Several corporations use focus groups to receive feedback, determine perceptions and opinions of their products. Participants usually receive numeration for their participation. This can vary from $50 – $200 depending on the time commitment and type of research. While I believe this incentive may be necessary to entice people to participate during their own free time, I’m not convinced this type of practice should be conducted at the school level. Younger minds are more easily influenced and providing academic incentives to increase participation in a research (in my own opinion) is unethical. Students should participate in the activity because it’s something new, it’s something that interests them or because it’s a skill they know how to do. Students shouldn’t be encouraged to boost their marks for their participation. Maybe it would be more appropriate to provide positive praise or some sort of recognition that does not involve academics. This may be a more ethical way to encourage and promote participation in research of younger students.
What do you think? Answer this poll and feel free to add comments to this blog post.
*Academic gains is when students receive extra marks, bonus marks or a boost in their grade level (i.e. B turns into an A).*