You can use an information letter when all of the following are true:
For further assistance, please listen to the audio description and view the graphic below.
Image Description. In educational settings, information letters are used when research part of the "normal" everyday activities that happen in a school. An Information letter contains most of the elements of consent. It has an "opt out" clause where parents will contact you about the research if they do not want you to use their child's/student's data. All students will receive "the treatment" even though you will only use some of the data.
Consent letters are used in research that is not part of the "normal" educational setting. For minors, you get both consent for parents and assent for children/students.
Information letters contain the elements of a consent letter, but can be used, in place of consent or assent, for researchers who are studying normal, everyday activities for K-12 students they already interact with. This would include teachers who are researching the effect of normal, everyday curriculum or lesson plans with their own students. If the research activity is being implemented for all of the students, as part of their everyday routine, the researcher can distribute an information letter to the K-12 students' parents that informs them of the research and gives them the option to opt out their K-12 student's data from being used in the study. The "treatment," however, would still happen in the school. The researcher would not distribute recruitment materials or obtain consent/assent in this case.
Image Description. If you are doing a study where all students are in a K-12 setting and you have support from the school district, you will use an information letter instead of consent for parents and assent for children/students. Make sure of the following:
You are required to use the NCU IRB information letter template below, unless you are working with an IRB that requires you to use their template instead.
You will also be required to provide a Readability Report for your information letter.
No! Using a required template is not plagiarism. The information letter template has language that is required by federal regulations. You should not change or revise any of the template language.
The NCU IRB recommends that you attend the group writing sessions on "Eligibility" and "Consent Letters" for your information letter before you submit your IRB application.
You will upload your information letter in the "Consent" section of your IRB application.
The documents you upload to your IRB application should be ready to send to the participants. Double-check the following: