Creating FERPA Compliant Recordings

September 3, 2020

Recordings of synchronous course activities in which students can be identified are educational records and fall under FERPA regulation. The requirements to create FERPA compliant recordings differ depending on if you do or do not plan to use the recording outside of the course and term in which it was recorded. 

“I do not plan to use the recordings in future terms."

If you are using the recorded material for the current course and term in which you recorded it there is no real concern, as long as you follow these guidelines:

  1. Add syllabus language notifying students about the plan for recording synchronous sessions, including how long the recordings will be retained. 
  2. Verbally remind students at the beginning of every recording that the session will be recorded and to ensure not to disclose any personally identifiable information.
  3. If students disclose information that should not be recorded, pause the recording or go back and edit the recording before posting.

“I do plan to use the recordings in future terms."

If you create course recordings with student faces or full names, you cannot use these in any other terms. If you think you may use the recorded material for other terms or purposes, follow these guidelines to make sure you comply with FERPA regulation.

  1. Record audio and video only of the instructor. This greatly minimizes the possibility of identifying class participants.
  2. Do not identify or refer to students by full name or by other means that allow identification during the recording. Video recordings where students are identifiable may not be used beyond this semester.
  3. Have students ask questions without identifying themselves. For example, they can pose the question in chat and you can read it and respond.

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