Integrating IRB Approval with Bb Learn

Did you know that if you are conducting research on a course that you are teaching, you can create, deliver, and access informed consent through the Blackboard Learn course shell? Step-by-step instructions can be found on the e-Learning Center's website

Who should use the Bb Learn IRB Resources?

You should use these resources if you are: 

  • interested in researching teaching and learning in your course;
  • collecting data and student-generated artifacts over the course of a semester or multiple semesters;
  • planning on publishing or presenting any findings that involve your teaching and learning activities.

What are the guidelines for research with human participants at NAU?

All research involving human participants must be approved by the NAU Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to collecting data; the IRB does not grant retroactive approval. If you think you will want to publish or present findings now or in the future, you should seek IRB approval prior to collecting data or beginning your research project. See the NAU IRB website for instructions on how to apply for IRB approval of research as well as guidelines on what projects require IRB approval.

Creating a Consent Form for Participating in Research

Participants must be made aware that they are participating in research and voluntarily grant their consent. In face-to-face research, participants sign a paper informed consent form. For internet-based and distance research, we’ve developed an informed consent that allows participants to grant their consent electronically. The Bb Learn-IRB Resources include a template on which you can build your informed consent form. Simply insert information specific to your study, such as the purpose, procedures, confidentiality, risks, and benefits into the template, and deliver it to your students via Bb Learn. You can also tailor the form to allow participants to consent to certain things like audio recording, video recording, etc. 

Please note that you must have IRB approval PRIOR TO having students grant consent. Do not assume that your project has or will have IRB approval by simply using the informed consent form; you must also fill out and submit an IRB application  and have your research approved by the IRB. You may begin your research only after the IRB sends you a formal letter of approval.

Optional Questions for the Electronic Consent Form

In the Informed Consent, the first question allows participants to consent to participate in the research and is required to be answered with "yes" or "no." Additional questions can be added to your Informed Consent. You can chose from among the questions provided or add your own questions depending on your specific research goals.

For more information, see the instructions for importing informed consent into your Bb Learn course shell.