Please read the contents of the consent form provided below. The form describes your role as a participant in the current research study and also provides information on your rights as a research participant, including contact information for the researcher and the Ofifce of Research Protections at Penn State University. If you consent to participate in the study, please enter your name and email address and click on the "I agree" button.


The Pennsylvania State University

Title of Project: Role of Weblogs in supporting student thinking: An Exploratory study IRB #17268
Principal Investigator: Priya Sharma, 314C Keller Building, University Park, PA 16802; (814) 865-4374;
  1. Purpose of the Study: The reason for this study is to understand students’ use of Weblogs and the practices they develop as a consequence of using Weblogs.
  2. Procedures to be followed: I understand that I will be asked to make available my online Weblog postings to the researchers. Also I will participate in 60-90 minute interview at the end of semester where I will be asked about some background information about my education and professional qualifications and also general questions related to my use and perceptions of Weblogs with the course. The interview will be tape-recorded and will be conducted over the phone. My name will not be used anywhere in the recording.
  3. Discomforts and Risks: There are no risks in participating in this research beyond those experienced in everyday life.
  4. Benefits:
    1. I may benefit from reflection on my own online experiences, by gaining insight into how others work in online contexts, and may learn the value of reflection activities for learning.
    2. For the broader society, these are the perceived benefits. Weblogs (blogs) are an emerging technology and have yet to be fully explored in an empirical context. This research may help others in incorporating reflective activities into their own online courses.
  5. Duration: It will take about 60 to 90 minutes to participate in the interview.
  6. Statement of Confidentiality: All information pertaining to you will be recorded under a pseudonym and no identifying information will be made public. If this research is published, no information that would identify you will be written since your name is in no way linked to your responses. The taped interviews will be stored in a locked and secure location at Penn State University and the tapes will be destroyed by shredding at the end of 2005. Since some of the data is collected from online and web-based material, your confidentiality will be maintained to the degree permitted by the technology used. Specifically, no guarantees can be made regarding the interception of data sent via the Internet by any third parties.
  7. Right to Ask Questions: You can ask questions about the research. The person in charge will answer your questions. Contact Priya Sharma at 865-4374 or by email at with questions. If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, contact Penn State’s Office for Research Protections at (814) 865-1775.
  8. Compensation: There is no compensation for participation in the study.
  9. Voluntary Participation: You do not have to participate in this research. You can stop your participation at any time. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer.

You must be 18 years of age or older to consent to participate in this research study.
By providing your name and your email address, you are consenting to participate in the research and you acknowledge that you will be contacted in the future to schedule an interview.

Please make sure to print a copy of this form for your records so that you have access to contact information for the researchers and the Office of Research Protections at Penn State.


Email address: