Lecture recording

Posted on 2012 January 28 at 3:54 PM by
Pedagogy | 6 Comments

On January 27, 2012, the Rutgers University Senate voted to forward the following recommendations regarding recording of faculty lectures to President McCormick for his review:

A.  Student Recording

  1. The University should prohibit the audio-visual recording, transmission, or distribution of classroom lectures and discussions unless expressed written permission (on syllabi, course sites, or by signed form, for example) from the class instructor has been obtained and all students in the class as well as guest speakers have been informed that audio/video recording may occur.
  2. When granting permission for a student to record class lectures or discussions, instructors should be mindful of—and convey to the student requesting permission—issues relating to student privacy and the possible chilling effect on class participation on the part of some students as a result of being recorded.
  3. Any recording of lectures or class presentations should be authorized solely for the purpose of individual or group study with other students enrolled in the same class. Such recording may not be reproduced or uploaded to publicly accessible web environments.
  4. Recordings of classes or of course materials may not be exchanged or distributed for commercial purposes, for compensation, or for any other purpose other than study by students enrolled in the class.
  5. Violation of this policy may subject a student to disciplinary action under the University’s Code of Student Conduct.
  6. Instructors should indicate their policy regarding the recording of classroom lectures and discussions on their syllabi or course sites.
  7. Information on copyright and the potential consequences of distributing copyrighted materials should be provided during Orientation.
  8. Instructors should retain copies of any permission forms that they have granted.

B.  Faculty Recording

  1. Instructors may record, or have recorded, their own classes for their personal use or for the purpose of exchange with colleagues, e.g., for the purpose of developing or demonstrating pedagogical skills. In such cases all students in the class should be informed that audio/video recording may occur.
  2. Instructors may make audio and video recordings of student classroom presentations for instructional purposes related to a course. The intent to record should be indicated on the course syllabus or course site. The recordings may not be shown or distributed to any other individual or group without the written permission of the students being recorded.
  3. Instructors may record their own lectures and post or distribute those for use by their students or the general academic community. If done within a class setting, recording should be limited to the lecture portion of the class.

Note: The only exception to this policy applies to students who have been granted specific accommodations by the Office of Disability Services; they may use a digital recorder to tape course lectures, presentations and discussions after presenting a Letter of Accommodation to the instructor.

Update 2012 September 6:

Link to full senate report

Dr. Gayle Stein is the Associate Director for Instructional Technology in the Office of Instructional and Research Technology.


  1. kris czelen

    2012 January 31, 12:02 PM

    This is a wrong direction for 21st century educational institution. MIT, UCLA, Berkley and many other respected Universities made large number of their courses available on Youtube.com FREE FOR ALL . o have access to all lectures that we might need reviewing.For the money we spent on education, we should be able t This would also improve the quality of teaching (for example: whats said during lecture not written and often missed by students).
    Our school have great Education Professionals: I would like to hear their opinion on this matter.
    Math-club wanted to video-record preparation sessions for undergraduate courses; students for students. To my knowledge, their request was denied by RU on similar grounds as mentioned in #3!
    It is time for educational institutions to ADAPT to 21st century!

  2. Michael

    2012 February 3, 1:22 PM

    I don’t think any members of the Rutgers University Senate have ever taken a biology/science course. Recording/transcribing a lecture is the ONLY way to study for courses where the professor draws upon lecture notes heavily especially in cases where the professor has an accent.

  3. Taslim

    2012 February 3, 1:32 PM

    I want to see professors try to enforce this with cell phone bans and laptop bans. There is no way students are going to stop recording especially in those classes where lectures are important (Human Parasitology w/ Fong, Fundamentals of neuro/cell, Systems Phys w/ Merrill, etc).

  4. Rob

    2012 February 7, 12:58 PM

    First, let me say that the recommendations seem reasonable in terms of protecting instructors’ and students’ privacy rights and balancing that with a desire to provide additional access to educational resources.

    In response to the earlier posters, it seems that the university senate is not stopping faculty from recording their own lectures and posting them publicly for academic purposes (not for commercial gain).

    3. Instructors may record their own lectures and post or
    distribute those for use by their students or the general
    academic community. If done within a class setting,
    recording should be limited to the lecture portion of the

    I think what the senate is trying to prevent is having students record lectures so that others don’t need to attend. The reason universities charge so much money for classes is primarily for access to classroom facilities and face-to-face interaction with instructors and subject matter experts. If you want to learn from prerecorded lectures and online websites, then the University of Phoenix is probably better for you.

    If students don’t understand what’s being taught in lecture, they should ask questions. If questions aren’t being answered in lecture (due to class size), they should see their Teaching Assistants. However, if academic needs aren’t being met by faculty (low quality lecture, failure to hold regular office hours), students should bring these issues to the appropriate department chairperson or college dean.

  5. Demosthenes

    2012 February 10, 8:08 PM

    This is, unfortunately, an attempt by the faculty to recast a copyright issue as a privacy issue. That is, they are trying to head off any sort of attempt by the University to do what other universities have done (putting lectures on the net) by claiming that their rights to privacy (and, disingenuously, that of their students – that ‘chilling effect’ blarney is just darling) supercede any other. By casting this as a privacy issue, they sidestep the thorny issue (that they have lost elsewhere) of who ‘owns’ recordings of their lectures.

    By attempting to create a privacy roadblock, they hope to kibosh efforts to allow the University to leverage making the presentation of what they are already paid for available in a wider venue, to the benefit of all. Come to think of it, taking their argument to its logical conclusion, students should be forbidden to take notes, since this can be thought of as a ‘recording’ of the lecture.

  6. Ethereal track

    2016 February 3, 10:26 AM