Recording of Teaching Policy

1. Purpose of the Policy

The policy sets out the University’s position on the provision of recordings of live and pre-recorded teaching to students by the University and recordings by students and staff. Provision of recordings of teaching is recognised throughout the HE sector as a helpful study aid and can contribute towards the University meeting its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 as well as the University’s commitment to inclusive learning and teaching practice as part of the Learning &Teaching Strategy 2021-2025. This policy covers the essential purpose of recordings of teaching which is that they are used only for students on the course that the teaching relates to, or for students on other courses (such as in a MOOC or other teaching event) as determined by the member of staff whose teaching has been recorded.

2. Scope of the Policy

This policy was prepared in relation to recording lectures using the services provided on campus. It has been subsequently updated in light of the University’s response to Covid-19 which has seen a significant increase in online teaching using pre-recorded videos and/or live video-conference style events which may themselves be recorded. The scope of the policy covers all live (synchronous) video and/or audio-based teaching, and pre-recorded video and/or audio-based teaching materials (synchronous or asynchronous) for in-person, blended, or fully online programmes, with recognition that the recording of lectures requires different considerations to recordings made for wider blended and online delivery.

The following principles apply to the recording of lectures (online or on campus delivery):

  • Students should, as far as possible, be able to access audio (and where available or appropriate video) recordings of lectures to support their learning.
  • To support the growing desire on the part of students and staff for lecture recordings and to support the University’s commitment to inclusive learning and teaching practice, this policy adopts an opt-out approach for the recording of lectures. It supports mainstreaming of recording lectures where appropriate yet retains the right of members of staff to opt-out from recording their lectures.
  • For clarity, this opt-out approach does not apply to recordings of other types of live teaching, for example, tutorials, workshops, seminars, or other activities that may involve student participation and discussion. Audio or video recordings of such events are generally prohibited by the University unless permission to do so is expressly granted by the relevant course lecturer (which may be subject to conditions).
  • In the case of the recording of on campus lectures, staff may choose to also video record their live lectures to support student learning and in rooms where such functionality is available. Such recording would predominantly capture the presenter area rather than the students and students will be advised in advance of the recording such that they can relocate away from the recording devices if they wish.
  • The recording of on campus teaching is not normally intended to be an equivalent experience to in-person attendance.
  • At the time of the July 2021 update to the policy, it is not possible to auto-schedule recording of online lectures. Recording thus operates on the basis of opt-in until such times as the technology supports auto-scheduling in the same way as for on-campus lectures. At that point, online lecture recording will operate on an opt-out basis.
  • The University recognises there are situations where all or part of a lecture should not or cannot be recorded and that staff may wish to opt-out of recording all or some of their lectures. Among these are that:

i. there are approaches to lecturing that may not be suitable for recording, such as those with a high degree of interactivity;

ii. a lecturer should not change their teaching approach to facilitate the recording of a lecture where this change would be detrimental to the student experience;

iii. there may be legal, ethical or privacy reasons for not recording part or all of a lecture;

iv. a lecturer may have personal reasons that make it inappropriate for their lecture to be recorded;

v. Clear guidance will be given to staff on how to opt out of recording in-person lectures where the recording would be scheduled automatically should they elect to do so. This guidance will be available as part of the operational guidance on implementing lecture recording and circulated to all staff.

The policy also recognises that with the increase in blended and online delivery, there is a broader range of teaching beyond lectures and outwith the scope of the opt-out approach that staff may wish to record. The following principles therefore apply to all live or pre-recorded recordings of teaching:

  • The rights of lecturers and the privacy of individuals shall be respected and protected.
  • Recording of any live teaching event should be undertaken in accordance with the netiquette guidance []  
  • Good advice should be available to staff on issues of copyright of content used in teaching to ensure appropriate levels of protection for staff and the copyright material. []
  • Recorded content will be stored and used in an appropriate manner.
  • Recordings will be provided by the University as far as possible.
  • A student may be refused consent to record teaching on their own device where provision of an official University recording already exists.
  • Staff should make it clear to students at the beginning of the course which teaching will be recorded.

3. Recording of Teaching and Disability

The Equality Act 2010 places an anticipatory responsibility on the University in making reasonable adjustments to its services. Current arrangements for disabled students in relation to the recording of teaching will be unaffected by this policy. Schools will ensure disabled students are not disadvantaged by providing alternative formats.

