FERPA and Lecture Capture

An instructor relaxes by the pool and prepares to learn something new.

Teaching in remote and hybrid environments lead to some interesting legal questions related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In traditional course experiences, abiding by FERPA guidelines means maintaining students’ privacy related to their performance, grades, and related aspects of students’ identity. For example, we know not to share information about grades with a student’s parents if the student is over 18 and not to leave a pile of graded papers or list of grades outside our office doors.

Hybrid courses, especially, raise different FERPA-related privacy concerns. If, for example, you are teaching a residential with touch points hybrid course, your students will never be in one room together; they will likely be simultaneously in the classroom and logging in via video link. Some students may need to review course materials asynchronously for health reasons as well.

So, is it appropriate to record an in-person lecture, and post it on the class Canvas site? Is it appropriate to save those videos and use them in future sections of the course? What if you record a BlueJeans session, and viewers can see students’ names in the chat window?

The Georgia Tech legal team, in coordination with the Registrar’s Office, has developed guidelines for recording lectures and language that you can use in your course materials on this subject, including language to use to request permission from students to use the videos elsewhere. See the details on the Academic Restart FAQ page.

Bottom line? Posting videos in your course LMS is fine. If you want to use the videos in other contexts, plan ahead, and follow ethical guidelines of informed consent. If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

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