Avoid Undue Influence of Student Subjects
Possible Research Subject Integrity

Coercion and undue influence are important ethical concerns that can negatively impact the fiduciary relationship between faculty as researchers and students. These concerns are particularly important when research involves using the student’s work.

One way that faculty researchers can try to avoid having too much influence over their student subjects is by offering them more money to participate in the research. Another option is to give them extra credit for participating. Additionally, researchers can keep the research time to less than ten minutes during class, or avoid recruiting their own students for the study.

There are several ways to avoid these issues, such as having a third party recruit participants, collect permission forms, and provide de-identified data back to the researcher. Also Read: What Document Explains Your Rights and Responsibilities As a Federal Student Loan Borrower?

Recruiting Students from Other Classes

In recruitment efforts, it’s important to target prospective students who will be a good fit for your university. This is especially true at larger universities, where there are many applicants competing for limited space. It’s important to find a student who will fit into your school culture and add value to your program. However, it’s also important to avoid recruiting a student who will be too much of a burden or create other problems for your university.

One way that faculty researchers can possibly run into trouble with undue influence is by directly recruiting students for their own personal research projects. When faculty recruit their own students, they must be careful to make it clear that the decision of a student to participate in the research will not impact their class standing or any other relationship with the university. The researcher must also make it clear that participation is voluntary and does not replace classroom activities or required class assignments.

While it is generally acceptable for researchers to offer extra credit as a way of encouraging students to participate in research, the amount of extra credit must be reasonable. Furthermore, the researcher should offer students a non-research alternative by which they can earn an equivalent amount of extra credit. Recruiting students for research through general announcements and central posting systems is generally permissible. However, it is important that students are informed of the purpose of the research, the potential benefits to participating, and a description of any potential risks associated with participation.

Faculty are often required to obtain the permission of a student’s instructor before conducting research in which the student is to be recruited as a subject. This requirement applies regardless of whether the instructor teaches the research, is a co-investigator, or assists in the instruction of the research.

Student recruitment campaigns should focus on providing students with a glimpse into life at your university. This could be in the form of videos or social media posts that highlight your school’s culture, academic offerings, and campus life. You should also use texting or phone calls to have in-depth conversations with prospective students about what it would be like to study at your institution. This will help you to build a relationship with them and avoid any issues related to undue influence.

Recruiting Students Outside of the Faculty’s Own Classroom

As universities look to boost their research profiles, faculty researchers are often in need of student participants for their studies. While this can help to increase the validity of the research, it can also put students at risk. It is important for faculty to think through how they recruit student subjects to avoid undue influence that could skew the results of their study.

Ideally, recruiting student participants should take place outside the classroom, where the researcher cannot interact directly with the participant or impact their behavior in any way. While this may be difficult to do, there are several strategies that can be used to ensure that a professor’s participation in student research does not interfere with the academic integrity of their class or the ethical conduct of the study.

One of the best ways to do this is to work with an independent third party for recruitment, consent, and data collection. This can be done by hiring a graduate teaching assistant who is not enrolled in the same class, or using an online platform to collect and analyze the data for the instructor. It is also important to make it clear to the instructor that their participation does not affect the outcome of the study, as well as that they will be free to withdraw from the study at any point.

Students who are close to the researcher may be more likely to volunteer for their participation. This can be because the student wants to please their instructor, or they may believe that their participation will improve their relationship with the faculty member (e.g., a higher grade, more positive recommendation, or employment possibilities). Students who have cultural or religious beliefs that require them to defer to authority figures can also be at greater risk of undue influence when volunteering for research.

One way to minimize this risk is for schools to target local high school students. This can be done by offering special tour days for high school students, or by setting up an online portal that highlights information that is relevant to those prospects (e.g., program events and testimonials from alumni who now work in the field). Olivet Nazarene University does a particularly good job of targeting prospective high school students with their Purple and Gold tour days and virtual tours for prospective freshmen.

Recruiting Students from Other Departments

Recruiting students from outside the faculty researcher’s class can help to reduce undue influence by eliminating the possibility of the researchers building a relationship with the student, which could lead to a biased sample. This can be done by posting research projects on general information boards or by asking other faculty to recruit their students. It is also important to clearly state that participation in the study will have no impact on a student’s course standing or any other relationship with the university.

It is also important to ensure that the recruitment and informed consent process are transparent to avoid the appearance of coercion. This can be done by making sure that participants are fully aware of the risks involved and that the benefits of participating are equally clear to all. Additionally, it is important to avoid repeating surveys with similar topics that can lead to survey fatigue and declining response rates.

Many graduate programs rely on undergraduate students as their research subjects, especially in the social and behavioral sciences where course credit is often offered for participation. This can make it difficult to avoid undue influence because it is likely that students feel they have no choice but to participate in a research project if they want to complete their degree. It is important to clarify with all students that research participation is always voluntary and never required.

Student recruitment strategies are changing and it is more important than ever for universities to focus on attracting and enrolling minority students. Students from underrepresented groups are less likely to graduate than their peers, which means that they are losing out on the chance at a better future. By recruiting these students and providing them with a positive college experience, universities can address this issue and create more equitable education outcomes.

Using student recruitment tools like Segments, Handshake Premium partners can identify groups of students who are interested in your school or program. This will allow you to target these groups with relevant information about life at your university, and highlight alumni achievements. These targeted messages will build rapport with prospective students and help to set you apart from competitors.

Recruiting Students from Other Institutions

Student recruitment is one of the most critical stages in a university’s lifecycle, as it is what determines the quality and quantity of students who enroll. Student recruiters must work more efficiently than ever before to meet enrollment goals and reduce summer melt, while also focusing on the recruitment of students who aren’t already attending a competing institution.

To do so, they must utilize modern tools that allow for intelligent data integration and personalized engagement throughout the recruitment funnel. Students today expect a highly-personalized experience at every stage of their university journey, from recruitment through graduation. However, with the average institution using 35 different applications to manage the student lifecycle, it can be difficult to provide tailored communications to each and every prospective student.

Fortunately, there are some ways that faculty researchers can avoid undue influence when recruiting students for research studies. For example, if the study being conducted by a researcher involves classroom activities that are mandatory for course credit, faculty members should make it clear to prospective participants that they have a choice whether or not to participate. Alternatively, they can offer a comparable alternative that satisfies course requirements without the need for participants to participate in research.

In addition, a third party could be brought in to collect and secure consent forms. This will ensure that a participant’s work products are kept in a safe place until class grades have been submitted, and that the researcher only has access to those who provided their consent. Moreover, it will prevent any possibility of coercion and will protect the confidentiality of sensitive information.

Another way to avoid undue influence is to recruit students from outside the institution’s classrooms. For example, students in other departments or from other schools may be more likely to participate in a research study if they know that their participation will not impact their class grade or relationship with their instructor. Additionally, candidates outside the university system are less likely to be suffering from industry fatigue and can therefore bring fresh ideas and perspectives that might push an organization out of its comfort zone and into new territory.


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