Changes to Classroom Protocols

As of August 1, 2012, the CRC IRB will no longer require that faculty submit “Classroom Protocols’ to the IRB for review.  These classroom activities are not considered to be human subjects research as there is no intent to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.  These activities are being conducted for educational purposes only.  The CRC IRB will consider these activities to be educational and not subject to IRB review when the following criteria are true:

  • The classroom activity is not designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. The only purpose of the activity is to teach research methodology
  • Activities are not considered to be generalizable because either:
    • The results of the activity will not leave the classroom (e.g. the data/results will NOT be published or presented at meetings) OR
    • The activity involves collecting data from or about a company, organization, or agency and the data/results will only be shared with that company, organization, or agency to be used internally for the purpose of quality assurance or quality improvement
  • The activity is limited to surveys/questionnaires, interviews, observations of public behavior, conducting non-invasive biomechanical measurements (e.g. placing sensors on the skin), or standard educational exercises directly related to the class assignment for the official Boston University course.

It is the responsibility of the faculty member to determine if the assignment meets the criteria above.  If the faculty member is unsure if the activity meets the criteria, he/she should contact the IRB office for consultation.

If the classroom activity does not meet the criteria listed above, contact the IRB office for consultation.  Federal regulations require that research projects involving human subjects be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The IRB must approve the project prior to the start of any research activities.  The IRB cannot provide approval or determinations for research that has already been conducted.

If you have any questions, please contact the IRB at 617-358-6115 or