4. Permitted Use of Lecture Recordings

  • A lecturer may use official recordings of their own teaching (live or pre-recorded) within their own performance review; to facilitate peer observation of their teaching; or if they are investigated under the Disciplinary Policy.
  • The University may use official teaching recordings within the scope of an investigation under the Code of Student Conduct.
  • Any other use of a recording will require further, separate, agreement between those with rights in the recording. In particular:
    • The recordings and any associated metadata will not be used by the University for staff performance review or disciplinary processes without the lecturer’s permission.
    • For on campus lectures, lecture recordings may not be used as a replacement for intended staff presence in the lecture room (for example, live streaming lectures to overspill rooms or re-use of pre-recorded lectures) unless the lecturer permits this.
    • Recordings will not be used to cover University staff exercising their legal right to take industrial action without the lecturer’s consent.
    • Recordings do not constitute a replacement for student attendance at on campus teaching events unless the University has specified this as a reasonable adjustment for a disabled student.
    • Schools and students must not use lecture recordings of on campus teaching as a routine mechanism for managing clashes of timetabled lectures.
  • A student is required to be recorded if the recording is a mandatory part of their assessment. A student otherwise making a contribution recorded by an official recording may contact the lecturer to arrange for deletion of their contribution. Students wishing not to be recorded should, where possible, sit in areas away from microphones and outwith the field of view of any camera installed, or turn off their camera and microphone for an online session.

5. Official Recordings

This part of the policy covers the recording of live teaching using automated systems in teaching spaces on campus and recording technologies such as Zoom or MS Teams, as well as pre-recorded material produced for blended or fully online delivery. It does not cover:

  • Tutorials;
  • Seminars;
  • Practicals (e.g. labs, workshops);
  • Any other type of teaching that has a high degree of interactivity or discussion; and
  • Field activity.

A University system will deliver a higher quality recording than a student’s own device and therefore will be expected to negate the demand for students to produce their own recordings. Although embedded recording systems have been installed in many lecture theatres, coverage is limited but recording provision will be expanded over the next few years.

University Responsibilities

The University will ensure that:

  • recording equipment and centrally provided software licences are maintained;
  • signs and recording lights are available in lecture theatres to indicate that recording is taking place;
  • College and Senate Learning & Teaching Committees will monitor the implementation of this policy to promote consistency across the University;
  • students and staff are provided with appropriate guidance on permitted use of recordings of teaching;
  • students and staff are provided with guidance on how to use recordings of teaching appropriately;
  • guidance is provided to staff on how to prepare and edit video recordings and provide transcripts before recordings are uploaded for students to access as part of the operational guidance referred to above. (Guidance on transcripts is provided in the Digital Accessibility Guidance.)

School Responsibilities

  • Schools will schedule automated recording of on-campus lectures using the central timetabling system.
  • Schools will normally notify students which of their lectures will be recorded or not by the start of the course, including reasons for not recording, through Moodle. Where this is not possible students must be notified on Moodle no less than a week in advance of the scheduled lecture.
  • Schools will notify students by email and/or Moodle if a recording arrangement changes during the course. This includes where the change prevents recording and where the change facilitates a recording that would not otherwise have taken place. When an on-campus lecture is changed or cancelled, Schools will ensure the associated scheduled recording is also changed or cancelled promptly.

Lecturer Responsibilities

  • For on-campus lectures, staff should engage with and make use of the automatic lecture recording (audio) facility provided and maintained by IT Services (currently Echo 360) in on campus teaching spaces, and follow guidance on appropriate use of software tools for pre-recording lectures intended for blended and fully online teaching.
  • Staff should ensure they have appropriate copyright clearance for any material covered by the recording. []
  • The lecturer has the right to apply discretion and pause or subsequently edit a live recording, for example if sensitive material is being taught or if the recording is considered to be interfering with teaching. If a live recording is paused or edited, the lecturer should consider providing an explanation for the pause or edit where it is reasonable and proportionate to do so.
  • The lecturer is responsible for deciding whether the interests in not recording part or all of their teaching outweigh the interests in recording. In line with the opt-out approach for lectures, they will inform the relevant Head of School of any full lectures they decide not to record, along with the reason (see section 1 above). They should consider whether the routine options either to pause recording during teaching, or to request that video recording is not enabled (where the room has video facility), would otherwise allow recording to proceed. Lecturers should be aware that it is permissible, where good reason exists, to opt out of recording one or more lectures without opting out of recording an entire lecture series.
  • Recordings produced through the on-campus lecture recording service by default will automatically release scheduled recordings to the students on the course 24 hours after completion of recording and post-processing of the associated data. Lecturers may alternatively opt for immediate release or manual release of their scheduled recordings.
  • The release of recordings produced through services such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams will be contingent upon user settings. Staff should ensure that students have appropriate access to all recorded course content.
  • This policy applies equally to visiting lecturers with the exception of evidencing consent where, because of the different employment situation, they will be required to sign a consent form as they did previously.

