A flurry of national stories has highlighted the topic of recording classroom discussions. Earlier this year at Orange Coast College a student was suspended for recording his professor’s views about President Trump and then publishing them. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference a workshop encouraged students to do that exact thing. Have you had a student record you? Without your knowledge? How would you know?
These are all complicated questions, so I did some reading and research.
- FindLaw has an excellent article on the legal dynamics at work in these situations. California is a “two-party consent” state when it comes to recording. While this is typically in reference to wiretaps, they argue the same principles apply in the classroom.
- Student Judicial Affairs provided some guidance: “Unlike other campuses we do not have a campus policy on classroom recording except: 1) Title 5 governing student conduct does state, in part, the “Grounds for Student Discipline include “unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for commercial purpose.” 2) ARC has a specific policy on “Audio Recording Lectures” which states that students are eligible for audio-recording accommodations if their disability impairs access to classroom lectures. (see ARC for the process for requests).”
My strong recommendation is that if this if you are concerned about this you should create an explicit policy for the syllabus. Students often have legitimate reasons for wanting to record class, and their peers may have good reasons for not wanting a discussion recorded. Having a policy requiring consultation prior to recording is consistent with the law and gives you an opportunity to consider the interests of all your students.
Finally, a few reminders.
Join us for an open forum on Community Based Scholarship hosted by Faculty Development and Civic Engagement. Selvester’s 100 3/10 1-3pm.
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We held a popular workshop on Dossier Prep for Lecturers earlier this semester. Find the video archive and handouts here.
Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.
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