University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Consent to Participate in a Research Study

Adult Participants

Social Behavioral Form



IRB Study 09-1134

Consent Form Version Date:  March 24, 2016


Title of Study: Virtual Radical-Co-location and Beyond


Principal Investigator:  Prasun Dewan 

UNC-Chapel Hill Department: Computer Science

UNC-Chapel Hill Phone number: 919-590-6123

Email Address:


Study Contact telephone number:  919-590-6123

Study Contact email:



What are some general things you should know about research studies?

You are being asked to take part in a research study.  To join the study is voluntary.

You may refuse to join, or you may withdraw your consent to be in the study, for any reason, without penalty.


Research studies are designed to obtain new knowledge. This new information may help people in the future.   You may not receive any direct benefit from being in the research study. There also may be risks to being in research studies.


Details about this study are discussed below.  It is important that you understand this information so that you can make an informed choice about being in this research study. 

You will be given a copy of this consent form.  You should ask the researchers named above any questions you have about this study at any time.


What is the purpose of this study?

Face-to-face collaboration allows people to determine certain emotions of their collaborators that are relevant to the collaboration.  For instance, teachers can determine if their students are confused, bored, or interested, and adapt the lecture accordingly and/or provide help. Similarly, software developers or lab assistants working in one room can offer help to those they feel are stuck on some problem. Current technology does not allow distributed users to determine the status of their collaborators and the work these collaborators are performing without getting a continuous audio/video/textual feed of each collaborator. We are doing research in algorithms and user-interfaces that allows this information to be automatically determined from (a) video taken by the cameras on their computers, (b) logs of their interaction with the computer, and (c) the artifacts created by them. We are also developing awareness user interfaces that allow collaborators to easily determine and adapt to the emotions and activities of the collaborators. The purpose of this study is to evaluate both the algorithms and the design and implementation of the user interfaces. The data will be collected from at least 6 and less than 300 participants.  The data will may include the video and logs and artifacts of the participants, their interaction with the collaboration interfaces and programming environments, and answers to questionnaires.

How many people will take part in this study?

This study will recruit at least 6 people.


How long will your part in this study last?

Your part in this study may consist of one or more lab sessions involving different kinds of sub tasks, with each session lasting no more than three hours.  You may be contacted by electronic mail after each session to determine additional information.  If you are contacted by electronic mail, it will be within two months of today. You will be allowed to volunteer for more than one session involving different tasks. You can also participate in the study by using our software for your daily work


What will happen if you take part in the study?


You will be asked to perform one of several kinds of activities.


1)       Some activity in which determining your emotion is important. As mentioned above, this could involve viewing of a lecture presentation, where it is important (for the lecturer) to know if you are confused, understanding, or bored; or it could involve programming or completing a writing assignment , where it is important for some potential helper such as a TA to know if you are stuck.  While you are manually performing this activity, you may indicate your emotional status, which will be compared with the one that is automatically determined.

2)      Some activity in which being aware of the emotions of other is important such as a lab assistant or colleague who helps others in their programming effort. While performing this activity you will monitor the automatically deducted status of others and react appropriately to the status changes.

3)      Some activity in which you will program algorithms that determine the status of the users and their work.  While performing this activity we may monitor your status using existing algorithms and the effort you put into the activity.


A the end of the activity, you may answer questionnaires and participate in de-briefing interviews


What are the possible benefits from being in this study?

Research is designed to benefit society by gaining new knowledge.  This study is designed to evaluate various aspects of technology that gives people the feeling of being there, in one location.  You may not benefit personally from being in this research study.


What are the possible risks or discomforts involved from being in this study? 

The task involves the use of desktop and laptop computers, so it poses no risks to the subjects that the subjects are not exposed to on a daily basis. The task does not involve virtual environments.

How will your privacy be protected?  

 To reduce privacy and confidentiality risks, the data collected in the study will not be associated with information that can be used to identify you. You will be assigned a code number, which will be the only link to your identity. You will not have any personally identifying information stored in the logs created as part of this study. All data will be stored electronically in a secure file system.  Stored data will only have your code number and will not have any identifiers. The information that associates your name with a code number will only be stored on paper and will be stored separately from these records. All mappings between code numbers and names will be destroyed at the conclusion of the experiment. 

Note that even though we will collect participant emails as contact data, the emails will in no way be associated with any of the data we collect. Furthermore, upon study completion, as mentioned above, all contact information will be destroyed.

. If videos or you are face are collected in the study, at the end of the study, these videos will be simply deleted from the disk. Disks storing these videos will be disposed using the usual procedures for recycling these, as we know of no way to “shred” them.


Participants will not be identified in any report or publication about this study. Although every effort will be made to keep research records private, there may be times when federal or state law requires the disclosure of such records, including personal information.  This is very unlikely, but if disclosure is ever required, UNC-Chapel Hill will take steps allowable by law to protect the privacy of personal information.  In some cases, your information in this research study could be reviewed by representatives of the University, research sponsors, or government agencies for purposes such as quality control or safety.  


Will you receive anything for being in this study?

If you come to a specific site for a lab study, you will receive up to $20 for participating in the study for each session, which will be paid when you start the session.  Food and refreshments may be provided if you are asked to come to a specific site.  You will not have to refund the money if you withdraw from the experiment at any time.  If you do not arrive for the interview, you will not be paid. You will not be compensated if you do not come to a specific site.


Will it cost you anything to be in this study?

There will be no costs for being in the study apart from your time.


What if you are a UNC student?

You may choose not to be in the study or to stop being in the study before it is over at any time.  This will not affect your class standing or grades at UNC-Chapel Hill.  You will not be offered or receive any special consideration if you take part in this research.


What if you are a UNC employee?

Taking part in this research is not a part of your University duties, and refusing will not affect your job.  You will not be offered or receive any special job-related consideration if you take part in this research. 


What if you have questions about this study?

You have the right to ask, and have answered, any questions you may have about this research. If you have questions, or concerns, you should contact the researchers listed on the first page of this form.


What if you have questions about your rights as a research participant?

All research on human volunteers is reviewed by a committee that works to protect your rights and welfare.  If you have questions or concerns about your rights as a research subject you may contact, anonymously if you wish, the Institutional Review Board at 919-966-3113 or by email to


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IRB Study #  09-1134

Consent Form Version Date: March 24, 2016


Title of Study: Virtual Radical-Co-location and Beyond


Principal Investigator:  Prasun Dewan 

UNC-Chapel Hill Department: Computer Science

UNC-Chapel Hill Phone number: 919-590-6123ss

Email Address:

Faculty Advisor:     

Funding Source:  UNC-CH 


Study Contact telephone number:  919-590-6123

Study Contact email:



Participant’s Agreement:


I have read the information provided above.  I have asked all the questions I have at this time.  I voluntarily agree to participate in this research study.


_________________________________________              _________________

Signature of Research Participant                                          Date



Printed Name of Research Participant


_________________________________________              _________________

Signature of Person Obtaining Consent                                 Date



Printed Name of Person Obtaining Consent