Student Responsibilities

  • Students will access recordings of teaching “on demand” via the service or Moodle or other source as guided by their School. Exceptions:
    • The School will provide a download of a recording to a disabled student on the course where this has been specified as a reasonable adjustment.
    • The lecturer may at their discretion provide download access to all students on the course where, in the lecturer’s opinion, this is appropriate.
  • Recordings should normally only be accessible by those students enrolled on the course unless agreed otherwise by the lecturer(s) presenting the teaching.
  • Use of such recordings should be in relation to the course unless agreed otherwise by the lecturer(s) presenting the lecture.
  • Any use of a recording other than for a student’s personal use in relation to their studies or any unauthorised distribution of a recording will be considered in breach of the Code of Conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action. This includes uploading onto social media sites and other unauthorised sites such as YouTube and Course Hero, and includes video and audio recordings, as well as static screen captures.

6. Recordings made by Students

Students should normally have the opportunity to make recordings of course lectures as outlined in the principles above for study purposes where official recordings are not available. For other types of live teaching such as tutorials, seminars, and workshops, audio or video recordings of such events are generally prohibited by the University although permission to record is at the discretion of the course lecturer following consideration of the impact on teaching and on the privacy and rights of other staff and students on the course.

University Responsibilities

  • The University and Schools will provide technical and pedagogic guidance to students on how to benefit from lectures and how to use recordings appropriately.

School Responsibilities

  • Administrative procedures around student recordings of teaching should be kept to a minimum. Where it is known in advance that a specific lecture(s) within a course isnot to be recorded by students, this, along with reasons, should be communicated to students on the course through an appropriate channel such as Moodle in advance of the event.

Lecturer Responsibilities

  • Where official recording facilities are not available, a lecturer’s consent for students to record lectures should not normally be refused without good reasons in line with the opt-out reasons noted earlier in this policy.
  • Where consent is refused to record teaching other than lectures, the lecturer should aim to provide an explanation.

Student Responsibilities

Students undertake to adhere to the following rules:

  • Students must ask the course lecturer for consent to record in advance of teaching and specify the type of recording to be undertaken (e.g., audio, video, screen capture). Students should provide staff with as much advanced notice as possible ahead of the teaching taking place.
  • Any recording is primarily for the student’s use in relation to their studies, but it may be shared, in a similar way that lecture notes are shared, with other students on the same course. In no circumstances, however, should a recording be made available to other parties.
  • Students may be asked to turn off their recording device when other students do not want their personal contribution recorded.
  • Students may be asked to turn off their recording device during parts of teaching when deemed appropriate by the lecturer.
  • Once the recording has served its study purpose, it should be erased.
  • Inappropriate use of recordings, including recording after a lecturer has refused consent, will be considered as a breach of the Code of Conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Inappropriate recording and distribution may be subject to legal action.

7. Intellectual Property and Performer Rights

  • The policies on exploitation of intellectual property and student intellectual property rights cover the status of intellectual property generated by the University’s employees and students. Where the University and an employee have agreed that the employee retains some or all of the intellectual property rights to material used within a teaching recording (for example, performer rights, as described below), the employee agrees to grant the University a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, worldwide licence to use the material for the essential purpose outlined in this policy.
  • Where a student (either as the lecturer or as a participant) holds some or all of the intellectual property rights to material used within a lecture recording, the student agrees to grant the University a non-exclusive licence to use the material for the essential purpose in this policy. The student also agrees to grant the University a non-exclusive licence for re-use of the material by the lecturer within an educational resource or the lecturer's own staff development, and for re-use of the material by the School within the scope of a business continuity plan.
  • Performer rights reside with the lecturer and other participants involved in the teaching being recorded, who agree to the recording, and agree that the University may use their performance for the essential purpose in this policy. Lecturers wishing to assert their right to be identified as author or performer should do so as part of the recording, for example in the introduction.
  • Recordings will only be retained for as long as they continue to be essential for the course. Recordings will usually be replaced, if and when, the course is taught again in a new session although academic staff may choose to reuse their recordings where pedagogically appropriate. Recordings of teaching made by staff who are no longer employed by the University, or who no longer teach on the course, will not be retained following the end of the course in the academic session in which the recording was made, without the permission of those holding performer rights.
  • Variations to the standard retention period may be agreed to meet subject specific requirements. Any such change will be communicated to staff and students on the course at the start of the academic session.

8. Evaluation

As with all University policies, there will be a review of implementation. To inform the evaluation of the uptake of in-person lecture recording and its effectiveness in supporting student learning, opt-out rates will be reported on an anonymised, aggregated basis at School level. These data will be considered alongside wider evaluations of the pivot to online and the increase in blended learning approaches to inform future levels of investment in lecture recording and student learning support and to help shape guidance for students and staff in future.

9. Privacy Notice

The privacy notice is provided in Appendix I. It addresses the responsibilities of the service owner in supporting the implementation of this policy.