Lecture Capture Policy


This policy aims to facilitate the practical and responsible recording of lectures and to provide guidance on the rights and responsibilities of the University, its staff and its students, external visiting speakers and any other participants in recorded teaching. The policy was first published in 2020 and updated in 2023, drawing on recent references, including a paper by Ibrahim et al (2021) surveying the lecture-capture policies of British universities [13], and a policy note published in December 2022 by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) [14].

1. Introduction

1.1 The benefits of lecture capture 

Queen Margaret University (QMU) is committed to providing students with a valuable and supportive learning experience. Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is already provided through the main institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Blackboard and Canvas.  

Lecture capture further enhances the capabilities of the existing VLE by giving lecturers the capacity to record, edit and enrich their content and release it to students via the relevant module sites.  

In 2018, 75% of UK universities reported using lecture recording in some form [1]. COVID-19 has undoubtedly accelerated what was already an upward trend of lecture recording use across the sector. In June 2020, the Students’ Union (QMUSU) published the results to their student experience survey which highlighted the positive engagement students had with recorded lectures during the initial stages of the lockdown. This was emphasised by the corresponding data which showed that 63.7% of students want recorded lecture content provision to continue after pandemic restrictions are lifted [2]. 

Lecture capture is normally a supplementary resource which is used to support learning and not as a substitute to replace live lectures. Research shows that lecture capture viewing fails to compensate for the impact that low attendance has on attainment [3] Soong et al. (2006) also found that access to recorded lectures did not diminish students’ preference for face-to-face lectures [4]. 

There are several benefits of lecture capture for students: 

  1. Access to recorded lectures can lead to more positive results and learning behaviours [5] 
  2. Students will have more flexibility and control over their learning and gain the capacity to watch recorded lectures at a wider range of times, locations, and speeds [6]
  3. Students can use the recordings as a tool for revision ahead of exams and other assessments [7]
  4. It offers an alternative platform for students who are anxious about learning in live lectures [8].
  5. Recorded lectures provide additional support to students who are non-native speakers of English [9]  
  6. Lecture recording can assist with distance learning and help provide more parity in learning experiences [10]       
  7. It allows students to view specific sections of recordings to reinforce their understanding of complex theories and concepts [11] 

Lecture capture can also benefit staff:  

  1. Lecture capture can be used for self-reflection and evaluation, helping the lecturer to adapt pedagogy and/or improve communication skills [12] 
  2. Lecture capture software offers a useful set of tools to enable the lecturer to produce more engaging and dynamic digital resources. 

2 Policy

2.1 General Principles: 

2.1.1 Lecture capture is adopted to enhance the student experience and this principle should guide all others related to the technology and the way it is used. For the purposes of this policy "Lecture" refers to any teaching event (or substantial part of a teaching event) in which the focus is primarily on spoken content delivered by a lecturer to a group of students, either online or on-campus. Excluded from this definition are discussion sessions and other forms of teaching that are primarily interactive.  "Capture" refers to the audio recording of the spoken material and normally the slides that accompany the lecture.  "Lecturer" refers to any University staff member involved in teaching (including visiting lecturers, postgraduate students, and associate or honorary lecturers). Presentations by students as part of their participation in the class are excluded from this policy.

2.1.2 The University recommends that staff capture lectures as good practice.

2.1.3 The University will not use recordings to assess staff performance or to instigate disciplinary hearings or complaints. However, they may be used (with the permission of the lecturer) as evidence in such hearings. Management may also access recorded lectures where this is permitted in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act (e.g. for law enforcement purposes). 

2.1.4  The University will provide users with appropriate training and guidance in using the technology.

2.1.5  If a member of staff has a disability which impacts on their use of the lecture capture technology, they are asked to discuss any reasonable adjustments with their line manager in the first instance. 

2.1.6  Lecture capture will not be used to replace multiple teaching of large cohorts, or as a substitute for the availability of academic staff due to, e.g. industrial action. 

2.2  Under normal operating conditions: 

2.2.1 The lecture capture policy adopts an opt-in approach for staff. This means that staff have the choice to have their classes recorded or not. Staff who choose to record their class will be required to initiate the recording process.  

2.2.2 Control over access and use of recorded teaching material rests with the member of staff (refer to section 4 on performance rights).

2.2.3 As a minimum, audio is captured, recording video and slides is optional.  

5.0 Recorded content is available to students for the duration of the programme. Recordings may be replaced or updated at the discretion of the lecturer.  This ensures a student has access to the recording or updated recording, if re- sitting the module. It also enables staff who have recorded their lectures to access, use or repurpose their recordings in the subsequent academic session. 

6.0 Recordings will be stored on QMU systems/servers for as long as QMU IT Staff deem appropriate and in line with Data Retention Policies.  IT support staff will oversee this. Refer to QMU Data Protection Policy for QMU institutional guidelines on data retention and protection.

7.0 Where lecture capture is implemented, students are clearly informed of the risks to their academic attainment of an over-reliance on the service as a substitute for lecture attendance.  

