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Guidance for Recording Class Periods

Many instructors have been asking whether there are FERPA or other regulations to consider when deciding whether/when to record in-person or online class sessions. Here are some recommendations, based on advice we received from KU’s General Counsel’s Office: 

  1. Let your students know you are recording your class(es), and why. In Kansas, you can record your own classes without actually letting your students knowing that you are doing it (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 your students that you will be recording.  It also seems like the respectful thing to do anyway.
  1. You do not need student consent to share a recording of your class if:
    1. You are only sharing it with other students in your class. The rationale there is that anything shared in the recording would have been accessible to all students in the course anyway had they been able to be present. And it is ok to consider a large course that is broken into multiple sections or cohorts to meet social distancing requirements (e.g., like alternating cohorts) as the same course, even though the sections/cohorts have different line #s.
    2. 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 wish to use your recordings as materials in future offerings of the course. Scroll below for guidance on how to limit student faces/images in your recordings. 
  2. If your recording has student faces or full names in it, then you should get permission to share your recording outside the class (this does not apply to sharing with faculty colleagues/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  that you can download. 

How to Limit Student Faces/Images 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/images in the recording, here are some steps to limit that. 

  1. Keep classroom camera from pointing in direction of student seating.  Some classroom systems have camera controls, where you can redirect the camera to the front/instructor position in the room.  In other spaces, you might need to just adjust the webcam available to that computer.
  2. Edit your recording to remove student interactions.  With video editing software, you could remove student questions and remove their likeness, while preserving the content you’d like to share.  In Zoom, you can change your Zoom account’s recording settings to get multiple versions of your recording (content, speaker, gallery), which may give you more choices to work with when editing your materials.  Just login to your Zoom account (http://kansas.zoom.us), click on “Settings,” then “Recording” tab, and check the Cloud recording options to record views separately.

If you need some advice or assistance on editing Zoom recordings, you can contact the Media Production Studio (785-864-7152 / itmps@ku.edu).