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PRIM&R online course for IRB members
Mock IRB meetings explain principles of review
A new online course for IRB members will use animation, audio and interactive features in order to teach members not just the principles of human subjects protection but also what would be expected of them in real board meetings.
The new course is the latest educational offering from Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), already well-known to institutions for its conferences in research ethics and "IRB 101" courses. Amy Davis, JD, MPH, PRIM&R's managing director for programs, says the new online offering is a logical outgrowth of the organization's other educational programs.
She says that as institutions' travel budgets shrink and interest in international research expands, PRIM&R has been looking for ways to conduct distance learning.
"We started out doing webinars, where we'd set up a time for people to call in to a conference line and have presenters speaking on a topic," Davis says. "We'd provide access to a URL where they could see a PowerPoint presentation and participate in live chats.
"Then we wanted to take the next step, which was to actually develop a short course," she says. "This one is for IRB members, which is another idea that's been percolating for a long time. We've wanted to provide some sort of package for new IRB members that might include some of the regulations, some articles and ethical reports such as the Belmont Report, and also some case studies."
The original plan was to provide this introductory package in a paper format. "But over the years, as technology changed so rapidly, we started to realize that maybe that concept could be delivered in a little more interactive and interesting and engaging way," Davis says. "So that's where we came up with this online course."
PRIM&R's course lasts four hours, and will be hosted on a server, so that those taking it can work at their own pace and save their progress. It uses text, animated photos and audio clips to simulate a mock IRB discussing two protocols.