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The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: IRB and Ethics of SoTL

IRB and SoTL

IRB at Emory

Most SoTL projects would likely be exempt from ongoing IRB review per federal regulations. These regulations exempt minimal risk "research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as (i) research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or (ii) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods." Emory policy requires that exempt studies still be submitted to the IRB for initial screening, to verify that they meet basic ethical standards. For help, go to

Alternatively, if you are evaluating new techniques that are aimed solely at improving Emory instruction, and are not designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge, you might not need any IRB submission at all. To verify whether your project needs IRB review, at 

The following presentation by Rebecca Rousselle (Director of IRB at Emory) will introduce you to some issues in educational research:

"IRB, Ethics, and Educational Research"

IRB at Emory

IRB is located at 1599 Clifton Rd. NE, 5th Floor. Contact information: (404) 712-0720 or

IRB welcomes walk-ins on Fridays from 11 AM to 1 PM. You may also schedule an appointment at other times.