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Policy on Recording Classes

Instructors may choose to record class sessions. The following policy provide information on how to do so in a way that is consistent with University policies. Students are prohibited from recording class sessions and are also prohibited from the distribution of class recordings.

Recording of Class Sessions by Instructors

  • Recording synchronous online or in-person class sessions is appropriate, as recording allows students to review content after class, and provides an opportunity for students who are unable to attend class due to illness or emergency to view the course. Guidelines for recording can be found on Canvas.
  • When instructors choose to record a class session, they should communicate this to the students both in writing through the course syllabus and verbally
  • Recording of classes that include student discussion should be given special consideration:
    • Instructors may choose to turn off the recording at certain points of the class in order to protect student privacy and eliminate the possibility that recording might stifle discussion, particularly if sensitive content is included in the discussion.
  • Instructors should make recordings inaccessible to students six months after they are recorded. Please see Guidelines for Recording for information on this feature in Panopto.
  • Should you plan to reuse portions of your recorded class sessions beyond the current term please follow the guidelines for video reuse under "Development" on the Digital Learning Instructor Resources page.
  • Instructors must edit out any portions of recordings that are saved beyond the current term that contain images, questions, or commentary/discussion by students.  

Instructors Who Plan to Record Portions of their Class should include the following statement on their syllabus: 

This class or portions of this class will be recorded by the instructor for educational purposes.  Your instructor will communicate how members of the class can access the recordings. Portions of the course that contain images, questions, or commentary/discussion by students will be edited out of any recordings that are saved beyond the current term.  

Recording of Academic Events by Students

Unauthorized student recording is prohibited. Faculty and other University officials should not grant individual requests for students to record class sessions or other academic events. Students requesting the use of assistive technology as an accommodation should direct such requests to AccessibleNU.

We ask that all instructors include the following statement on their Syllabi:

Unauthorized student recording of classroom or other academic activities (including advising sessions or office hours) is prohibited. Unauthorized recording is unethical and may also be a violation of University policy and state law. Students requesting the use of assistive technology as an accommodation should contact   AccessibleNU. Unauthorized use of classroom recordings – including distributing or posting them – is also prohibited.  Under the University’s Copyright Policy, faculty own the copyright to instructional materials – including those resources created specifically for the purposes of instruction, such as syllabi, lectures and lecture notes, and presentations. Students cannot copy, reproduce, display, or distribute these materials. Students who engage in unauthorized recording, unauthorized use of a recording, or unauthorized distribution of instructional materials will be referred to the appropriate University office for follow-up.

Responsible Office: Office of the Provost

Who Needs to Know This Policy: Northwestern Students


If you have any questions on this Policy, please contact

Dated: December 1, 2021