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Second Life Questionnaire for University


mh1284
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Hi there,

I am a student at Bournemouth University currently studying Interactive Media Production. I am conducting research into identity online, with specific focus on games such as Second Life, and the role identity has in virtual worlds.

If you could posiblily spend 5 minutes filling out my short questionnaire, it would be greatly apprectated. It is 100% anoynmous and the answers are mainly multiple choice, with the option of explaining your answers further if you desire.

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them! This is not spam, and 100% genuine, I hope you can help me out.

Link to questionnaire - http://tinyurl.com/berxnoo

Thanks again

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Marybeth Cooperstone wrote:

Done.

This survey seems to be very legitimate and brings back memories of the surveys we conducted (with clip boards at the shopping centers) 100 years ago when I was in school
:)

 

Good luck in your university program.

Marybeth


 

Shopping Center? What's a shopping center? The shopping place I remember from 100  years ago looked like this:

general store.jpg

 

ETA: Done

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Thank you to those of you who completed it, really does help. When researching into Second Life, it may be interesting reading what others have written about it in books and reading a page of statistics, but hearing first hand from those who really take part in the game day in day out is just as useful!

Thanks again :)

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VRprofessor wrote:

 

In particular see section 10 regarding informed consent.

As no identifying information is requested, how would consent be given?

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From Sec. 10: "This does not apply to survey research however which by its return is accepted as an expression of consent to participate".

This appears to be "survey research" and therefore either Sec. 10 or the entire document does not apply.

This survey seems to be a genuine attempt to learn about Second Live and its participants. However, when Iwas an  undergraduate at major US university I had to conduct surveys (stopping people in public with a clipboard in hand) to ask such things as if they preferred chocolate or vanilla and if they were male or female. Then I would do correlation analysis and calculate confidence, etc. This was so I would learn about statistics and analysis of data. It was very worthwhile. No one cared about flavor preference, but teaching us about data analysis, significance, confidence, etc. was important.

If you were experimenting on people, with even a small risk to them, there are ethical considerations such as informed consent, are the dangers justified by the value of what is learned, etc. But not for simple, voluntary surveys.

Marybeth

FLICKR

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In the U.S. a survey that has institutional approval has some sort of a statement at the beginning of the survey indicating, among other things, that the survey has been approved by an appropriate institutional board and that completing the survey indicates the respondents consent to participate.

The UK may have different requirements, but my reading of section 10.3 suggests that the researcher is obligated to tell the participant several things:

 

  • "Participants should be given an information sheet which outlines in layman’s terms the purpose of the research, potential hazards, any discomfort participation may entail, emphasise the right to withdraw from the study, state their rights under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts, provide researcher contact details and outline the complaints procedure"

In the US this information would typically appear on the survey before any questions have been asked and it appears UK requirements are similar to the US. 

The signature would indeed appear to be optional, (Yes, section 10.7 clarifies that completion qualifies as consent for a survey).

I love research and data analysis.  I love that students are interested enough to make an effort to learn something.  But being a student does not excuse one from following proper research procedures.   Depending on the institution this could result in a slap on the wrist (most likely) or an expulsion from school (unlikely, but possible) 

 

  • "5.3 Failure to conduct research in accordance with the RECP may result in the loss of funding support, withdrawal or failure of degree awards, personal disciplinary or legal action taken against the researcher, supervisors or the University."

This isn't me just being a trouble maker, if the student has failed to follow ethical procedure they are in danger of  derailing their academic career.   Again, most likely just a slap on the wrist for this one, but still...Better some curmudgeon on the internet than a University official pointing this out--I can't impose sanctions. 

 

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Marybeth Cooperstone wrote:

<snip>

. However,
w
hen 
I
was 
an
 
undergraduate 
at 
major 
US 
university I had to conduct surveys (stopping people in public with a clipboard in hand) to ask such things as if they preferred chocolate or vanilla and if they were male or female. Then I would do correlation analysis and calculate confidence, etc. This was so I would learn about statistics and analysis of data. It was very worthwhile. No one cared about flavor preference, but teaching us about data analysis, significance, confidence, etc. was important.

If you were experimenting on people, with even a small risk to them, there are ethical considerations such as informed consent, are the dangers justified by the value of what is learned, etc. But not for simple, voluntary surveys.

Marybeth

Ethical requirements have been growing increasingly stringent over the past few decades.  It was once common to do as you describe.  It was highly recommended as a good teaching practice for statistics.  I am sure that some folks still do send students out to conduct unapproved surveys--but the rules in the US no longer allow for such things unless they have been approved by an appropriate university official or committee. 

Simple voluntary surveys conducted by colleges and universities (including those conducted by students) are required to meet federal ethical guidelines for subject protection, including informed consent, even for a relatively harmless survey. 

Many people are surprised to learn that the rules are so strict.  

At many universities, mine included, students would first need to pass an research ethics course before being allowed to administer a survey or in any way have contact with research participants.   They cannot even hand out someone else's survey unless they have passed the ethics class first.   (Faculty take a more rigorous version of the course and must re-take it every three years to remain eligible to conduct research with human subjects.)

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and another "student" wants to "study" second life through an "anonymous online survey".

Didn't your teachers tell you anything about being a) original, b) ensuring reliable results?

a) you're certainly not. There's hundreds of you every year

b) you're also not as online surveys are never reliable, the selection process is way too biassed.

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jwenting wrote:

and another "student" wants to "study" second life through an "anonymous online survey".

Didn't your teachers tell you anything about being a) original, b) ensuring reliable results?

a) you're certainly not. There's hundreds of you every year

b) you're also not as online surveys are never reliable, the selection process is way too biassed.

Correct, but....

If this is undergraduate research the focus is much more likely on learning about the process than on orginality.  For such a goal a proper random sample isn't strictly speaking necessary.  One poster mentioned learning about statistical processes from such data, a valuable contribution to the student's education. 

If this is graduate research then both your objections are spot on. 

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