Templates for Consent Letters


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Consent letters


When is a consent letter needed?

Action research is conducted primarily on the researcher as it is about improving skill through taking action. When actions are a part of doing one's job and do not require anything that a person would not already being doing as a part of their job, then one could argue that informed consent is not required, but it is important all people involved are aware of the effort. This means that any immediate supervisor should be aware of the plans and those involved should also know that what is being done and why. Often this can be accomplished informally with co-workers. For example one might say to co-workers, I am interested in the way that social networking might improve the way we deal with this specific problem. Are you interesting in exploring this with me? In this way, you enlist co-action researchers to your investigations, not subjects.

However if you are dealing with a protected group, such as children, you need to be very careful that your procedures have been approved by your academic advisor, your work supervisor or any other body that either of these people might require. In this case, a consent or information letter to the parents is good practice. If the activity is part of your teaching and your expect all students participate in the all aspects of the activity then an information rather than a consent letter might be sent to the parents. If school-age children are being asked to give feedback on your teaching or complete a voluntary survey, it is likely that you will to follow research approval procedures including collecting parental consent.

Pay attention to your situation and edit these letters as appropriate for your situation. For example, an educational activity may be something that will be expected of all children in the classroom and therefore is not voluntary. So you would delete the comment about this activity being voluntary.

Templates for Action Research letters

1) Consent Letter Template for an action researcher in a graduate program
2) Consent Letter Template for an action researcher in a school
3) Information Letter template

1) for a graduate student...


Dear Parent/Guardian:

I am a graduate student in _[name of program and university] . I am working towards a [type of degree] degree in [type of degree]. As part of my work, I want to increase my skill and understanding about [topic of research]. Specifically I want to understand more about [details of action research project]. My goal is to improve my skills in [anticipated outcomes of the project]. I expect that this will help your child/the student in my class to be able to .

I would like to invite your child to participate in this activity. I will [detailed description of what you will be doing, where it will take place and who will be involved and their role and relationship to the the child].

This will involve keeping track of [detailed description of any data collected and what exactly will be done with it. Specify any risks that you see to the student, no matter how minor they might seem. For example, "students might be concerned to let other students see their writing" and then what you are going to do to minimize this risk. ]

I will protect your child's identity and privacy by [paragraph of how you will protect the child's privacy specifically with respect to analysis and sharing of data with others in discussions or reports]

Participation in this activity is voluntary. Your child is free to refuse to be interviewed, surveyed, and observed. Your child may change his/her mind about participation in this activity at any time. Your child’s standing in [activity or class] will not be influenced by agreeing or refusing to participate in any portion of this project. If you have any questions about my plans, please contact me, [name] by e-mail [email] or by phone [number]. You are also welcome to contact my professer, [name] at [contact information]
.
If you agree that your child is able to take part in my project, please return a signed copy of this form to me as soon as possible. You may keep the other copy for future reference. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and I hope your child enjoys [name the activity]! I am very excited about the potential of [name of project] to improve [anticipated outcome for the child].


I give my permission for my child [name] to participate in the [name of project].

Date:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Parent/Guardian Signature:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Please print your name on this line:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Questions or concerns about your rights in this research project can be directed to [contact information]

EXAMPLE of a Consent Letter using his Template


Template for teachers engaged in Action Research on their own.

Dear Parent/Guardian of _:


I am your child's [topic or grade level] teacher and I want to increase my skill and understanding about [topic of action research]. Specifically I want to understand more about [more details about the project]. My goal is to improve my ability to help your child (or the students in my class) to be able to.

I would like to invite your child to participate in this activity. I will ....[detailed description of what you will be doing].

This will involve keeping track of [detailed description of any data collected and what exactly will be done with it. Specify any risks that you see to the student, no matter how minor they might seem. For example, "students might be concerned to let other students see their writing" and then what you are going to do to minimize this risk. ]

I will protect your child's privacy by [paragraph of how you will protect the child's privacy specifically with respect to analysis and sharing of data with others in discussions or reports]

(if there are risks)
The risks that I see to your child is the possibility of concern over [describe any risks you see to the student, for example, concern about sharing their ideas with others.] I will reduce this risk by [what will you do to minimize the risk, for example work with the students to develop a respective attitude for sharing work in progress).

Participation in this activity is voluntary. Your child is free to refuse to be interviewed, surveyed, and observed. Your child may change his/her mind about participation in this activity at any time. Your child’s standing in in [describe action - technology club, running team or program] will not be influenced by agreeing or refusing to participate in any portion of this project. If you have any questions about my plans, please contact me, [name] by e-mail [email] or by phone [number]. You are also welcome to contact Principal [name] at [contact information] with any questions you might have.


If you agree that your child is able to take part in my project, please return a signed copy of this form to me as soon as possible. You may keep the other copy for future reference. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and I hope your child enjoys [name the activity]! I am very excited about the potential of [anticipated outcome for child and for researcher]_





I give my permission for my child [name] to participate in the [name of project].

[name]_ _ _ _ _ _ to participate in the [name of project].

Date:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Parent/Guardian Signature:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Please print your name on this line:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Questions or concerns about your rights in this research project can be directed to [contact information]


(If the impact is minimal and you see no risks, your school district might only require passive consent, in which case you might change the last paragraph to something more like:



I expect that participation in this experience will benefit your child as well help me improve my skills in [area you are working on]. If you would do not want to have your child participate please contact me. [name and contact information]

An Information Letter Template

Dear Parent/student/Coworker/

This year I am working on developing my skills to ...

I am pleased to be working with you/your child and hope that you will help me in quest to learn more about.....

I look forward to learning with and from you and hope that you will be willing to share your feedback and to be as honest as possible. I will learn more if you are willing to share what you notice or think about these new ideas.

You can reach me at (contact information is not already known)