Temporary Class Recording Policy

Page Updated:  October 26, 2020

  1. Scope: The Policy applies to all courses in which students participate partially or wholly online or remotely, including HyFlex and Hybrid courses.
  2. Policy Statement: The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the recording of online courses, as one method to insure access for all students enrolled in online, remote, hybrid and HyFlex courses. Specifically, the University recognizes that we have many students taking these classes in the 2020-2021 academic year who are living in places with time differences that make it difficult for them to attend a synchronous class. Recordings may be necessary because some of our students need to be able to complete their courses in an asynchronous manner.
  3. Definitions of Learning Environments: In the 2020-2021 academic year, courses will be delivered in many different learning environments, including Face to Face, HyFlex, Hybrid, and fully Online. These learning environments are described on the CTSE website. The learning environment may be synchronous, meaning the instructor and the students interact together in real time; asynchronous, meaning the instructor and the students do not interact together in real time; or the learning environment may include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Likewise, a class that is synchronous for some students may be adapted (by recording or other means) to accommodate the needs of students who cannot participate in a synchronous fashion.
  4. Policy: If an online, remote, Hybrid or HyFlex course includes students for whom regular synchronous class attendance would require them to be present online earlier than 7 AM or later than 10 PM (student’s local time), the instructor should provide those students with an asynchronous option for instruction. Faculty should ask students to contact them at the beginning of the semester if this situation applies to them. Recording the class and posting it to a platform such as Blackboard, for the use of students who require an asynchronous option, is a practical choice for the faculty member. However, there are other options that may be viable, as long as the needs of these students are served. Note that Suffolk provides class recordings as a service to students who demonstrate a need to access the class in an asynchronous format, and as such the recordings are not to be used for any other purpose by students, faculty, supervisors or administrators. Recordings of online, remote, hybrid and HyFlex classes are the intellectual property of the instructor. Generally, students are prohibited from making their own recording of lectures and classes, unless the recording is an approved disability accommodation in accordance with University policy. In addition, recordings of classroom activity, discussions or lectures may not be shared in any medium with any other person or sold without permission of the instructor. Violations will be subject to the community standards and relevant code of conduct for students.

General Guidelines

Class management

  • The instructor, an assigned teaching apprentice, and the student Faculty Technology Facilitator are the only ones authorized to initiate a recording of a class. Suffolk has set its Zoom settings University-wide to default to a host-only recording session. Students are not authorized to record a class, unless pursuant to a documented academic accommodation as described above.
  • The instructor may automatically record all classes and make the recordings available to all students using the integration with Zoom that is built into Blackboard.
  • The instructor may also restrict access to class recordings to those students who have contacted the instructor about the need for asynchronous instruction. Please follow the provided directions.
  • For Spring 2021: Faculty teaching sections designated On Campus Only or Hybrid must record each class meeting.  The recording should then be made available in the event a student has missed class because of illness or the need to quarantine. Alhough these classes are recorded, faculty should continue to enforce their attendance policies for in-person attendance, including requiring students to document absences of a week or more through Student Affairs. Faculty should use the recording equipment in the classroom to record the on-campus session, see: Instructions for classroom recording (lecture capture).


  • All syllabi should include the following statement: “Students are prohibited from making their own recording of lectures and classes, unless the recording is an approved disability accommodation in accordance with University policy.”
  • Syllabi of all online, remote, hybrid and HyFlex courses must clearly explain whether each class will be conducted synchronously with recording to support students with access issues, or whether they will be conducted asynchronously, with recording forming the basis of instruction. This information can either be noted in the daily schedule or described in a course-specific policy on "Synchronous / Asynchronous Class Meetings". Syllabi should also indicate that a change in teaching mode is possible due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Syllabi for online, remote, hybrid and HyFlex courses must include information about the instructor’s recording policies. Sample statements that may be useful under recording policies include:
    1. “Class sessions may be recorded and posted to Blackboard to accommodate the needs of students in distant time zones. Recordings will only be made available to those students [if that is the faculty member’s preference]. Owing to the potential for technical difficulties, however, there can be no guarantee that all classes will successfully be recorded.”
    2. “For discussions of sensitive topics, the instructor may pause the recording in order to promote free and open discussion. Students also have the option of turning off their webcam when the class is being recorded but should discuss this option with their instructor.”

Student Privacy

  • The statement of recording policies in the syllabus serves to notify the students that the class may be recorded. Zoom also notifies all participants that recording is in use when the session is being recorded.
  • Students who do not want to be visually identifiable in the recording may turn off their webcam.
  • The Department of Education requires students to active participate in an online class, in order to certify attendance. Merely logging into an online class is not sufficient. Students may need to be reminded of this fact. Conducting Zoom polls in class, or calling on students by name are ways that you can check that a student is attending, even if the student’s camera is off.
  • Because the recordings will be hosted through the specific Blackboard or other LMS site for the course, only the the instructor, the teaching apprentice or facilitator and those students granted access by the instructor will have access to the recordings.

Recording retention

Class recordings will be retained until the eve of the first day of the semester following the semester in which the recorded class is taught unless the instructor makes arrangements to retain the recordings for a longer period. If the instructor retains the recording past the beginning of the next semester, the instructor will not make the recording available to third parties without securing the students’ permission, or editing the recording to remove individual students’ contributions.

Effective Date(s): September 1, 2020

Frequency of review and update:
Annual review prior to the beginning of each academic year

Signature, title, and date of approval:
Julie H. Sandell
Provost, 8-17-2020