2.3  Under extraordinary operating conditions: 

If the Business Continuity Group (or equivalent) declares that extraordinary conditions exist, then these principles may be adapted to allow for appropriate adjustments to be made that ensure teaching provisions are met. Any adjustments made should be appropriate and proportionate to the prevailing conditions (e.g. the choice to opt-in may be removed if face to face on campus delivery of lecture materials is not possible) to ensure that teaching can take place:

2.3.1 The opt-in approach may be temporarily removed in circumstances whereby it might impede the delivery of teaching e.g. where online teaching is the only option available. 

2.3.2 The range of events that are categorised as being appropriate for lecture capture may be broadened if the prevailing circumstances demand it.

2.3.3 Guidance on what may be recorded (video/audio/screen) may be adapted where appropriate. 

2.3.4 Content may be held for longer than two academic years, if the prevailing circumstances demand it.  An important purpose of that retention is to enable staff who have recorded their lectures to access, use or repurpose their recordings in subsequent academic sessions.

2.3.5 Advice to students on the proper use of the service should be appropriate to the prevailing circumstances.  

2.3.6 Any aspects of the policy that have been adapted due to extraordinary operating conditions are time limited; the Business Continuity Group (or equivalent) must agree and announce an expiry date for any adapted policy articles.

3.0 Opt-in approach

3.1 Under normal operating conditions:

3.1.1 QMU aims to adopt a philosophy of volunteerism in its approach to lecture capture and recognises that not all teaching staff will wish to use the technology (See Appendix 1 for full justification for the volunteerism approach). 

3.1.2 The decision to record teaching material and make it available to students will rest with the individual member of staff. The opt-in policy acknowledges the fundamental importance of staff autonomy and professional judgement in relation to decisions around learning, teaching and assessment, including decisions around lecture capture.

3.1.3 The decision to opt-in or otherwise should have no detriment to the member of staff from the student body or from management. This is a professional choice and should be respected.    

3.1.4 Decisions made by individual staff concerning lecture capture should be clearly communicated to all students on the module and this should take place as early as possible.  

3.1.5 Normally, staff should aim to upload recordings within seven days of the timetabled event taking place.

3.1.6 Staff may edit recordings as they wish, but it is not expected that recordings be edited before uploading. The exception to this is if data contravenes General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or includes sensitive information. 

3.2 Under extraordinary operating conditions: 

3.2.1 As set out in section 2.3 the opt-in approach may be adapted under extraordinary operating conditions. Where this is the case, the policy on opt-in will be guided by the Business Continuity Group (or equivalent) and a temporary set of policies will be adopted that are appropriate for the prevailing conditions.  

3.2.2 In such situations, it is the responsibility of the Business Continuity Group (or equivalent) to communicate to the relevant parties the nature of the changes in policy, the reasons for the changes in policy, and the expected expiry date of the amended policy items.  

4.0 Intellectual property, copyright, performer’s rights and retention period 

4.1 In the absence of agreement to the contrary, the University owns the intellectual property in all the teaching materials that staff generate or create whilst working for or at QMU.  

4.2 Performance rights reside with the performer(s), who agree to the recording of the lecture and approve that it is used for teaching purposes as detailed in this policy. The performer(s) may access the recording beyond the retention period. Performers control access to the recording for the entirety of the recording’s existence. Where a member of staff leaves the University, their lecture recordings will normally remain available to students for the remainder of the academic year and can be made available on request beyond this period for students with re-sits.

4.3 The University will not use recordings for marketing or other commercial purposes without the consent of the relevant staff member(s). 

4.4 Recordings will be available to students for two academic years, and archived for the lifetime of the module on the system.

4.5 Staff members can include material in the recording which is the intellectual property, including copyright, of another party, only if they have permission to do so, unless fair dealing applies for the purpose of:  

  • Illustration for instruction  
  • Criticism, review, or quotation  
  • Caricature parody or pastiche or  
  • Copying carried out in order to make an accessible copy 

For further details refer to the Library website.  

4.6 Data protection law will apply to identifiable individuals (students and staff members).  Any processing of personal data must be done in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR.

4.7 QMU staff are not required to provide consent as recording lectures is deemed to be in the legitimate interests of the educational objectives of the University.

4.8 Consent must be obtained of visiting speakers and other non-QMU staff, including students, where their work is included in the recordings using the lecture capture consent form available from the University’s website

4.9 Data will be stored on cloud services approved by QMU’s technical staff to be sufficient in terms of storage and GDPR compliance. 

4.10 If an aspect of the recording is found to be in breach of the University’s codes of conduct, this should be raised with the lecturer in the first instance, and if not resolved, then the Head of Division. 

5.0 Guidance for students

5.1 Use of recordings 

5.1.1 During matriculation, students declare that they will not misuse, share externally, or edit recordings; recordings are to be used as an educational aid to study only. Any breach will be subject to disciplinary action as detailed in the Student Discipline Policy.  

5.1.2 Digital recordings will only be available to current, registered students of QMU unless otherwise agreed by the lecturer(s).  

