IRB AR training

It is quite challenging to create effective training materials, for an internal review board, on the ins and outs of AR.

Our doctoral social work students are required to conduct AR dissertation studies and yet, our IRB is untrained, in regards to the unique nature of AR. Students generally want to conduct research with vulnerable stakeholders on sensitive topics, so we are encountering difficulties with getting our learners' proposals approved.

In addition to being responsible for creating a training program for our IRB, I have been asked to work with learners to help them more effectively explain their plans to mitigate risk through design and articulate stakeholder potential benefit through participation. I'm also trying to help them build support for their desire to tackle senstitive topics by using the literature and their own professional experiences. 

If anyone has any ideas-i would love to hear them.  



FERGUSON's picture

Helping your IRB with AR

Pip Bruce Ferguson Teaching Developer University of Waikato Hamilton, New Zealand

Hi Sara

I am not sure where in the world you are located (doesn't seem to be coming up in your profile for some reason) but our Faculty has recently been working with Susan Groundwater-Smith from Australia, and the Collaborative Action Research Network (NZ) to help those unfamiliar with AR to better understand the approach.

It does require a different way of approving research, bearing in mind the need to be responsive to research participants, than some more rigid processes. I wish you all the best in your attempts to meet this need. Personally, I've found Jean McNiff's website ( excellent in providing a wide range of resources to support AR. Jack Whitehead's site ( is also most useful.



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