We are from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois, and we would like to include your child, along with his or her teacher and classmates, in a research project on using computer simulations in science classes. The purpose of this study is to better understand how new computer technologies can be used effectively in science classes. If your child takes part in this project, some of your child’s work will be made available to researchers during a unit that lasts approximately three weeks during your child’s regular science class. No time outside of class is needed for participation, and any children who do not participate in the research study will still participate in the curriculum unit during this time, but their work will not be made available for research purposes.
Participation in the research study involves (a) a researcher observing the teacher and students during the unit, and (b) making available to researchers students’ responses to written and oral pre-tests and post-tests. We would also like to video record students while engaged in learning activities during the study. There are no risks expected to be experienced in the study, beyond those normally experienced in a science classroom.
Your child’s participation in this project is completely voluntary. In addition to your permission, your child will also be asked if he or she would like to take part in this project. Only those children who have parental permission and who want to participate will do so, and any child may stop taking part at any time. You are free to withdraw your permission for your child’s participation at any time and for any reason without penalty. These decisions will have no affect on your future relationship with the school or your child’s status or grades.
The information that is obtained during this research project will be kept strictly confidential and will not become a part of your child’s school record. Any sharing or publication of the research results will not identify any of the participants by name. You and your child will be asked for permission to video record the classroom during the study, and only students with permission will be included in the recordings.
In the space at the bottom of this letter, please indicate whether you do or do not want your child to participate in this project, as well as whether you provide permission for your child to be video recorded, and then return this letter to your child’s teacher. Please keep the second copy of this letter for your records.
We look forward to working with your child. We think that our research will be enjoyable for the students who participate and will help them to learn about challenging science concepts.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact us using the information below. If you have any questions about your child’s rights as a participant in this study or any concerns or complaints, please contact the University of Illinois Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at 217-333-2670 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for considering providing permission for your child to participate in this study.