, credits are added to your account automatically as soon as you sign up for a study and show as a credit on your “Check Your Credit Status” page. If you do not attend (or are late for) an appointment, then the credit will be removed from your account and may be marked as an unexcused absence. You will be given one opportunity to make up an unexcused absence by signing up for a different appointment. The Mass Testing survey is an exception: if you sign up but then do not log in and start the survey, you will not receive credit but you can sign up for a different study in its place without penalty.

With one unexcused absence, you can still earn a maximum of 10% for RP. However, if you have two or more unexcused absences, you will not be able to earn the full 10% for RP.

If you feel unwell (including cold/flu symptoms, headache, nausea, general malaise, etc.), make sure to cancel your appointment before the deadline or start time. Only an incapacitating medical illness or emergency, severe domestic affliction, or other similarly compelling reason will be considered an acceptable reason for missing an appointment without prior notice. If this is the case, you must inform the Research Participation Coordinator within two working days following the missed appointment (or as soon as you are able).
Credit Concerns
Your current credit status is always shown in the RP system. If you find a discrepancy in your overall score for research credits, please contact the Research Participation Coordinator as soon as possible. After the last day of class, you will have 3 DAYS to report credit discrepancies before final research participation marks are sent to instructors. After the final scores are sent to instructors, the research participation mark may be available to view on eClass (depending on your instructor’s policies).