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Many courses in the Brian Lamb School of Communication allow students to participate as subjects in research studies as a way to receive extra class credit. The Lamb School administers this research participation through an online program called the Research Participation System, which provides an easy online method for you to sign up to participate in studies and keep track of the studies you’ve participated in and the credit you’ve earned.

For Students in COM 114: You can use participation in one study to fulfill an Outside Communication Activity course requirement. Using this method will mean that the percentage credit of the study does not correlate to the credit you earn, since participation is a set amount of points for that activity.

For Students in COM Courses Other than COM 114: You can earn extra credit in many of your COM classes by participating in studies. Not all COM classes allow extra credit for research participation, so check with your Professor or check your course syllabus to determine which of your courses allows extra credit for research participation. For COM courses other than COM 114, you can receive .5% extra credit for every 30 minutes. Studies may be worth additional credit if they require additional effort such as making an appointment or coming to a specific location, such as the John O. Greene and Carrie L. Johnston Research lab of the BLSC. The percentage earned for each study is listed on each study sign-up. The maximum extra credit that can be earned for any study is 3%, and the maximum extra credit that can be applied to a single course is also 3%

Communication Research Laboratory

Research Participation System Login

For students who are ineligible for current studies or who do not wish to participate in current studies on the SONA system, alternative assignments are available. These are found in the same place as regular studies in the system and will be labeled as alternatives. These alternative activities come as either 30-minute or 60-minute assignments, which are worth .5% or 1% credit, respectively, as with studies. There will be multiple options for these studies available, though each one can only be done one time, as with regular studies. 

Getting Started

  1. Access the Research Participation System sign-up program.
  2. Click the link on the bottom left of the log-in page that says: New Participant-Request an account here. You will be asked to provide basic information. Your user ID is the first part of your Purdue e-mail address,
    • For example: jsmith@purdue.edu would use “jsmith”
    • Fill in the required information. Here is an example:
      • First name: John
      • Last name: Smith
      • User ID: jsmith
      • User ID verification: jsmith
      • Phone Number: Optional
  3. Courses: Select the COM courses you are taking this semester. We recommend adding all of you courses at the beginning, as you will not be able to add courses later on by yourself.
  4. After requesting an account, you will receive an email with your login password.
  5. Once you receive your password, you can log in to the Research Participation System. Enter your user ID and your password.

Signing up for studies or alternative assignments

  1. Click on the study to view more information.
  2. Click “Sign-up” or “View Time Slots for This Study” (only one of these options will be available) and choose a time slot that is convenient for you or sign up for the study.
  3. After you sign up, you will see information displayed confirming the time and location of the study you plan to participate in. You will receive an email confirmation as well. If you signed up for a specific time slot, you may also receive a reminder email the day before the time slot. Be aware that if you fail to appear for an experiment without prior notification, you may be restricted from signing up for any more studies for 30 days. See each individual study for that study’s timing on when it is too late to cancel.

Tracking Your Credit Progress

Choose My Schedule/Credits option from the toolbar. You will see the experiments that you have signed up for and the credit status for each, and how many credits you have earned for each course. There is a cut-off date at the end of the semester by which all studies must be completed in order to receive class credit. This is usually the Friday before finals week. Be sure to check your totals before the cut-off to ensure that your credits have been counted and make any changes you wish to your records.

Reassigning Credit or Adding Courses Late

If you are in multiple COM courses and need to change the credit assigned, you may click “reassign” under the “My Schedule/Credits” page. Alternatively, you may contact the Research Participation System manager (email listed at the bottom of the Research Participation Website) to do this. If you need to add a course to your account after you have already signed up, you will need to email the Research Participation System manager to do this.