Course and Program-Based Studies

Research ethics approval is required for course assignments and capstone projects where students collect data from human participants. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research occurs when instructors conduct research within the classroom and the students are participants.  All course and program-based research, whether it is Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research, requires a course outline and/or syllabus to be attached to research ethics applications to help the REB understand the context of the research being conducted.

Usually, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research requires research ethics review and approval. Research ethics review and approval may not be required for academic program-based studies and projects for assessment, management, or improvement purposes, which may include:

  • Quality Assurance
  • Quality Improvement
  • Program Evaluation

New or changing quality assurance, quality improvement or program evaluation activities require Privacy Impact Assessments to be completed prior to starting them. Privacy Impact Assessments ensure compliance with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Contact the Privacy Office at for more questions about classroom and program activities that may fall under the scope of FIPPA and whether a Privacy Impact Assessment is necessary.

Studies that do not meet the definition of research as per the TCPS2 are exempt from REB review, though they may involve considerations toward welfare, privacy and confidentiality. In such cases, your project must still abide by TCPS2 principles of respect, welfare, and justice and receive institutional approval from CNC before proceeding.

For further clarification about whether your study or project may be REB exempt, and next steps to take, contact for support.