An integrated psychology virtual research ethics committee

Boubert, L. and Taylor, D.A. 2016. An integrated psychology virtual research ethics committee. EDULEARN16. Barcelona 04 - 06 Jul 2016 IATED Academy. doi:10.21125/edulearn.2016.1731

TitleAn integrated psychology virtual research ethics committee
AuthorsBoubert, L. and Taylor, D.A.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Research and professional ethics are an integral part of every Psychology degree, as this is seen as a
key graduate learning outcome for students leaving to become clinicians working with clients and
patients. The development of these skills is embedded in teaching, but they culminate in the final year
of a degree when final year students must gain formal ethical approval for their final research project.
Decision as to the ethical appropriateness of research are made by a Departmental Research Ethics
Committee, which considers all research project proposals submitted by staff and students within the
department. One of the challenges of this practice is the scale of work involved for committee
members (Doyle & Buckley, 2014) who are all faculty members, and the tracking of applications and
decisions, alongside the quality assurance required to ensure that all applications are treated fairly
and equally. The time involved in performing this work is often underestimated by Universities, and the
variety and complexity of decisions requires extensive discussion and negotiation. Traditionally, these
decisions are reached by committee discussions, however this presents logistical difficulties as it
requires meetings with quorate attendance. The University of Westminster launched a virtual tool in
2014 to facilitate the management of the Research Ethics Committee, to help track the progress of
applications and to allow discussions to occur and be managed virtually. The Department of
Psychology adopted the tools in September 2014 to deal with all ethics applications. Here we report
on how this virtual committee has affected the role and practices of a working committee that deals
with over 300 applications per year, and how an online ethics procedure has facilitated an integrated
developmental approach to ethical education.

Keywords Ethics decisions, committee discussions, student research projects, learning outcomes.
Year2016
ConferenceEDULEARN16
PublisherIATED Academy
Publisher's versionBoubert & Taylor, 2016.pdf
Publication dates
Published04 Jul 2016
Journal citationpp. 3340-3347
ISSN2340-1117
Book titleProceedings of EDULEARN16 Conference 4th-6th July 2016, Barcelona, Spain
ISBN9788460888604
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.21125/edulearn.2016.1731
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttps://library.iated.org/publication_series/EDULEARN

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