The general principle in recruiting participants puts the initiative for signing up for studies in the control of prospective participants. All recruiting must be done via open, shared public channels. Cold calls or email campaigns are not allowed. Emailing students with addresses culled from UM Reports class registration lists is both wrong and unethical.
In your online recruiting information, please provide students with information that may affect their decision to participate in your study. If you will be asking questions of a sensitive nature or if some other feature of your study may affect consent, please say so in your description.
Be clear about compensation.
When recruiting, consider the number of points as a "contract". If a study is advertised as worth 4 points, a student must be awarded the full 4 points if he or she finishes early.
If you have a two-part study, with a screening first step (say worth 1 point) and an in-person second part (worth 3 points) state very clearly in the description that your study is a 1 point study with a potential 3-point add on.
2) How can I recruit participants for REP?
In a typical semester, students procrastinate. They don't see the value of extra credit until after the first exam and many don't get serious about earning extra credit until the last four weeks of the semester.
1. USE THE INTERNET—The online REP system is the most common way to advertise studies, sign up students, and award points for participation. The advantage of using the REP system is that everyone--you and the participant--has a record. Awarding points is easy because students are already in the system.
The disadvantage of using the internet to recruit participants is that students may trickle in one at a time when your study design needs many people at one time. The Dept of Psychology IRB/REP committee will consider requests from researchers who have a specific study that would benefit from an approach that requires an exception to this policy.
2. FLYERS—The old school way of recruiting is to post a flyer on the REP board across from Elliott N119 with a description of your study and a way to contact you. These flyers should not solicit student names and contact information. Include the location of your study and how to contact you.
If a more active recruiting approach is desired, researchers can use the following:
3. PERSONAL ANNOUNCEMENT—With the instructor's permission, you can show up at the beginning or end of a class that offers REP points and make a personal announcement about your study. You can either sign up prospective participants right then and there or hand out flyers with contact information.
Personal announcements in classes that offer REP should be restricted to announcements for specific studies. Announcements should not be used to develop a private mailing list. The Dept of Psychology IRB/REP committee will consider requests from researchers who may have a specific study that would benefit from an exception to this policy.
Note that all Psy 1001 exams take place in the S121 computer lab in Elliott Hall three times. Over the two days that are needed to accommodate all students, up to 60 students come each hour to Elliott Hall between 8AM and 8PM. Scheduling studies and recruiting outside S121 during these exam periods has been a productive way to recruit participants.