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Privacy considerations for online teaching

Recording live lectures or class activities

All web conferencing tools have a recording tool.   Instructors may choose to record  activities such as lectures, tutorials, or labs. It's advised to consider asynchronous or pre-recorded lectures  or lab demonstrations that can be viewed by students at any time.   

Recordings that occur while students take part in live-streamed (synchronous) course activities, should only be undertaken with careful consideration.   Recording online classes or activities may put students in the position of having their information recorded in a number of ways, either with their direct participation (e.g. video, audio, chat) or through indirect means (i.e. online identifier, such as name or telephone number).  Before recording a class activity, instructors should consider the following:

Need for recording:

  • Instructors should confirm that recording is necessary for the course in that student evaluation cannot feasibly occur in the absence of recording (e.g., grading is based on class participation within the full class or break-out groups, and/or oral examinations and/or another requirement to evaluate student performance in real-time).
  • Convenience is often cited as a reason to record a session.  Consider instead posting lecture notes, or pre-record lectures. 

Notice of recording: 

  • If a course includes recording, instructors should display a Notice of Recording within a D2L course site.  At the beginning of the course, instructors should also describe when and under what circumstances a recording might occur (e.g. on the course site or as part of course introduction lecture)   
  • Be clear with students which specific activities are being recorded and the purpose of the recording  
  • Students should receive as much advanced notice of recording as possible
  • Consider your students and their circumstance. Students who do not wish to be recorded, those in a significantly different time zone, those who do not have the technological means to participate, or those who would be disadvantaged in any way by video/audio recording, should be offered an alternative method of evaluation without penalty. 

When recording, ensure that: 

  • You are familiar with the platform being used, including guidance on how to enable security and privacy safeguards. 
  •  Your work area is “clean” so that nothing personal, private, or copyrighted (e.g., pictures, artwork, etc.) is visible and subject to inadvertent recording;  
  • Your conduct is always appropriate.  For example, communication should focus on course content, and individuals should refrain from divulging personal information about themselves or others.

Some activities should never be recorded, for example meetings with students. If you are using Collaborate or Teams outside of course delivery for virtual office hours recording should not be used.  A general rule of thumb in this context is to only to record what you would have in person.   If you are using these tools for departmental meetings or meetings with colleagues, use the record feature with the same care.  

Notice of recording

The follow text may be used as template to post on D2L to notify students of recording using Collaborate:  

Some activities for this course involve recording, in partial fulfillment of the course learning outcomes.  You will receive notification of  recording on this course's D2L site prior to the commencement of the recording.  Recordings will be managed according to the college's Protection of Privacy Policy and will be securely destroyed when no longer needed   Your personal information is protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as well as by college policies and may be subject to disclosure where required by law.

By engaging in course activities that involve recording, you are consenting to the use of your appearance, image, text/chat messaging, and voice.  All chat that occurs during a session will be included in any recording.  If you choose not to be recorded,  contact your instructor immediately to discuss an alternative activity.

You are not permitted to disclose the link to/URL of an event or an event session recording or copies of recording to anyone, for any reason. Recordings are available only to authorized individuals who have been directly provided the above instructions/link for their use. Recordings for personal use, required to facilitate your learning and preparation of personal course/lecture notes, should not be shared with others without the permission of the instructor.

Storage and disposal of recorded content

Recordings of Collaborate session are accessible for 2 years from the D2L course site.  After two years, the college has an established procedure to automatically delete any recordings. 

A best practice is to manage these recordings yourself.  At the end of your course, review the recordings and delete any recordings that no longer serve a purpose.  

If you have made a recording of a lecture or demonstration you would like to reuse, you can download it from Collaborate and then make it available to your course sites through Kaltura.   The chat transcript is automatically stripped in this process and you have the option to edit the recording so only the necessary content remains.    If you choose this option, you must make sure no student personal information is retained (images, names etc.)   If anyone other than yourself appears in the video, you must ask their  permission to create this more permanent learning object. (see guest lecturer consent form). 

Pre-recording content

Pre-recorded lectures or other content may be used in a course.  Examples of this use of video include

  • academic activities such as lectures, tutorials, or labs that can be viewed by students at any time
  • student assignments
  • guest lectures 

Best Practices:

  • Many instructors are requiring students to create a recording (with Kaltura or Collaborate)  as a means for students to complete individual and collaborative assignments. These videos can be shared through discussion forums, assignment dropboxes, and course media galleries.  If asking students to share videos of themselves in discussion forums or course media galleries, ensure you have explicit guidelines with your class around privacy (i.e. no screen capturing; recommend download video settings are turned off).
  • Instructors should ensure when they record themselves, that they ensure none of their personal information is inadvertently shared
  • Take care not to share personal information of others (names, addresses etc) during the recording of a lecture.  Consider using an alias when making references to individuals 
  • Remind guest lecturers of importance of privacy and ask them to complete the Guest Lecturer Consent form. 


Jul 30, 2020

Academic integrity: recording of exams

Maintaining the academic integrity of online exams and tests can be challenging in an online environment.   

The D2L platform provides several tools that will assist in the integrity of an exams.(e.g.  time limits, specific releases, questions banks etc).  Respondus Lockdown Browser is integrated within D2L and can be turned on by the instructor for any course.  This limits the students ability to cut and paste, print and search while in an exam session.   Respondus LockDown Browser cannot be used for accommodated exams as it will interfere with the assistive technology that students use.  

Instructors are encouraged to explore different approaches to assessment such as open-book exams.  An extensive guide on assessment strategies is available to help instructors consider different approaches. 

In some high-stakes exams, where the exam has some connection or obligation to a professional or industry body, additional proctoring software may be considered.  There are a number of products that attempt to replace in-person invigilation to deter any cheating or misconduct.  Proctorio is used in a limited way at Camosun, within the School of Business, accounting program. 

There are significant privacy issues related to the use of Proctorio. The use of the tool requires the use of a camera and confirmation of identity.  The software requires additional effort on the part of the instructor and can present technical challenges to students.   The college completed a privacy impact assessment and determined the application of Proctorio was in compliance in this limited context. 

Any questions about the use of proctoring software should first be directed to a Dean.  Should there be a clearly identified need, the Dean will discuss the use of Proctorio with the Director, Learning Services