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Data Privacy/Protecting Student Rights

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Data collection and evaluation generally follow rules and ethical guidelines as described in the Common Rule. This includes getting informed consent from people who voluntarily provide data for a study or an evaluation, protecting their right to privacy and confidentiality, and proper storage of data collected. Informed consent involves giving students and their parents/guardians

information about the study, including risks and benefits, and getting their permission before data is collected.

Another key protection in the Common Rule is the requirement for appropriate review and approval of research by an institutional review board, or IRB. An IRB is a committee that makes sure researchers follow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rules and ethical guidelines as they carry out their studies. In addition to the Common Rule, HHS rules have additional protections for participants that are considered vulnerable such as children or students.

OCDE has a federally-registered IRB that can review and approve research.

What if your program does not need to follow the Common Rule? For research that is not required to follow the Common Rule (for example, privately funded and even some state or federally funded research), OCDE’s IRB recommends that the protections laid out in the Common Rule are followed.

For more information on Data Privacy/Protecting Student Rights,​​ visit our Additional Resources page.

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