Faculty and staff at CSUSM conduct assessment research. Not all assessment research needs to go through the IRB. This guideline is meant to help researchers decide whether they need an IRB review.
If you are involved in assessment data that does not apply to any of the scenarios listed above, please contact the IRB (firstname.lastname@example.org, 750-4029) to discuss your particular assessment project. For other issues regarding assessment research, please contact Institutional Planning and Analysis (www.csusm.edu/ipa).
Definition of Research
For the purposes of the CSUSM IRB policy, Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. See Definition of Research Guideline.
Definition of Assessment: Program Evaluation, Needs Assessment and Quality Control
Studies conducted for the purposes of program assessment, needs assessment, or quality control in which findings are solely intended for use in internal program planning and development and are not designed to contribute to generalized knowledge are not subject to IRB review.
Note: The key difference between research and assessment is that in research, the data are collected to contribute to generalizable knowledge, which may be disseminated through a scholarly paper, conference presentation or poster, or other academic outlets. Assessment data may be presented at conferences (e.g., WASC), in written form (e.g., reports), and presentations (e.g., Chancellor’s Office) without IRB approval if data are presented as assessment data, not research.