Informed consent statement

Below are informed consent statements for middle school, and high school and adult participants. We ask that facilitators read these statements aloud  to participants if possible.

Middle School Version

The surveys that you are being asked to complete are part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation to look at the effect of the World Climate Exercise.  We would really like your help with this research project, but you don’t have to take the surveys if you don’t want to.  In the surveys, you will be asked about your understanding of climate change both before and after the exercise, and at the end you will be asked about your reactions to it and how it affected you.  The surveys should take about ten minutes apiece.  Your responses will be compared to those of others who have participated, from middle school students to adults out of college, so that we can get a better understanding of the exercise and how to improve it.

These surveys are anonymous, which means that we won’t be asking for your names or any other information that will allow us to know who you are, though we will be asking some questions that will allow us to tell that the same person took both surveys.  We will also be asking some questions about who you are so that we can see if the exercise affects people from different backgrounds in different ways. 

The only risks of participating would be if answering some of the questions makes you uncomfortable.  You can choose not to answer any questions you don’t want to, and you can choose to just turn in a blank survey form or not return the survey at all.  Not doing the survey won’t have any effect on your grades or anything else.  Also, participating in the survey won’t benefit you in any way, though it may help make this exercise better in the future.

(Follow with instructions for completing and returning the surveys).

Thank you very much for your time.  Are there any questions?

 

High School, Higher Education, and Other Adults Version:

The World Climate Exercise has been partly funded by a National Science Foundation grant entitled “Transforming mental models of climate change through simulations, games, and systems thinking,” led by Juliette Rooney-Varga and conducted on behalf of UMass Lowell. The purpose of this grant is to discern the effects of this exercise on students’ understanding of and attitudes toward climate change.

We are asking if you would be willing to participate in a voluntary research component of this project.  If you are willing to help us with the research, we will be asking you to complete a short survey about your understanding of climate change and your reactions to the experience prior to participating in the exercise and then again at the end, where you will also be asked to comment on what you thought about the exercise and how it affected you.  Each survey will take about ten minutes to complete. The results from your survey responses will be compared to those from other individuals who have participated in the game to gain a better picture of the exercise’s impact and information on how to improve the experience.

The surveys are anonymous, meaning that we will not be asking for your names or any other information that would allow us to identify who you are, though we will be asking you for an anonymous identifier so that we can match your two surveys.  The survey includes several questions about demographics, such as gender, age, home country, education, and worldview. The risks involved in this research are no more than minimal, however you may feel that your participation or non-participation will have a negative impact on your course grade.  Your participation or non-participation will have no negative impact on your academic.  There are no benefits to you for completing this survey other than the possibility that your responses may help shape the future of how the exercise is used.

Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary, and if you do not wish to complete the survey you may hand in a blank form or not hand it in at all.  You may also choose to skip any question you like.  Please answer honestly and thoughtfully—your responses are very important to us and may be very important toward helping us make improvements to climate change education in the future.

(Follow with instructions for completing and returning the surveys).

Thank you very much for your time.  Are there any questions?