Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 205–220

Students as Research Participants or as Learners?

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10805-006-9028-y

Cite this article as:
Shi, L. J Acad Ethics (2006) 4: 205. doi:10.1007/s10805-006-9028-y

Abstract

This paper reports an instructor and her students’ experiences with ethics in conducting action research in a university teacher-training class. The nature of educational action research suggests the dual roles of the instructor and students, the former as both a researcher and a practitioner, and the latter as both research participants and learners. However, in following an ethics procedure to allow students to opt out of the research project anonymously but, at the same time, not to deny their access to learning opportunities, both the instructor and students experienced tensions as they tried to separate and switch roles for research and teaching/learning. Instead of benefiting from the research to explore and reflect on learning, many students complained about their sense of being used as research participants. The article suggests new ethics review procedures to support and help action research to generate valuable results in teaching and learning.

Key words

action researchanonymous participationdual roles of the investigatorethics reviewinformed consent

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Language and Literacy EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada