Exempt Category 1

Exempt Category 1 - Research in normal educational settings


Qualification for this category include studies involving normal education practices in established or commonly accepted educational settings that are not likely to adversely impact students' opportunity to learn the required educational content, or assessment of educators who provide instruction, such as:

  • Research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or
  • Research on the effectiveness of, or the comparison among normal instructional techniques, curricula, or classroom management methods.

Exempt criteria:

  • Surveys, interviews and participant observations within the scope of usual/ or regular educational activity
  • Collecting data specific to teacher and/or student current knowledge, beliefs or attitudes towards learning or data about how these change over time.
  • Research involving analysis of academic grades must be de-identified. 
  • The study procedures do not entail a significant deviation in time or effort from those edcational practices already existent at the study site. 
  • The study procedures do not involve an increase in the level of risk or discomfort beyond normal, routine educational practices, including physical education. 
  • Provisions are made to ensure the existence of a non-coercive environment for all students, including those who choose not to participate. 
  • The school (or other agency) grants written approval for the research to be conducted. 


  • Evaluation of radically new or innovative practices or use of random assignment of students to different instructional strategies or curriculum for comparison.
  • Questions and subject matter that go beyond the scope of the educational activity being studied would be considered deviation from the definition of 'normal education practices'.
  • Studies involving sensitive topics, such as sexual behaviour, or other socially questionable or highly personal issues or alchohol/ drug abuse. 
  • Surveys, interviews and observations that involves minors, except when the investigators do not participate in the activities being observed.
  • Analysis of academic grades that is not de-identified.
  • Research on physical education on exercises that have been significantly altered or pose a level of risk to participants.
  • Studies involving deception or witholding of information.