User-centred research at U of T

University of Toronto has its own guidelines for researchers and I thought I would have a look at them given that we are having a guest speaker who can address our concerns. I also plan to have University of Toronto students as my user base for a part of the study. I would then need to “gain access to data about students, staff and faculty held by the University of Toronto”. Interestingly the Office of the Vice President and Provost’s site informs that a considerable amount of research is conducted involving members of the university community. The Office of the Vice President Research has a Research Ethics Board (REB, that has to approve the research to be done and must be contacted at the research planning stages. I was excited to learn that I could request for data held on the Repository of Student Information (ROSI), the Human Resources Information System, or collected through surveys such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). This would help to conduct research of 'student users' from various departments independent of each other.

Guidelines are provided in keeping with the following aims(which sounded very thoughtful to me, both with respect to those researched and the researcher): “to prevent survey fatigue, protect confidentiality and employee rights, and ensure that access does not conflict with any current or planned research to be conducted by the University or its administrative/academic units”.

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