Guidance for Recording Class Sessions
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Many instructors have been asking whether they must take Ferpa or other regulations into account when deciding whether to record in-person or online class sessions. Here are some recommendations, based on advice we received from KU’s General Counsel’s Office:
Let your students know you are recording your class, and why
In Kansas, you canrecord your own classes without letting your students know that you are doing so (Kansas has a “one-party” rule on this). But other states and countries have different laws on this, which means that if you have students participating in the class from outside Kansas, it is important to notify them that you will be recording. It also seems like the respectful thing to do anyway.
You do not need student consent to share a recording of your class if:
- You share it only with students in your class. The rationale is that anything shared in the recording would have been accessible to all students in the course anyway had they been present. And it is OK to consider a large course that is broken into multiple sections or cohorts to meet social distancing requirements (like alternating cohorts) as the same course, even though the sections have different line numbers.
- OR, the recording does not include identifying information on students, such as images of their faces or their full names (voices and backs of heads are OK). As long as no students are identifiable in your class recording, you may share your recording with students in another class, or you may use your recordings as materials in future offerings of the course.
If your recording has student faces or full names in it, you should get permission to share your recording outside the class. This does not apply to sharing with faculty colleagues or mentors, who might observe a class period with your consent as part of a mentoring or evaluation process. In this case, explain to students what you are doing and why. If possible, ask for consent at the beginning of the semester. Here is a sample student consent form (.docx) you can download.
How to Limit Student Faces in Your Recording
If you know there is a portion of your class that you’d like to record and re-use in future semesters, like a guest speaker visiting your class remotely, and you do not want to have your students' faces in the recording, here are some steps you can take.
- Keep classroom camera from pointing in the direction of student seating. Some classroom systems have camera controls that allow you to redirect the camera to the front of the room. In other spaces, you might just need to adjust the webcam.
- Edit your recording to remove student interactions. With video editing software, you can remove portions of the recording that show students while preserving the content you’d like to share. In Zoom, you can change the recording settings to get multiple versions of your recording (content, speaker, gallery). That may give you more choices to work with when editing your materials. Just log in to your Zoom account, click on Settings and then the Recording tab. Check the Cloud recording options to record views separately.