5.1.3 Lecturers should ensure that students are aware that a session is being recorded. This can be done verbally at the start of a lecture, by announcing on a presentation slide, or by posting in the module area. The lecturer has the right to apply discretion and pause or subsequently edit a recording, for example if sensitive material is being taught or if the recording is considered to be interfering with interactive teaching. 

5.1.4 Recordings made by or downloaded by students, should be deleted once the relevant module has been completed, or they cease to be a student of QMU.   

5.1.5 Recordings will normally be available online to students within seven days of the recording taking place.

5.2 Accessibility 

5.2.1 Students may download a recording where this improves accessibility of materials e.g. if on placement in remote area where Wi-Fi is poor, or as part of their Individual Learning Plan (ILP). 

5.2.2 Arrangements for students with ILPs in regard to lecture recording will be unaffected by this policy. 

5.2.3 Automatic captioning/transcriptions are available for all students to access if required. Students and staff should be aware of the variability of accuracy and guidance and policy that supports this approach, including:

JISC guide to video captioning and accessibility

UK government guidance on accessibility requirements

5.2.4 Where 100% accuracy is required e.g., for students with a hearing impairment or if it specified in an Individual Learning Plan, some manual editing of the generated transcriptions may be necessary.  The University in conjunction with the student’s Academic Disabled Student Coordinator/Disability Adviser will provide this as part of their reasonable adjustments.

5.2.5 Where lecture capture is not available, and the lecture has not been specifically exempted from lecture capture, the University allows students to record audio with the prior permission of the lecturer. The University’s Policy on Inclusive Learning and Teaching Materials covers the rights and responsibilities of students who wish to make their own recordings. 

This Policy is subject to the Regulations of the University.  

Appendix 1. Covid-19 specific policy

1.1.1 In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, QMU has indicated that a significant proportion of teaching will be in the form of asynchronous online lectures. 

1.1.2 As such, the opt-in policy will not apply while the University is responding to the pandemic. During this period, recording of teaching materials for online consumption will become mandatory for all appropriate classes. Exceptions to this are when an agreement exists between the member of teaching staff and their line manager that the material can be delivered in other formats, where this does not conflict with other institutional policies (both specific to the pandemic and more generally). 

1.1.3 Recordings should be made available sufficiently in advance of when students are expected to have viewed them by, to enable students to engage with the recording at a time that suits their personal circumstances (e.g. access to the internet, caring responsibilities, time zone differences etc.).

6. References

[1] UCISA, “2018 Report on the Technology Enhanced Learning Survey” (2018) accessed 18 July 2020.

[2] QMUSU, “SU Student Survey: Online Learning and Teaching” (2020) accessed 18 June 2020

[3] Edwards, M.R. and Clinton, M.E. (2018) ‘A study exploring the impact of lecture capture availability and lecture capture usage on student attendance and attainment’ in Higher Education, vol.77 pp.403- 421.

[4] Soong, S.K.A., Chan, L.K. & Cheers, C., 2006. Impact of video recorded lectures among students. In Proceedings of the 23rd annual ascilite conference: Who’s learning? Whose technology? Ascilite 2006. Sydney, The University of Sydney. Sydney, pp. 789–793.

[5] Traphagan, T., Kucsera, J. V & Kishi, K., 2009. ‘Impact of class lecture webcasting on attendance and learning’ in Educational Technology Research & Development, 58(1), pp.19–37.

[6] Gorissen, P., Van Bruggen, J. & Jochems, W., 2012. Students and recorded lectures: survey on current use and demands for higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 20, pp.143– 153. [Accessed July 18, 2020]

[7] Brady, M., Wong, R., & Newton, G. (2013). Characterization of catch-up behavior: Accession of lecture capture videos following student absenteeism. Education Sciences, 3(3), 344–358.

[9] Groen, J. F., Quigley, B., & Herry, Y. (2016). Examining the use of lecture capture technology: Implications for teaching and learning. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7(1), 8

[10] Woo, K., Gosper, M., McNeill, M., Preston, G., Green, D., & Phillips, R. (2008). Web-based lecture technologies: Blurring the boundaries between face-to-face and distance learning. ALT-J, 16(2), 81– 93.

[11] Karnad, A (2013). Student use of recorded lectures. London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[12] Voort, P. S. V. (2013). A phenomenological exploration of faculty experiences using lecture capture systems. Arizona: University of Phoenix

[13] Ibrahim, Y., Howarth, A. & Stone, I. (2021) Lecture Capture Policies: A Survey of British Universities. Postdigital Science & Education 3, 144–161. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00102-x

[14] Brassington., L. (2022) The Future of Digital learning Resources: Students’ Expectations versus Reality HEPI Policy Note 41 December 2022 https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/The-Future-of-Digital-Learning-Resources-Students-Expectations-versus-Reality1.pdf

Queen Margaret University

General Enquiries

Show Contacts

Queen Margaret University

Queen Margaret University Main Telephone Number 0131 474 0000