Queen's University

Queen's-created ethics tutorial garners national attention

 
2011-10-07

An online educational tool originally developed at Queen’s is now being used by researchers across Canada.

The Tri-Council Secretariat and Panel on Research Ethics used the Queen’s original version to develop an eight module program called Course on Research Ethics (CORE) to teach research ethics to researchers using human participants in their work. The tool was conceived in 2006 by a group of Queen’s faculty and staff tasked with educating the university’s researchers and students about the importance of understanding research ethics.

“We basically decided we needed to do something,” says Joan Stevenson, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and chair of the General Research Ethics Board (GREB), which along with the Health Sciences and Affiliated Hospitals Research Ethics Board (HSREB), provides ethical oversight of research undertaken at Queen’s and the four Kingston-area affiliated hospitals.

CORE replaces the Course in Human Research Participant Protection (CHRPP), and teaches users important principles and examples from the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (Second Edition). All graduate students, undergraduate students, staff and faculty are encouraged to complete the tutorial; it is mandatory for Queen's students working with human research participants.

The group that developed the original online program worked with Denise Stockley, Associate Director and Educational Developer, Centre for Teaching and Learning, to create a tutorial that provided interesting and interactive learning material. Other institutions that have adopted the original tutorial include University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, University of Guelph, and Conestoga College. Since the original program was transformed by the Tri-Council Panel on Research Ethics into CORE, the number of users of the program has expanded to 10,000 users and 40 institutions. Dr. Stevenson says the tutorial's interactive design is what has made it so popular with students and faculty alike.

“Our original committee is very proud of the legacy Queen’s people have created across Canada and around the world,” Dr. Stevenson says of the group, which also included Laura-Lee Balkwill, Brenda Brouwer, Albert Clark, Lyn Shulha, Neal Pilger, Lee Fabrigar, Susan Wood, Susan Marlin and Julie Buchan. “We have to change the way we deliver information to people. Incoming students are not familiar with the old “I lecture, you listen” model; so we need to develop teaching modules that take a new approach.”

For more information about CORE visit the Office of Research Services website.
 

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