Informed Consent Form

You are being asked to take part in a research study. Your participation in this study is voluntary. You have the right to be a part of this study, to choose not to participate or to stop participating at any time without penalty. The purpose of this research is to better understand how engagement and value can be cultivated most effectively in online communities for educators. 

In this consent form you will find specific details about the research in which you are being asked to participate. If you do not understand something in this form it is your right to ask the researcher for clarification or more information. 

If you agree to participate, you may be asked to engage in one or more of the following: (1) online surveys; (2) interviews; and/or (3) focus groups. You will be asked about your experiences associated with activities and/or events conducted in the online community you checked above. Total participation time for each survey could range from 5 - 10 minutes. Interviews and focus groups will last approximately 1 hour and will take place at a mutually agreed time and date. Focus groups and interviews will be recorded and transcribed.

There is no anticipated risk to you from this research. 

There is no direct benefit to you by participating in the study. You will not receive compensation for participating.

The information for this research project will be kept confidential to the full extent of the law. All responses to online surveys, interviews and/or focus groups will be kept confidential. All identifying information of individual participants (members) will be stored separately from raw data. To ensure privacy and confidentiality, all individual participants (members) will be identified by pseudonyms. 

When conducting online surveys, no IP addresses or emails will be required to access the survey. In addition, access to the Survey Monkey data for this project is password protected, only the researchers will have access to this information. The data will be collected via and will promptly be exported into an excel data file stored on password protected computers. Interviews and focus groups discussions will be audio recorded and immediately downloaded to password-protected computers.

Raw data will be shared with other institutes participating in this research project ( What is learned from the project will be included in US Department of Education reports. Reports will NOT contain any information that identifies you. The reports may contain the name of the community and its manager. 

If you have questions at any time about the study or the procedures, you may contact Sherry Booth at or 919.513.8526. If you feel you have not been treated according to the descriptions in this form, or your rights as a participant in research have been violated during the course of this project, you may contact Deb Paxton, Regulatory Compliance Administrator, Box 7514, NCSU Campus (919/515-4514).