Accessibility disclaimer: To obtain information contained in document files on this page in an accessible format please contact the IU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at (317) 274-8289 or via email at email@example.com
HRPP Policy - Students and Use of Education Records In Research
About This Policy
- Effective date:
- Last updated:
- Policy Contact:
IU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)
This policy applies to human subjects research involving students and student education records under the oversight of the Indiana University Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and human subjects research for which IU or its affiliates are relying on an external IRB for oversight.
This policy does not apply to directory information.Back to top
Student education records may be used for research purposes only when one of the following is true:
- The records do not include personally identifiable information
- The institution whose student education records will be used determines that the records will be used by school officials with legitimate educational interest.
- The student (or the student‘s parent or guardian, when appropriate) provides written permission. Written permission must include all of the following:
- Description of the records to be disclosed
- Purpose of the disclosure
- Party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made.
Indiana has placed certain restrictions on research conducted in the public schools. The restrictions apply to personal analyses, evaluations, programs, or surveys that:
- are not directly related to academic instruction; and
- that reveal or attempt to affect the student's attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings concerning:
- political affiliations;
- religious beliefs or practices;
- mental or psychological conditions that may embarrass the student or the student's family;
- sexual behavior or attitudes;
- illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has a close family relationship;
- legally recognized privileged or confidential relationships, including a relationship with a lawyer, minister, or physician; or
- income (except as required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under a program).
Prior to conducting research that could be classified under one or more of the above categories, the researcher must obtain:
- the student's consent (if the student is an adult or an emancipated minor), or
- the parent or guardian's written consent (if the student is an unemancipated minor), the form of which must accurately reflect the contents and nature of the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey.
State law also requires that the school corporation make available for inspection by parents or guardians any research materials used in connection with research described above. Investigators should include in their application to the Human Subjects Office a letter from the school corporation indicating that permission has been given to do the research in the school.
Human subjects research funded by the Department of Education, is subject to the same restrictions outlined in section 2.2 of this Policy, with the exception of “religious beliefs or practices”.
The study team describes the use of student education records in the human subjects application and provides the following, if applicable:
- Documentation that the institution has determined that the records will be used by school officials with legitimate educational interest, except for use of IU student education records under section 3.2 below
- If the researcher is obtaining written permission from students (or the students' parent or guardian, when appropriate) to access student education records, the document or mechanism used to secure such permission
The reviewer ensures that all requirements consistent with this policy are met.
IU researchers may be considered school officials with legitimate educational interests and may use student education records of IU students for research purposes without written permission when the research is necessary in order for the school official to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Such research includes research designed to study the effectiveness of an instructional technique, curricula, or classroom management method in an IU course.
Individuals found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to sanctions relating to their participation in research with human subjects, up to and including permanent suspension or debarment from engaging in research with human subjects at Indiana University.Back to top
- AAHRPP Standards
- Element II.3.G
- Element II.4.B
- 34 CFR 98
- The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR 99
- IU Policy on Student Rights Under FERPA and Release of Student Information (USSS-05)