For Instructors

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How to utilize the MBL as an instructor

The strength of any lab rests on the success of obtaining qualified participants who are willing and able to dedicate their time and energy to studies. The Mendoza Behavioral Lab (MBL) is no different. For participants, we rely in large measure on Mendoza instructors to allow us to request or require their students to sign up through our system and come in for studies.

The MBL is easy to use for instructors. Instructors merely assign their students to participate in the MBL and, at the end of the semester, each instructor receives a specialized report detailing the SONA participation credits of each of the class’s students. SONA is the third-party software provider used by Notre Dame for student participants, but the SONA system is not connected to any of the University’s systems including student accounts, class information, or Sakai. Instructors determine the value of each SONA point for their class grading. Please see the tab For Students for more details regarding the participant process, which is handled by the participant, with the lab manager as needed.

  1. Insert MBL verbiage into your syllabus (see the section Suggested MBL syllabus verbiage in this tab).
  2. Notify the lab manager that you will be inviting your students to participate in the lab during your course term.
  3. Plan to familiarize your students with the MBL section of your syllabus and/or invite the lab manager to give a brief presentation to your section(s) at the beginning of the term.
  4. Forward any student emails regarding the MBL or their participation to the lab manager, who will respond to the student inquiry directly, record the results, and inform you of the outcome.
  5. Receive the end-of-term credit allocations for each of the students in each of your sections, separately, in order of your class roster(s) for ease of use.
  6. Assign your desired weighting of SONA points to your students for your gradebook.

Principles of Management and Principles of Marketing research requirement

In fall 2016, the Mendoza College of Business instituted a research requirement for students enrolled in Principles of Marketing and Principles of Management. Instructors of these classes are required to include the paragraphs in the following section in their syllabi, and encouraged to invite the lab manager to give a brief lab presentation to their sections at the beginning of each term.

A student in one of these classes is required to earn 2 SONA credits for that class during the term. A student in both Principles classes concurrently is therefore required to earn 4 SONA credits for the term (2 SONA credits per class). SONA credits from previous terms may not be reassigned in the system to meet this requirement, and SONA credits cannot be used for more than one class.

Administration for students of the Principles classes is the same for instructors and students as for students of other classes. 

Suggested MBL syllabus verbiage

The following paragraphs are suggested for inclusion in class syllabi, with modifications as needed:

Students must fulfill 2 credits of research activity per class through one of the two options below.

Option 1: Participation in studies at the MBL

Students serve as subjects in academic research projects through the Mendoza Behavioral Lab (MBL). Common experiments include surveys, negotiations, and choice studies. Studies that run 30 minutes in duration earn 1 credit toward the requirement. Studies that run 45-60 minutes in duration are worth 2 credits. Participation can help students become better critics of research discussed in class, allowing them to refine their critical thinking skills. In addition, students receive exposure to the type of research being conducted by their professors, which aids in furthering the knowledge that is a critical component of a great course.

Option 2: Research review

A research review involves reading a scientific article related to the course and writing a 1-page summary that discusses how the findings of the research apply in actual organizations. The summary must be single-spaced, written in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins. Students may select any article published within the last three years in a journal designated by the professor of the particular course. For further assistance, please contact a librarian at the Mahaffey Business Library in the lower level of the Mendoza College of Business. Please note that 1 article summary is worth 1 credit. 
Most students prefer to engage in Option 2. Email your research review directly to the lab manager for grading. The lab manager is Lori Ehrman Tinkey ( Research reviews are due by the last lab day of the semester.

All questions about either option for the research requirement should be sent to Lori Tinkey at

Your students and the MBL

We believe the MBL is of high value to Notre Dame students in providing them with hands-on exposure to research processes in a world class university business behavioral lab environment. Through the MBL, students may participate in studies, learn about the topics and goals of current projects, engage further in research as paid Research Assistants (RAs), and connect with expert Mendoza faculty members in their areas of business discipline.

You and the MBL

Thank you for your confidence in the MBL. If at any time you have questions or would like to know more, please let the lab manager, Lori Ehrman Tinkey ( know. Feedback from instructors is very helpful in the MBL spirit of continuous improvement, so please impart your suggestions. Mrs. Tinkey, as the students call her, is pleased to discuss MBL processes and goals with instructors as well as the details of student participation. The faculty director for the MBL is Associate Dean for Faculty and Research Ken Kelley,