Hydraulic System Knowledge for Water Utility Operators
Informed Consent
Adult Participants
Western Governors University - Teachers College
M.Ed. - Learning and Technology

Brian Gongol
Study: "Punctuated Stimulation of Adult Learners"


Brian Gongol, a graduate student researcher in the Teachers College of Western Governors University, is conducting research to determine the effects of certain stimulation strategies on adult learners in a low-stakes environment where attendance alone is enough to make the learner eligible for credit. This research is being conducted using only a trivial amount of personal resources and those belonging to D.J. Gongol & Associates, Inc., in which Brian Gongol is an equity partner. By clicking the box stating "I Agree" and continuing to the next page, you agree to participate in the study.

No personally-identifiable information will be shared or reported with anyone other than the study author without your explicit consent, and the results will be reported strictly as aggregated totals. If you request our assistance to verify your participation for the purpose of validating your claim to CEUs or PDHs with any relevant authorities, we will happily comply. You are entitled to see the results of the study when it has been completed. At the conclusion of the virtual workshop, you will be eligible to request confirmation of your participation for submission to any relevant regulatory authorities. There is no cost to participate, and you will be asked to identify yourself solely for the purpose of receiving acknowledgment of your participation.

Description of the Project

The ultimate purpose of this research is to investigate whether certain techniques help adults to pay attention and learn effectively during low-stakes learning experiences like conferences and workshops. Participants will take part in a virtual 5-hour workshop on pumping hydraulics, broken into seven separate modules that will be delivered as prerecorded videos. Before and after each module, you will be asked to self-evaluate your comprehension of the topic of that module. It is important that you self-evaluate as honestly as possible, since you will not be tested for your knowledge. The differences between pre-test and post-test scores will help to reveal whether any of the techniques being tested have any effect on your learning comprehension. There will be no continuing obligation on your part after the virtual workshop is completed; just as with a conventional 5-hour workshop, your role as a learner will be to pay attention and absorb as best you can.

Benefits and Risks of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine how to help adult learners in low-stakes learning environments. As such, the study has been deliberately designed to involve as little stress of any sort as possible. You will be asked only how much you think you comprehend about each of seven different subjects, before and after a module that attempts to teach that subject. You should encounter no physical, professional, or personal risks of any sort, and your psychological stress should be no greater in any way than what you would experience on a normal day of work.

The results of this study will be shared with the planning committees and organizers helping with the 2020 Joint Fall Conference, which will be conducted in an online-only environment this year due to the pandemic. The results may help us to understand how we can overcome "Zoom fatigue" and keep participants interested in the virtual conference.


The only information being collected comes from your voluntary responses to self-assessments of your comprehension of certain water-related subjects before and after each learning module within the workshop. You will be asked to identify yourself strictly for the purpose of returning an acknowledgment of your participation to you, as compensation for your time and effort. Data will only be analyzed and reported in the aggregate; your individual responses are not the subject of the research and your answers will not be seen by anyone other than the study's author.

Voluntary Participation and Withdrawal

Your participation in the study is completely voluntary and you have the right to withdraw at any time. Everyone who participates and completes the entire virtual workshop will be eligible to receive written confirmation of their participation, regardless of any answers or responses given during the course of the study.

You may withdraw at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all. The only consequence of early withdrawal is that we cannot confirm partial participation; you must complete the entire study to be eligible to receive confirmation, since partial completion cannot be measured or validated.

Questions, Rights and Complaints

You may direct any questions to Brian Gongol by phone at 918-246-6465 or by email to bgongol@wgu.edu.

If you have any unresolved questions or complaints, you may contact the chair of the IRB at Western Governors University by sending an email to IRB@wgu.edu 

You are welcome to view the results of the study upon its completion.

Consent Statement

By clicking "I agree" and continuing beyond this page, you acknowledge that you have read and understand these instructions, and that you grant your permission for information to be collected for the purposes of this study. You voluntarily agree to participate, understand that you have a right to ask any questions you would like, and acknowledge that you have received and read the information above.

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