To facilitate pedagogical research for faculty and students, Davidson College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) has recently approved an umbrella protocol for ongoing pedagogical research.

The Crosland Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) will be sponsoring the research program, and anyone doing teaching-related research can join this protocol (as long as the project is unfunded and follows the guidelines listed below).

Criteria for joining the protocol:

  • Studies must only involve Davidson students above the age of 18 (data gathered from students younger than 18 must be discarded);
  • Studies cannot receive external funding (separate IRB approval must be obtained for externally-funded projects);
  • Studies should be connected to a specific course offered by Davidson College;
  • Studies that involve new or experimental pedagogical practices may need separate IRB approval.

How to join the protocol

Fill out the abbreviated protocol form. If you have interview questions or surveys that you are uncertain about in terms of adherence to the standard pedagogy experiment requirements, or if you have any questions, email the CTL director, Mark Barsoum, at You should also include the language below on your course syllabus as the mechanism for obtaining students’ consent. Students who do not wish to take part in the study should be provided with alternate means of assessment or exclusion from the collected data.

Consent Statement

The following paragraph is required on all course syllabi or other project disclosure document in courses that have joined the umbrella protocol:

This semester your instructor will be conducting a study looking at teaching and learning. The purpose of this study is to determine the factors that influence teaching effectiveness and learning. Your participation in this study will last for the duration of the current semester and will entail activities no different from the regular activities you would otherwise engage in as part of the course. All data and observations collected will be retained by the course instructor and will remain completely confidential. No personally identifying information will be attached to any of the results if shared or published. Any reported/published results will be completely anonymous, with the identity of the student participants known only to the course instructor. There will be no way to tie results to students personally. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to ask. If you would like to opt out of the study, please talk to the instructor as soon as possible.