Learn about online and digital education (ODE) policies, procedures, and guidelines on classroom visitation, accessibility, copyright, forms, and more.
This has been approved by the ODE Advisory Committee and will proceed to Academic Senate for approval in Spring 2021. This version has been posted with permission of the Academic Senate President.
(Based on the California Community Colleges Office of General Council Legal Opinion: 2020-12: Online Class Cameras-On Requirements)
"While there is no express prohibition against faculty requiring students to attend live online synchronous classes with their cameras on, an indiscriminate cameras-on requirement risks violation of student privacy rights under the California Constitution, and potentially implicates other federal and state privacy and civil rights laws."
Based on the guidance provided by the CCC Chancellor's Office, Office of General Council, the following are recommended for synchronous class meetings:
Additional information about photos, video, audio recording under FERPA can be found in the US Department of Education FAQs on Photos and Videos under FERPA.
While this document refers to Zoom, the guidance can be applied to any synchronous video platform, such as Microsoft Teams or WebEx.
If you have questions about how FERPA relates to your specific situation at El Camino College, you can reach out to Dr. Moses Wolfenstein, Distance Education Faculty Coordinator or Lillian Justice, Registrar.
The below FAQs are adapted from Guidance for Recording Class Sessions with TechConnect (Confer) Zoom by Michelle Pacansky-Brock and CVC-OEI, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0, and from Guidance for Synchronous Classes at College of the Canyons.
If you plan to record your synchronous course for use in another section or later term you will need to get written permission from all students in that sections. Here is a sample: Permision to Record.
No, you do not need to record Zoom class sessions.
If a recording includes only the instructor, it is not a student record and FERPA does not limit its use. If the recording includes students asking questions, making presentations or leading a class, and it is possible to identify the student, then the portions containing recordings of the student do constitute protected educational records. Educational records can only be used as permitted by FERPA or in a manner allowed by a written consent from the student.
Before you schedule your meetings:
When your meeting starts, keep your Zoom view set to Speaker View (as opposed to Gallery View). This ensures that only the person who is speaking appears on the screen, as opposed to recording a grid view of all attendees with webcams enabled.
When you schedule your meeting, you are advised to set Participant Video to Off to allow students to opt into sharing their video.
You should share a screen capture or recording of a student only with that student's consent in order to comply with FERPA. Students should not record you without your permission. Likewise, we encourage you to model informed consent with your students by asking them if and when you can record. In short, we discourage you from making or sharing screenshots of students.
For more on the potential negative impacts of cameras in class, and ideas for alternative ways to engage students, see: Karen Costa, "Cameras Be Damned."
No. Instructors should tell students that they should not share the link to any class sessions, or take screen captures of Zoom sessions. Students that violate this request may be subject to the student code of conduct for disrupting class, especially if you include this in your syllabus. It's more likely that students will respect your instructions in this regard if you model informed consent before recording them or forcing them to turn on their cameras.
Under FERPA, this situation should be treated as if the recordings were being shown to a third-party audience, which requires FERPA compliance through use of consents from identifiable students or by editing out those students from the video.
Possibly. There are a couple of ways to use recordings that show students participating.
Overall, plan your live Zoom session as carefully as you plan your face-to-face classes.
The course outline of record for some courses requires students to perform certain activities or demonstrate skills in order to meet course objectives. In these cases, instructors should strive to disclose to students what will be required before the start of class. This might occur via the instructor orientation letter, printed comments in the schedule of classes, and/or a department or instructor website.
As suggested above, plan your class session so that you are recording only the parts of class that show you or your instructional material. Also, note that not all live class sessions, e.g., via ConferZoom, need to be captioned. The state Chancellor's Office clarified responsibilities for meeting the needs of students with disabilities in Memorandum ES 20-16. Live class sessions need to be captioned when a student is present who has an Academic Accommodation Plan developed with SRC that identifies captions as an accommodation. Even if there's no student with disabilities, all pre-recorded videos do need to be captioned, in order to make them accessible to all students (aka Section 508 compliance). For questions about accommodations, contact the Special Resource Center (SRC).
Please contact Dr. Moses Wolfenstein, Distance Education Faculty Coordinator.