Ethics Review Concerns of Canada's Distance Researchers

Ethics Review Concerns of Canada's Distance Researchers

Patrick J. Fahy (Athabasca University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-867-3.ch014
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Abstract

Ethics review of research involving humans is intended to protect human dignity by balancing harms and benefits. The foci and methods used in reviews vary nationally, but tend, as in Canada, to address core principles including free and informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, inclusiveness and fairness, and the rights of dependent subjects. Under examination in relation to the policy that governs research ethics in Canada, the Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS, 2005), these principles admit numerous exceptions, a fact that, as shown by a study reported here, is better understood by those actually engaged in research than those who are not. The implications of these findings, and the specific priorities of non- Canadian researchers (especially those in developing nations), are described and discussed.
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Identifying Core Ethical Principles

The objections of social sciences and humanities researchers to aspects of the Canada’s TCPS, and to some practices of REBs in implementing it, do not question the importance of ethical treatment of subjects. There are two issues: how distance research, as a form of social science inquiry, may adhere to high ethical standards, given the special circumstances under which that research is often conducted; and how the approval process for distance research might be revised–made “proportionate” –to the low levels of risk that usually accompany these proposals (TCPS, 2005, p. 1.7).

The debate about core ethical principles and proportionate review of proposals is not new. Globally, ethics in human subjects’ research has been the subject of increasingly heated debate for some time, in North America even appearing in the popular press. Beck and Kaufman (1994) some time ago identified various ethical “pitfalls” that could entrap researchers; in 2002, Begley (2002) described, in The Wall Street Journal, a growing “rift” between researchers and ethicists; more recently, others (Dohy, 2004; Elliott & Lemmens, 2005; Lemonick & Goldstein, 2002; Munro, 2004) have publicly raised questions about doubtful practices such as paid ethics review in clinical trials, while bloggers have debated the impartiality of online product reviews (Lasica, 2005).

To create a common ethics framework for researchers and those responsible for reviewing and approving research proposals, policies such as the TCPS present principles that researchers must respect and REBs enforce. Key principles contained in the TCPS include:

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Alan Tait
Preface
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Acknowledgment
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Chapter 1
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
Education is intimately connected with ethics, because holistically speaking education is more than simply passing examinations and acquiring... Sample PDF
Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: An Introduction
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Chapter 2
Michael F. Beaudoin
Launching and sustaining innovative new academic programs is typically a complex enterprise, especially distance education projects, and more... Sample PDF
Ethical Conundrums in Distance Education Partnerships
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Chapter 3
Paul Kawachi
This chapter presents the desirable interactions involved in teaching and learning at a distance. In these interactions, there are considerable... Sample PDF
Ethics in Interactions in Distance Education
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Chapter 4
J. S. Dorothy, Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma, Ashwini Kumar
In an era when the distance teaching institution, irrespective of their type, namely single mode, dual mode, mixed mode and consortium, is involved... Sample PDF
Ethics in the Ambit of Distance Education
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Chapter 5
Dele Braimoh, Jonathan Ohiorenuan Osiki
The current process of democratizing education has inevitably led to the explosive demands by the citizens of the different countries for... Sample PDF
Creating a Firewall Against Unethical Behaviours in Open and Distance Education Practice
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Chapter 6
Glenn Russell
Some of the more important ethical concerns associated with open and distance learning are not those that may be faced by learners. Instead, the... Sample PDF
Ethical Concerns with Open and Distance Learning
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Chapter 7
Deb Gearhart
Are our students prepared to use technology ethically? This is a question of concern to this author and addressed in this chapter. Experience as the... Sample PDF
Preparing Students for Ethical Use of Technology: A Case Study for Distance Education
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Chapter 8
Rocci Luppicini
There is growing recognition of the important role of conversation ethics in open and distance learning systems, particularly within online learning... Sample PDF
Conversation Ethics for Online Learning Communities
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Chapter 9
Terry D. Anderson, Heather P. Kanuka
The emergent world of network-based education creates challenges for researchers who wish to further our understanding of the opportunities and... Sample PDF
Ethical Conflicts in Research on Networked Education Contexts
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Chapter 10
Michael Sankey, Rod St. Hill
The changing nature of distance education in the higher education context is investigated in this chapter, particularly in relation to... Sample PDF
The Ethics of Designing for Multimodality: Empowering Nontraditional Learners
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Chapter 11
Shalin Hai-Jew
This chapter examines the importance of cultural sensitivity and localization in the delivery of global e-learning. The branding, course ecology... Sample PDF
Why "Cultural Sensitivities" and "Localizations" in Global E-Learning?
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Chapter 12
Ormond Simpson
The increasing multiculturalism in its society has recently encouraged the study of ethical dimensions in higher education in the UK. Distance and... Sample PDF
Open to People, Open with People: Ethical Issues in Open Learning
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Chapter 13
Chi Lo Lim
Open and distance learning systems (ODLS) brought about immeasurable advancement in the delivery of education. Albeit all the benefits ODLS offers... Sample PDF
An American Perspective of Ethical Misconduct in ODLS: Who's to Blame?
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Chapter 14
Patrick J. Fahy
Ethics review of research involving humans is intended to protect human dignity by balancing harms and benefits. The foci and methods used in... Sample PDF
Ethics Review Concerns of Canada's Distance Researchers
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Chapter 15
Judy Nagy
This chapter discusses the globalisation of education and the challenges and opportunities arising from technologies that can impact cheating... Sample PDF
Market Forces in Higher Education: Cheating and the Student-Centred Learning Paradigm
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Chapter 16
Leslie Farmer
Case studies provide an authentic way to teach ethical behavior through critical analysis and decisionmaking because it reveals nuanced factors in... Sample PDF
Using Real Case Studies to Teach Ethics Collaboratively to Library Media Teachers
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Chapter 17
Tina J. Parscal, Peter Bemski
This qualitative case study was designed to determine the extent to which a framework for exploring ethical principles for online facilitation is... Sample PDF
Preparing Faculty to Integrate Ethics into Online Facilitation
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Chapter 18
Yavuz Akbulut, H. Ferhan Odabasi, Abdullah Kuzu
This chapter focuses on academic work on computer ethics conducted at a computer education department in Turkey. The chapter starts with the... Sample PDF
Computer Ethics: Scenes from a Computer Education Department in Turkey
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Chapter 19
Donna Harper, Petra Luck
The aim of this chapter is to investigate ethical issues such as individual integrity and rights affecting online students who are Early Years... Sample PDF
Ethical Practice and Online Learning—A Contradiction? A Case Study
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Chapter 20
Carmel McNaught, David M. Kennedy
This chapter is an essay about a new ethical problem that has become apparent to us in recent years. Bilingual plagiarism is the act of passing off... Sample PDF
Bilingual Plagiarism in the Academic World
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Chapter 21
Ugur Demiray, Ramesh C. Sharma
The changing dimensions of distance education methodologies, new roles of distance teachers, and learners and use of modern communication... Sample PDF
Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: Lessons Learned
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