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Discussion Topics

Page history last edited by jeremyD 14 years ago






Dynamic editing on a whiteboard Workshop  
Dealing with IRBs Discussion International perspectives
What methodology have you used    
On the internet everyone's a dog Discussion Dealing with sample validity, gender, age etc
Tools Workshop Voice (recording? coding?) text (recording? coding?) video (recording protocols? such as not showing avatar name, etc..? some might not know how to make a video as part of an experiment --useful too for tutoring and providing some asynchronous teaching tools)
Making an educational video Workshop  
    *General topic of research: if students is the participating audience: is instructor gender/race/dress a variable? What do you assume in your research? such as students are first time in SL? the wow factor? If instructors are the participating audience, would the experiment or case study or ethnography benefit or not from previous SL instructor? IF so, how many hours would be considered sufficient to take the 'newbie' variable out of the equation? What is "how many hours" is not the benchmark that needs measuring? what would? maybe essay company ? <I don't know, let's say, skill levels (what skills? navigation, search, tp, object handling, inventory search, give and take, ...), or general knowledge of educational SL (NASA, ICT Library, ISTE meetings, NMC campuses, JoKaydia islands, etc.) including the SLED listserv, RezEd, SimTeach, SaLamander (I don't want to impose these resources, but they are really essential to knowing what is going on....mmmm, ok...I am partial to SaLamander) and the one-year old ARVEL (http://arvelsig.com/ and http://arvelsig.ning.com/)
How can we support each other as researchers in VWs Discussion *sharing surveys for specific purposes: demographic only (age, gender, major/discipline, online habits (social apps.), gaming habits (MMORPG, Single player online games, off the shelves, social platforms...), field of research specific (Social presence (and its 1001 variables...), Assessment, Behavior and Identity, Task-Based Learning, ...)
Citing and Referencing    

Comments (3)

SReljic said

at 9:54 pm on May 19, 2009


Date: Sun, 17 May 2009
From: Katherine Mancuso <kmancuso@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [Slrl] consent for SL informants
To: slrl@list.academ-x.com

A team I was on has previously passed an IRB for research in there.com with the argument that it will do greater harm to people to reveal their RL identity than not to - that is, we asked for a waiver of the requirement that they sign their real name on the grounds that breaking their anonymity can cause real material harm to the person involved.
Then, we had them sign an electronic form that contains all of the usual IRB language created using survey monkey (note - this is obvious, but that survey monkey account needs to be one that nobody but IRB-certified people have access to the back end of) or something similar using their avatar's name and email. Informants also need to certify that they are 18 or older in RL - electronic consent cannot be used with children and children's parents have to consent. Obviously if someone is not 18+ in SL there are bigger issues but there.com is a 13+ up world.
Amy Bruckman has written some interesting work on IRB, consent, and ethics in electronic spaces - look it up!> --kiatherine

SReljic said

at 9:55 pm on May 19, 2009


> Date: Sun, 17 May 2009
> From: Eloise Pasteur <eloisepasteur@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Slrl] consent for SL informants

> Really this is an issue that's going to be troubling the lawyers for a while I imagine. With all the usual provisos that IANAL and free legal advice is worthexactly what you pay for it, or less, I think there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to give consent via my avatar name, nor sign contracts.
> In fact, contract signing under an assumed name is quite easy - authors and actors do it all the time, and although it was free advice from a UK barrister over a drink (friends in low places and all that...) he said that, provided there is no intent to defraud (If I sign as Margaret Thatcher it's OK, unless I'm pretending to be the former Prime Minister or, if I did sign as some other Maggie, I didn't do so with the intent to escape associated charges etc.) it's actually quite legal for me to sign with any name I like.
> I'm not sure that consent should be any different. You tell me what's going on, and you tell me avatar to avatar in essence. Accepting it in my avatar's name shouldn't affect the fact that I have accepted what has been told and consented to take part - it's an assertion of my avatar's name as directly linked to my identity. I seem to remember at least one famous Portuguese SLer who has gone to the extent of getting a secondary ID card issued in her SL name so she can legally sign documents and contracts in Portugal with her SL name. Although I think there was some fun involved, the Portuguese authorities rather took the attitude of the lawyer I chatted to - it's the equivalent of a stage name or nom de plume, and so they issued the forms without really raising any eyebrows.
> El.

SReljic said

at 9:57 pm on May 19, 2009

> Date: Sun, 17 May 2009
> From: "Scott Overmyer" <scott.overmyer@baker.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Slrl] consent for SL informants

> Shouldn't you have some kind of proxy document or fictitious name affidavit filed with some legal authority (e.g., County Court, etc.) in order to give consent via your avatar? I'm not sure that the EULA with Linden Labs talks about this, and it seems if there were contractual issues later, the lawyers might have a field day with an avatar's signature without some legal association to a person's actual name.
> With regards to a nom de plume, I believe that the actual contracts and royalty agreements are in the author's "real" name, and the nom de plume just goes on the cover of the publication, and has no legal standing. Of course, I'm not a lawyer .
> Regards, scotto.
May 19, 09 from ram05@aber.ac.uk to slrl

Thanks all for your thoughts so far, they have been very helpful. There is a good article on the ethics of researching in virtual worlds by McKee and Porter (2009). In it, Aleks Krotoski makes the good point that a major issue in this kind of research is not damaging community relations inworld--one of the implications of this for research is that you spoil the fieldsite for future researchers. It seems clear to me that the heavy-handed pursuit of signatures for consent forms (in an environment which is in a sense premised on anonymity) would do just that.

The URL for the article is: http://ijire.net/issue_2.1/mckee.pdf

best, Rod Munday

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