DePaul University College of Communication > Academics > Research & Lectures > Information for Participants

Information for Participants

Student Information to Sign Up for Communication and Computing and Digital Media’s Participation Pool

General Information

All students taking a Communication or Computing and Digital Media course may be asked or required (the decision is made by the instructor) to participate in research studies, or an alternative non-research option, and/or classroom-based research projects as part of the course. Research participation gives students the opportunity to see research in action.

Contact Information

If you have questions or concerns about your research participation, contact the Research Participant Coordinator at the following email address: participantPool@cdm.depaul.edu.

Age Requirements

You must be 18 or older in order to participate in most studies. Some studies may be able to enroll students who are under 18 with parental permission. Those​ studies will say "Students under 18 must have parental permission" in the "Eligibility" column in the list of studies, or will otherwise indicate that participants can be under 18 years old. If the "Eligibility" column says "Must be at least 18 years old" without any mention of an exception for parental permission, however, no one under 18 may participate. Under the federal regulations, minors (persons under the age of 18 in Illinois) may not participate in survey or interview research determined to be exempt by the IRB/Office of Research Services.
 
In order to participate in minimal risk/expedited review research protocols, students under the age of 18 must obtain a general written parental permission to participate in any study utilizing the subject pool for recruiting and to complete the pre-screening survey at the beginning of the quarter and have the parent/guardian permission document on file. Each student should then provide assent for participation in each specific research study they participate in.
 
If you are not yet 18, you must have a parent sign the Parental Permission Form and submit it.
  • For Communication students, complete the form and submit it to the staff at Communication’s main office (18th floor of Daley building, 14 E. Jackson).
  • For CDM students, complete the form and submit it to the staff at CDM’s main office (fourth floor) who will hold the form.
This must happen before you can participate in any experiments. Once you have submitted the signed parental permission form, you can then sign up for studies that have approval to enroll students who are under 18. You will also need to present a copy of your parental permission form to each experimenter when you arrive, so make a copy for yourself before submitting it.

Number of Hours

Your instructor will provide information about how credit or extra credit participation is worth.

Credits are awarded in half-hour (30-minute) increments. So an online study that takes 30 minutes or less should be listed as 0.5 credits and 30 minutes long, a study that takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete would provide 1 credit. What a ‘credit’ means for the participating student will be determined by the instructor of the participating course.

Deadlines

All credits must be completed by the last day of classes per quarter (before Final Exam week) in order to receive credit.

Keeping Appointments

It is very important that you keep your appointments for lab studies and arrive on time. The faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates working on research projects waiting to conduct the experiment are busy just like you are, and it was just as difficult for them to find time to run the experiment as it was for you to find time to do it. When you miss an appointment without canceling, you make it harder for the students running the experiments to finish collecting data in order to complete a project for a class, or to get their degree. Please be considerate!
 
If you cannot keep an appointment that you have signed up for, you must cancel at least one hour before the scheduled time, using the same web site where you signed up. Cancellation must be done on the web site where you signed up, not by phone, email, or personal communication! If you "no-show" or are more than 10 minutes late to more than one study, you may not be permitted to participate in any further studies during the quarter.
 
If exceptional circumstances prevented you, through no fault of your own, from cancelling, you will need to provide a note from the dean of students' office documenting that you were, due to sudden illness or emergency, unable to use the web site to cancel prior to your experiment.
 
Communication students: This note must be submitted to CMN’s main office on the 18th floor of Daley building, 14 E. Jackson.
 
CDM students: This note must be submitted to CDM’s main office (fourth floor) who will forward it to the System Manager.
 
Please be on time to your appointments. If you are late do not disturb other participants if the researcher has a sign up asking you not to knock or enter after the session has started. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you may be counted as a "no-show" and may not be permitted to participate in the research. If you cannot participate because you were late, you will not receive credit for the study.
 
Communication Students:
If you show up on time but the experimenter is not there within 15 minutes, please leave a note for the experimenter and go to COMM’s main office on the 18th floor of Daley building at 14 E. Jackson to get a signed slip verifying that you were there at the time of your appointment. The staff will forward the slip to the research participant coordinator in COMM to get credit for your attendance. Be sure to note the session number, time, place, date, and other relevant information. If the Coordinator is able to verify your information with the research group you will receive one credit for the experiment. If you missed the research session because you arrived late, on the wrong day or time, or at the wrong location, however, you will not receive credit.
 
CDM Students:
If you show up on time but the experimenter is not there within 15 minutes, please leave a note for the experimenter and go to CDM’s main office (fourth floor) to get a signed slip verifying that you were there at the time of your appointment. The staff on the fourth floor will forward the slip to the Research Participant Coordinator in CDM to get credit for your attendance. Be sure to note the session number, time, place, date, and other relevant information. If the Coordinator is able to verify your information with the research group you will receive one credit for the experiment. If you missed the research session because you arrived late, on the wrong day or time, or at the wrong location, however, you will not receive credit.

Keeping Records

After each study, the researcher(s) will record your participation using your participant code so that you receive credit for the study.
 
You can check your credit totals any time in the Sona Experiment Management System website. Keep in mind that it may take a day or two after a study is completed for credit to appear in the system.
 
Be sure to assign your credits to the course for which you want them counted. In many cases your credits will be initially "unassigned" and will not be counted until you assign them to a specific course. If you are enrolled in more than one of the participating classes, you also have the option of changing which course credit is assigned for up until the last day of regular classes per quarter.

Pre-screening

The pre-screening survey is available on the web during the quarters. It should take you one hour or less, and is worth.5 to 1 research participation credits (depending on the length of the survey each quarter). After you register at the link below ("Signing Up for Experiments") you will be asked to complete the pre-screening survey the first time you log into the system. Please do the pre-screening survey the first time you log in (immediately after you agree to the "Human Subjects and Privacy Policy").

Signing Up for Study Sessions

To participate in user research sessions, you must sign up on the SONA website. It is important that you set up your account as soon as possible in the quarter so that your instructor can verify your enrollment and record your credits correctly. You must also have an account set up in order to receive important announcements regarding the Research Participation Requirements throughout the quarter.
 
For students who are also researchers, you will need to create three accounts with different IDs. For example, if Jane Doe were to sign up as both a researcher and a participant she would do the following:
 
As a Participant:
User ID: jDoe
Email: jDoe@depaul.edu
 
As a Principal Investigator:
User ID: jDoe_PI
Email: jDoe@depaul.edu
 
As a Researcher:
User ID: jDoe_researcher
Email: jDoe@depaul.edu
 
Read about signing up as a researcher.
 
The system may warn you that you are adding a user whose email address is already in the system, but it will still allow you to do it.
 
If you already have an account that you created for a previous course, just log in using that account. If you choose to change your password, please do NOT use a password that you use for Campus Connect or any other important purpose. If you forget your password, email the Coordinator participantPool@cdm.depaul.edu and he or she can assign you a new one.
 
When you sign up for a study, be sure to write down all the information about the session (time, place, researcher(s), researcher(s) contact when you sign up. It is your responsibility to keep track of this information, and you will not always be contacted with a reminder of the appointment.

Alternate Credit

If your instructor has required participation as part of the course, he or she will provide information for students who do not want to or cannot participate in research. If participation is a requirement for the course, instructors MUST provide an alternate assignment to participation in research, such as writing a paper, since participation in research is voluntary or by your choice.

Contacts

For routine, administrative, and operational requests and questions, contact the Research Participant Coordinator in CDM at participantPool@cdm.depaul.edu.