Participant Pool

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 (you may contact him if you have any questions).

  • 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 means.
  • 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.

Students: please check with your Computer Science course instructors for details about current studies.