As this is the first time that I have ever been responsible for leading a MOOC, I'd like to use the public interaction from the participants as data to see exactly what is happening and how people perceive this experience. This means that I will be collecting the individual entries that participants post to their public blogs, as well as the tweets that participants send to the hashtag #vsmooc12 to conduct thematic analysis.

I have consulted with my Institutional Review Board here at Wayne State University and they have advised me that if I'm gathering data in a public context where individuals can't reasonably expect that their behavior will not be observed/recorded, then IRB review is not needed. Information posted on public blogs and Twitter is public information - and that people should not consider their information on those sites to be private. However, the federal regulations are silent on this issue and are in a state of evolution.

As such, if you do not wish to have your participation included in my research data, please e-mail me at mkbarbour-at-gmail-dot-com and I would be happy to exclude your contributions.

I thank you in advance for participating in this research as I explore this new kind of course delivery and its potential.

Notice to UWG students, I may be collecting similar public information to improve my courses and to better understand how to integrate MOOCs into a more traditional classroom structure.

If you do not wish to have your participation included in my research data, please e-mail me at jhuett@westga.edu, and I would be happy to exclude your contributions.