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All research in any field needs to be approved by federally mandated institutional review boards (IRBs). Using the following case study, evaluate the questions that follow:
Dr. Mike and a team of fellows decided to do a study on how teaching approaches affect a student’s college entrance exams. They wanted to examine the teaching approaches used from first grade through college. All of the fellows had good working relationships with the school system in their area. They knew many of the teachers so the information would be very easy to obtain. Since they were all professors at the university, they would have access to entrance exam scores. They were on their way to a great study that would show how teaching approaches influence scores on college entrance exams.
Living in a small community, all of the members of the team were able to obtain data and also observe the subjects for their study. Each member took one grade in each school. They set up the criteria for what they wanted to observe along with dependent and independent variables. They were thrilled that they did not have to go through the usual red tape to get all the information they needed. They decided to pick a control group for their study and set their parameters. No one would be harmed in the study.
What they thought would be a longitudinal study was not going to be anymore. The team felt that in a year they would be able to report their results and publish their research.
For the next year this is exactly what the team did. They worked hard to obtain information, set goals to accomplish and to establish a time line for publication. The work went well and the team completed their research sooner than they expected. They worked on their paper and results for publication.
What are the possible ethical issues with the research and publication standards in this situation? What are some of the ethical issues the team disregarded? What do you think would make these ethical issues important in their study and why? If you were part of this team, what might you have done differently when the research study was beginning? Share your professional opinion of the study as it relates to socio-cultural beliefs and values as well as influences on your personal beliefs and values. How would you have used the Ethics Code to explain your points as to what might be missing or overlooked? Use the Code along with the text to support your points.