Consent, Choice, and Non-coercion
The design of the questionnaire embeds the ethical principles of choice and non-coercion.
Only the first two questions require an answer, and both are non-intrusive; they establish the boundaries of the study:
Q1: ‘Which Scottish University are you currently studying at on an Initial Teacher Education/Teacher Training Programme?’
‘None’ places the participant outside the scope of the study.
Q2: ‘Are you completing your Initial Teacher Education/Teacher Training Course/Programme this summer 2014?’
‘No’ places the participant outside the scope of the study.
All other questions can be left blank, and the participant can proceed on to the next question, if desired. The introductory text at the start of the questionnaire clearly informs the participant of the ability to skip any questions that the participant is uncomfortable with, or wishes not to answer.
No rewards are offered for participation in this study. The study is completed on a wholly voluntary basis.
No children are involved in this study. As such, all participants are legally able to consent to participate. All of the questions are considered to be appropriate for an adult, professional, participant.
The questionnaire is hosted on the University of Aberdeen’s secure server. Therefore, no data is stored offsite or outside of EU jurisdiction; the data is subject to European Union Data Protection safeguards. IP addresses are not stored as part of the questionnaire submission process. Therefore, electronic identifying metadata does not exist. This research project therefore protects its participants’ data by the more stringent (than the United States) legal protections of the European Union. When the ‘save’ function is used by the participant to suspend the survey, if an email is entered – it is not stored.
At the end of the research process (i.e., upon publication of the findings in various articles), the data collected will be destroyed (including the audio recordings generated through participation in the semi-structured interviews during the pilot and full study). Participants are made aware of this from the outset of the questionnaire.