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I am excited for you to join the digital forensics research study!


                                                                                Informed Consent Form – v1.0 


Principal Investigator Name: Charlene K. Coon 

CTU Supervisor: Dr. Sam Sambasivam 

CTU Email Address: 

Contact Phone Number: 385-831-3417 


Purpose of the Study

You are invited to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to understand some training differences. This is between live online digital forensic training vs. online pre-recorded training. 


Inclusion Criteria

You are invited to participate. You meet the following criteria: 

  • You perform digital forensics as part of your job or training.

  • You live in the United States.

  • You are at least 18 years old.

  • You do not work for the Department of Defense.

  • You have at least three years of experience in digital forensics. ​​


        You understand you will be excluded from one piece of the study, the subject questionnaire (It is about case and

        training history, which you would not have.

This form may help you determine whether you desire to participate.  

Study Activities and Duration

Volunteers in this study will be asked to do the following:  ​

  • Sign this informed consent form. 

  • Register anonymously online as a subject for the study. 

  • Complete an online survey expected to take no more than 20 minutes. 

  • Participate in a one-hour online training session or be part of the control group that does not take the online training. 

  • Take online testing lasting no more than 20 minutes. 

  • Remain available for three months post-event day through your anonymous online account to follow up contact, if needed. 

Benefits to You or Others 

The participants receive a) a free digital forensics training session worth $250, b) $10 when completing the study, and c) a certificate of completion. 

Organizations willing to help recruit participants receive a) $10 for each of their participants completing the study, b) identification and recognition in the dissertation (optional), c) an opportunity to get advertisements and free samples/trials out to participants, and d) a free copy of the results to help present to their communities the vital role digital forensic examiners and funding them are in protecting their communities. 

Other Benefits: A driving benefit is helping digital forensic training budgets be more cost-effective. A vital benefit is improving our communities. Lastly, a timely benefit is to show that community leaders, judicial systems, cybersecurity professionals, the intelligence community (IC), and law enforcement are moving towards improving how they protect the communities they serve. 

Risks or Discomfort

There is some level of risk or discomfort involved in all research studies. This study is estimated to involve no more than minimal risk. Some potential risks are a) accidental identification of individuals and b) experiencing technical difficulties during the event. 

Incentives to Participation

The participants receive a) a free digital forensics training session worth $250, b) $10 when completing the study, and c) a certificate of completion. 

Voluntary Participation

Your participation in this study is voluntary. You may choose not to participate in this study. You may withdraw at any time or suspend responses at any time without penalty or consequence. You may ask questions about this study at any time. 

Privacy and Confidentiality

Anonymous pre-registration provides privacy and data confidentiality. Disabling of participant cameras provides a layer of protection. The study follows the process for secure storage for 7 years by storing the encrypted hard drive in a locked metal container. Key access control is also used. At the end of 7 years, the data disc is destroyed by heat from a fire.  

For questions or concerns about the study, contact the Principal Investigator noted above. For additional questions, you may contact the CTU IRB at or visit IRB resources at  

Participant Consent

I have read the above information. I agree to participate in this study. My signature below certifies I am at least 18 years of age and agree to participation. A copy of this form has been offered to me for printing.  

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