MOOCs: A New Realm for Educational Research & IRBs

MOOCs: A New Realm for Educational Research & IRBs

Aug 05, 2014

A recent post on the Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research’s Ampersand blog focused on massive open online courses (MOOCs) and the implications of conducting research on participants’ experiences in these courses.  The purpose of the June 2014 Asilomar Convention for Learning Research in Higher Education was to "specify the ethical challenges and obligations that accompany research on higher learning in the era of big data."  The structure of MOOCs raises a host of questions for Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) with regard to the use of human subjects in such courses, and the ethical issues that conducting research in such courses raises.   The participants at the Asilomar Convention developed a set of principles for conducting learning research in higher education.  

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