Participant Information Statement

iRECS5981: Investigating the impact of technological affordance on learning modalities using the Slice question tool


You are invited to participate in a research study into the impact of of a novel online question tool in histology and histopathology on knowledge gains and whether the question tool influenced participant motivation for studying histology and histopathology.

The study is being conducted by:

1.  Dr Stephanie Dowdell, UNSW Sydney

2.  Professor Nicodemus Tedla, Department of Pathology, UNSW Sydney

3.  Dr Claire Aland, Department of Anatomy, University of Queensland


Before you decide whether you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.

1. 'What is the purpose of this study?'

The purpose of this study is investigating how the use of a novel online question tool in histology and histopathology class activities can influence student engagement. This requires the use of the tool both in class and outside class and filling out a short anonymous online survey about your learning experience using this tool.

2. ‘Why have I been invited to participate in this study?’

You have been invited to participate in this study because you are enrolled in the Beginnings Growth and Development B (MFAC1522) or Musculoskeletal Disease (PATH3207) at UNSW or MEDI7100 or MEDI7200 courses at University of Queensland in which this new online question tool will be used in your histopathology practical classes and histology classes respectively.


Before you decide to participate in this research study, we need to ensure that it is ok for you to take part. The research study is looking recruit people who meet the following criteria:

·        Individuals 17+

·        Students studying MFAC1522 and PATH3207 at UNSW Sydney or MEDI7100 or MEDI7200 at the University of Queensland.


Participants who meet the following criteria will be excluded from the study:

·        Participants that do not meet the above criteria.


A series of feature identification questions were made available to you within Moodle at UNSW and UQ Extend at UQ during in class activities and before/after class as a self-study activity for your study of histopathology for Beginnings Growth and Development B (MFAC1522) or Musculoskeletal Disease(PATH3207) at UNSW or your study of histology at MEDI7100 or MEDI7200 courses at the University of Queensland. Your responses will be coded and used to investigate participation and engagement in class activities. The completion of these questions was not mandatory and does not form part of your grade and you were allowed to participate in the class discussions regardless of whether you answered the questions.


We are investigating the impact of these ‘drop a pin’ feature identification questions on your learning experience and engagement. We are seeking your feedback on the ‘drop a pin’ activities.


3.     ‘What does this study involve?’

If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to electronically agree to the Participant Consent Form. The study procedure involves:

An anonymous online survey asking you to answer questions about your use of the image-based questions you answered using the Slice website via Moodle at UNSW and UQ Extend at the University of Queensland and your thoughts on how they impact your engagement with the histology/histopathology material you are studying. You will be asked to complete this survey on only one occasion. The survey should take approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

4. ‘What are the risks associated with this study?’

There are no risks to this study.

5.    ‘Will I benefit from this study?’

The study will not provide you with any direct/immediate benefit and the link between you and the results will be removed before the data is analysed. However, it will likely provide valuable information to develop and improve novel cutting edge educational resources that enhance student learning.


6.    ‘What happens if I don’t want to take part in the study?’

Participation in this study is voluntary. Itis completely up to you whether you participate. If you decide not to participate, it will not affect your relationship with UNSW or the University of Queensland. The results from the questions in the activity do not form part of your grade and nonparticipation does not preclude you from attending the classes, accessing the resources, and participating in class discussions.


7.    ‘How will my confidentiality be protected?’

The results will not be linked to your name or any personal details. The link between this information and the results willbe removed before analysis.


All information relating to this study will de-identified and summated, participants will not be able to be identified from any of the data retained. The consent forms and any documents that contain personal information including your name, email address, your responses to the class activities and your response to the survey will be stored securely in a password protected computer database accessible only to the chief investigators. The data will be kept on a UNSW password protected OneDrive only accessible to the approved research investigators for at least 7 years after the research project is completed.


8.    ‘How and when will I find out what the results of the research study are?’

We plan to discuss/publish the findings in peer reviewed journals, at conferences and professional forums and with the UNSWHREC for monitoring purposes. In any publication, information will be provided in such a way that you cannot be identified.


If you would like to access a summary of the findings at the conclusion of the project, this will be located on the BEST Network website (

9.     ‘What if I want to withdraw from the research study?’

Submitting your completed questionnaire is an indication of your consent to participate in the study. The questionnaire is completely anonymous and submitting your completed questionnaire is an indication of your consent to participate in the study. You can withdraw your responses any time before you have submitted the questionnaire. Once you have submitted it, your responses cannot be withdrawn because they are anonymous and therefore we will not be able to tell which one is yours.


10.    ‘How is this study being paid for?’

There is no specific funding for this study.


11.     ‘What should I do if I want to discuss this study further before I decide?’

When you have read this information, the researchers Dr Stephanie Dowdell, Professor Nicodemus Tedla or Dr Claire Aland will discuss it with you and any queries you may have. If you would like to know more at any stage, please do not hesitate to contact them on the following contact numbers or emails:


Chief Investigator

Name: Dr Stephanie Dowdell

Position: Project Manager



UNSW Research Team Contact Details

Name: Professor Nicodemus Tedla

Position: Professor, School of Pathology


UQ Research Team Contact Details

Name: Dr Claire Aland

Position: Senior Lecturer

Telephone: +61 7 336 51943



12.      ‘Who should I contact if I have concerns about the conduct of this study?’

This study has been approved by the UNSW Sydney Human Research Ethics Advisory Panel D: Biomedical. If you have a complaint regarding any aspect of the study or the way it is being conducted, please contact the UNSW Human Ethics Coordinator:

Complaints Contact

Position: UNSW Human Research Ethics Coordinator

Telephone: + 61 2 9385 6222


HC Reference Number: iRECS5981

Consent Form – Participant providing own consent

Declaration by the participant

I have read the Participant Information Sheet;

  • I understand the purposes, study tasks and risks of the research described in the project;
  • I have had an opportunity to ask questions and I am satisfied with the answers I have received;
  • I freely agree to participate in this research study as described and understand that I am free to withdraw at any time during the project and withdrawal will not affect my relationship with any of the named organisations and/or research team members;
  • I understand that I can download a copy of this consent form from