Recording taught sessions

Video camera recording in a library settingThis guidance applies to the context of blended and digital learning in the academic year 2020-21.

It will help you decide whether to record taught sessions and explain what you need to do following that decision.

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Teaching on campus

The University’s existing taught session recording policy applies to all teaching taking place on campus.

  • Any timetabled sessions taking place in an Encore-enabled room (any teaching room with a capacity of over 40), will be recorded by Encore in the normal way.
  • If you do not want your session to be recorded, you will need to opt out of the recording using your department's usual procedure.

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Teaching online (e.g. via Google Meets or Blackboard Collaborate)

If you are teaching a session online, you will have the option to record it within the virtual classroom / video conferencing session. You need to think carefully about whether or not to record a session, and you may want to consult your students.

We advise taking a department or programme level approach to recording to provide consistency for students. Departments should develop and make available to teaching teams guidance on the approach to be adopted in the department. 

Advantages and disadvantages of recording

Consider why you want to record the session. Some possible reasons might be:

  • to ensure that students who cannot attend the session (e.g. due to illness, technical problems) are not disadvantaged
  • to support disabled students or those with English as a second language who may benefit from recordings
  • to allow all students to revisit the contents of the session

Some reasons you might choose not to record a session include:

  • some students may not want to be recorded
  • some students may feel that the recording is a barrier to their participation
  • where research confidentiality could be breached
  • where material is commercially, politically or ethically sensitive e.g. unpublished research material or patient details
  • where the content being taught may expose teaching staff or students to risk if made accessible outside the University
  • where copyright could be breached
  • where the teaching style is not suitable (e.g. extensive use of breakout groups)
  • where a guest speaker external to the University has not consented to be recorded

You might decide to only record parts of the session, as a way to balance these benefits and disadvantages.

Tip: Consider involving your students in a discussion about whether they want the sessions to be recorded or not, or conduct an anonymous poll. You could see if students can reach consensus amongst themselves, giving them ownership of the decision. This should be handled sensitively, and you should also give students an opportunity to inform you privately if they have any concerns about recording.

Making a decision about recording

This decision tree takes you through the key issues you will need to consider when making a decision about recording. More detail about each of these issues can be found on the next page.

A flow chart indicating what decisions should be taken when deciding whether to record sessions

Text version of decision tree

Do you have a reason to record the session?

If yes, in order to record the session, you should make sure that:

  • Your session does not contain confidential or personal information
  • You follow guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials
  • You inform your students
  • You gain consent from any external speakers
  • You consider how to include students who do not want to be recorded

If no, don’t record the session. You will also need to:

  • Provide alternatives, where outlined / required in a student's LSP
  • Consider whether to provide alternatives for students who cannot attend the session

Read more about recording taught sessions

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Further information

Links and downloads

Internal links:

Technical guidance:

External links: