Class Recording Policy

Class Recording Policy

I. Applicability

This policy governs class recordings made for student use, however accomplished, in all cases except when the recording is of student performances such as mock depositions, mock oral arguments, or mock trials. This policy does not govern recordings of events other than classes, nor does it govern recordings made for an instructor’s own pedagogical or scholarly use when such recordings are not to be made available to students. Student access to class recordings is a privilege, not a right, and neither GW Law nor its agents or employees shall be responsible if a class recording is not available or is of inferior quality.

Intentional student misuse of recordings, intentional failure to disclose a prior denial of a recording request, or intentional misrepresentation in the course of requesting a recording shall be considered a violation of the institution’s Academic Integrity Policy and the matter shall be referred to the Committee on Academic Integrity. If necessary, the Committee on Academic Integrity shall amend the Academic Integrity Policy to reflect that such conduct would fall within its prohibitions.

II. General Provisions

A. Purpose of recordings: All recordings made for student use are intended to allow for review of classroom presentations and discussions by students who were absent from the relevant class or receive recordings as part of an accommodation. Any other use, whether by students or others, is strictly prohibited without the prior, express permission of the relevant instructor.

B. Notice to student speakers: Students should assume that any class in which they are participants may be recorded. If they are uncertain and need clarification, they should consult the instructor in that class. It is good practice for instructors to remind students, in their syllabi or otherwise, that classes may be recorded.

C. Length of Posting on Web Portal/Use of Recordings Required: Unless an instructor designates a different time period, recordings will remain on the web portal until the end of the semester. Students who anticipate needing recordings beyond the end of the semester should be in touch with the Office of the Dean of Students at the earliest possible time.

D. Who May Use Recordings: Only the student on whose behalf a request for recording for a pre-approved reason was made (pre-approved reasons for recording are set forth at III(A)), will be granted access to that recording, except that the Office of the Dean of Students has authority to authorize others to view an existing recording for any pre-approved reason listed in the Class Recording Policy, subject to individual instructors’ restrictions upon recording.

E. How and Where Student Requests for Recordings Should Be Made:

1. Pre-approved reasons: Students requesting recording for a pre-approved reason (set forth in III(A)) should make such requests to the Office of the Dean of Students, not to instructors, by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students by phone or email. Prior to approving student access to a recording, the Office of the Dean of Students will verify that the student’s situation satisfies one of the pre-approved reasons, normally by requiring adequate documentation from the student to support the request. A student may request a recording on behalf of another student, with the express permission of the student who needs the recording.

2. Other reasons: Student requests for recordings for reasons that are not pre-approved should be made directly to the relevant instructor. The Dean of the Law School, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and/or the Office of the Dean of Students may arrange for class recordings, subject to individual instructors’ restrictions upon recording, in the event of an extraordinary emergency that would warrant the recording of classes for a significant number of students.

3. Timing of requests: All requests for class recordings should be submitted at least one business day before the class or classes to be recorded, except in cases of emergencies. This requirement may be waived by the Office of Instructional Technology or the Office of the Dean of Students. The Office of Instructional Technology and the Office of the Dean of Students may establish forms and additional procedures as needed to administer requests for recording of classes. Even recording requests made one business day in advance cannot be guaranteed by either the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Instructional Technology.

III.    "Pre-Approved" Reasons for Recording of Classes for Student Use

A. Pre-approved Reasons: Subject to individual instructors’ restrictions upon recording, the faculty hereby authorize the Office of the Dean of Students to record classes for individual qualifying students, in the following limited situations (“pre-approved reasons”):

1. Death in the family or family emergency. The term “family” is to be interpreted to include close family members and others with a close, family-like relationship to the student.

2. Observance of religious holidays (as determined annually and published by the George Washington University) including reasonable travel as may be necessary.

3. Class conflicts caused by makeup classes necessitated by the instructor’s absence, or cancellation of classes due to inclement weather or other emergency.

4. Jury duty or other required court appearance.

5. Military obligations.

6. When recording is determined by the Office of the Dean of Students to be an advisable means of accommodating a student’s ongoing medical condition or disability.

7. Any medical emergency, illness or medical issue that would prevent the student from attending class, as long as the student can provide medical documentation specifying the nature of the issue and the necessity of their absence.

When the Office of the Dean of Students verifies that a student’s request satisfies a pre-approved reason, the Office of the Dean of Students has discretion to determine the number of class hours that should be recorded. Verification will normally occur through provision of adequate documentation. Students may only receive recording of up to 20% of the total number of hours of instruction per class each semester, unless the Office of the Dean of Students finds additional recordings are warranted due to an ongoing medical condition, disability, or other exceptional circumstances.

B. Notice to Instructors: Whenever the Office of the Dean of Students approves a student recording request for a pre-approved reason, it shall give the relevant instructor(s) notice by email prior to the class being recorded. The Office of the Dean of Students shall normally inform the instructor(s) of the names of the students requesting class recordings and the reasons for recording, but may withhold this information if there is good cause to do so.   When multiple student requests are made for the same class for the same or substantially similar reasons, such as in cases of religious holidays, the Office of the Dean of Students will not communicate a comprehensive list of all students making that request. The Office of the Dean of Students does not excuse students from class attendance or keep track of student absences.

C. Individual Instructor Policies Regarding Pre-Approved Recordings: The Office of the Dean of Students shall request that each instructor submit a faculty designation of class recording policy, including whether an instructor permits recording, and whether permission of the instructor is required before releasing a recording to a student. Instructors who do not respond to such a request will be presumed to have consented to Option #1: “As long as I am informed of the need for a recording, my classes may be recorded and released with no prior consent for the pre-approved reasons outlined above. I reserve the right to deny recordings or access to recordings.”

IV.    Instructor Requests for Office of Instructional Technology Recording of Classes for Student Use

A. Office of Instructional Technology Recordings for Permissible Purposes: Student requests that a class be recorded for a reason not considered pre-approved under Section III (A) should be made directly to the instructor teaching the course.

B. Non-Office of Instructional Technology Recordings

(Private Recordings by Students):

1. When Allowed: An instructor may authorize a student to privately record a class (i.e., other than by the Office of Instructional Technology) when the student must miss class for a reason deemed valid by that instructor. Neither the Office of Instructional Technology nor the Library shall be involved in such recording, its storage, or archiving.

2. Express Permission to Privately Record Required: Unless an instructor expressly authorizes recording of his or her classes, students should presume that private recording of that instructor’s class is not permitted. Instructors are encouraged to address policies relating to private recordings of classes in their syllabi by directly referencing this policy and/or by providing additional specific guidelines.

3. Governing Assumptions: Unless the relevant instructor expressly states otherwise, when allowed to make a private recording of a class the student authorized should assume (a) that it is to be an audio recording; (b) that a single recording is to be made and that it is not to be duplicated, transferred or shared with others; (c) that the storage media bearing the recording is to be erased or destroyed by the end of the semester; and (d) that the use of the recording is to be limited to the student for whom the class was recorded and the semester in which the class was taught.