Informed consent is a formal agreement made by individuals to participate in research, having been fully advised of the potential benefits, risks, and the procedures or activities of research participation. In educational research, informed consent is almost always sought from potential participants before collecting any data unless there are specific [Page 822]reasons for not disclosing the details of a research project up front. Informed consent is considered an essential aspect of good research ethics practice and is mandated by universities, research funders, and organizations in many countries. This entry describes the origins of the term informed consent, how it is applied in educational research, and some of the debates that exist about whether and how informed consent can be achieved effectively.
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