Recording Remote Classes
As is the case with many colleges and universities that have chosen online and distance learning modalities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty utilizing Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate and other digital technology to deliver course curriculum/material must be sensitive to issues of privacy. To that end, faculty offering classes through web conferencing digital technology like Zoom must not record a student in a class session without the student’s consent. Similarly, consistent with CUNY policy, students may not record the class sessions unless such recording is part of a reasonable accommodation under law. To obtain consent, faculty who wish to record their class sessions must provide the following announcement, in emails, and/or class syllabus, to enrolled students and verbally at the opening of the first class session:
Students who participate in this class with their camera on or use a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded solely for the purpose of creating a record for students enrolled in the class to refer to, including those enrolled students who are unable to attend live. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the “chat” feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.
As mentioned in the announcement, recording of classes is for the benefit of students. Faculty shall not use class recordings as a means of determining class attendance, and are reminded that CUNY is classified by the U.S. Department of Education as a non-attendance taking institution. Doubts faculty may have regarding the identity of participants should be alleviated if faculty offer their classes through applications and resources that have been licensed by CUNY Central or their college and require a CUNY/College ID for login, thereby giving reasonable assurance that participants are CUNY students.
For the avoidance of doubt, the prohibition on recording without consent does not apply to audio or video lectures of the faculty member only and that do not include a student participation component.