Education and training

Educational and training exercises that are being conducted at Swinburne do not usually require HREC review. This is because taught units are not undertaking research activity (i.e. are not answering a specific research question, aim or hypothesis) but are teaching students how to employ different research methods. Examples include:

  • Undergraduate projects with an education, training, or practical experience or placement do not normally require approval. Undergraduate or postgraduate student (e.g. Honours) coursework, assignments and essays are also exempt.
  • Non-intervention activity in established educational settings that do not constitute a deviation from normal education practices.
  • Research on the effectiveness of current instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management that do not constitute a deviation from normal education practices.
  • Education, training and practical classes among students, which do not involve students learning through testing procedures on one another.
  • Evaluation surveys of university staff and students, including student evaluation of teaching.

A helpful way to think about whether your education and training activity requires HREC review is to consider the intent of the activity:

    1. Are you undertaking the activity only to demonstrate and teach a research method such as surveys, interviews or focus groups and analysis?
    2. Are you conducting the activity to generate data or information to answer a specific research question (in addition to the teaching aspect)?
    3. Does the activity involve vulnerable groups or controversial topics?

    If you are undertaking the activity to only provide education and training on research methods and the activity does not involve vulnerable groups or controversial topics, then you may not require HREC review. If you are unsure, please contact the Human Research Ethics Team.

    Irrespective of whether your activity falls within the definition of research or not, you should always ensure you conduct the activity ethically, with integrity and in accordance with Swinburne's People, Culture and Integrity Policy and the Swinburne Research Conduct Guidelines. Many professional practices also have their own code of ethics which should be adhered to, for example: