Guidance for Implementing Policy PROV-005: Recording of Class Sessions and Distribution of Course Materials

This document is intended to accompany policy PROV-005: Recording of Class Sessions and Distribution of Course Materials. The purpose of this guide is to provide helpful information and best practices to instructors as they implement PROV-005 in their classrooms.

Nothing contained in this policy or guidance is intended to restrict an instructor’s right to conduct a class as they deem most appropriate within the bounds of the policy, such as electing to distribute class notes in order to promote class interaction, the use of recorded lectures, etc.

Sample Syllabus Statements

These statements are intended to serve as examples of the text you might use in a syllabus. Please edit these as you deem appropriate, so they best align with how you intend to conduct your class.

  1. I intend to record our live sessions for the sake of students who are unable to attend. Recordings will be available in the course website. Recordings will be set to “view only” so that they cannot be shared or moved, they will be deleted when the course is completed, and will always be password protected. Please be aware that per university policy and out of respect to our class community, recordings may not be downloaded, reproduced, shared outside our course, or uploaded to other online environments. Pre-arranged permission from me is required for any recordings made by students. My default setting is to record [only the active speaker / the entire gallery view], and during class I may pause recording at times to allow for everyone to feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics. I encourage you to contact me directly if you prefer to participate via audio only or to use an alias during class, or with any additional concerns or considerations you think the class community should consider about recordings.

  2. Class sessions for this course will be recorded. Recordings will be available only to the instructor(s) and students enrolled in the class, including those who cannot attend the live sessions. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. Recordings may not be reproduced, shared with those not enrolled in the class, or uploaded to other online environments. Students who are not comfortable with participating in a recorded discussion session should contact the instructor to request an alternate assessment activity. Students in a class are prohibited from recording of any kind unless authorization is obtained from the instructor.  

Alternative Activities when Participation is a Factor of Grading

For a number of legitimate reasons, including encouraging an open exploration of course topics, some students may prefer not to appear in classroom recordings. If possible, consider supporting this preference. Regardless, it is important to remember that all students should be given the same educational experience. 

For example, instructors should not require students to sit in certain seats to avoid being on camera or not ask questions simply to avoid recording the students. Additionally, it is highly recommended that instructors consider the needs of all students in their class before recording a class session where participation is a factor of grading. Instructors are encouraged to consider alternative ways to assess participation when a student is not comfortable participating verbally in a recorded class session. Some examples include the following:

  • Allow students to submit discussion questions in advance or participating in a curated discussion board.

  • Ask students to complete reading prompts in advance of class.

  • Connect small assignments to participation grades, e.g. short reflections, online discussions, clicker questions, homework.

  • Ask students to summarize small group activities or turn in short assignments demonstrating their participation in group work.

  • Provide ways for students to self- and peer-assess participation.

Technical Best Practices 

There are a variety of services available to instructors for recording a class session, such as Zoom or Panopto. If you are choosing to record a class session, consider implementing one or all of these practices:  

  • Limit the ability to copy/paste from a chat window.

  • Limit the ability to have someone other than the instructor record a session.\

  • Restrict the ability of a student to download a recording that has been posted to the course LMS.

    • Whether you are using Collab, Canvas, Box, or another tool you can usually restrict a resource from being downloaded through a combination of role permissions or specific file permissions at the time it is uploaded. Check the support documents for the tool you are using to learn more about how to prevent unwanted downloads or recordings and other content.

  • Avoid recording students. 

  • Ensure the availability of closed captioning and transcripts.