Lecture Recordings and Streaming of Teaching Activities in Academic Year 2021-2022

Will all lectures/practicals be recorded and streamed in AY 21-22?

No. The period March 2020 to June 2021 was an exceptional period in which exceptional measures were taken. UGent was obliged to record all lectures. It was also recommended to include work lectures, practicals, exercises, etc., if possible.

In academic year 21-22, we return to code green, which means that lecturers have the autonomy to choose whether or not to stream and record their teaching activities (lectures/practicals). They carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of recording and streaming in function of their specific course unit and the competences to be acquired. At the start of the semester, lecturers inform whether or not the teaching activities will be recorded and/or streamed.

From code orange onwards, it will become mandatory again to livestream and record the teaching activities (in particular all lectures) as was the case in 2020-2021. For practicals and tutorials, it remains the lecturer's choice (cf. code green) whether or not to record. 

How can you, as a student, handle lecture recordings optimally?

Lecture recordings have advantages but also pitfalls. They can be useful as complementary study material (e.g. if you have not understood a part of the subject matter well), but can also lead to procrastination. You can find guidelines for students for the optimal use of lecture recordings here (in Dutch).

Can old lecture recordings be reused?

Preferably the teacher makes new recordings every academic year. Old lecture recordings can still be used, provided they are framed with assignments and/or response lectures in such a way that the interactivity, the activating character and the structure of the course unit are guaranteed.

What in case of technical failure?

If, after the lecture has ended, it turns out that the lecture was not recorded due to a technical malfunction, this is regarded as force majeure and the lecture must not be taught to the students again in the same situation or recorded again.

Where can I find the recordings?

If the lecturer chooses to make the recordings available online, this will be done in the relevant course on Ufora. Lecturers are advised to make the recordings available throughout the semester, but in any case all recordings should be available from the lesson-free week until the end of the second examination period.

Can lecture recordings be stopped, taken offline or removed?

Yes, referring to the Code of Conduct concerning Transgressive Behaviour (in Dutch), Ghent University at all times reserves the right to stop, take offline and/or remove a streaming/recording in case of transgressive behaviour by a lecturer and/or student (e.g. alcohol use, discriminatory statements, etc.). With reference to the Education and Examination Code (EEC) 47§2, the lecturer may deny access to the (online) lecture to a student who displays disruptive behaviour.

If confidential and/or sensitive information is shared, or if certain activities take place where sensitive information is discussed, such as focus groups (see below), the streaming and/or recording must be paused in any case.

What about the privacy of students during the recording of teaching activities?

Ghent University reserves the right to organise distance teaching, including lecture recordings, and to make those recordings available to the students and teaching staff concerned later or simultaneously via the electronic learning environment (EEC 47§5) for educational purposes. Students participating in these lessons may be portrayed for recording and dissemination within the electronic learning platform, should they appear in the picture. At the start of the lesson, the lecturer informs the students that the lesson will be recorded. Lecturers do not have to ask for explicit permission to record a lecture, neither for an on-campus (/hybrid), nor for an online class.

If, as a student, you explicitly do not wish to be involved in the recording of the lecture, you can sit in the room's so-called safe zone, an area that is not filmed. During the recording, the lecturer informs the students of the possibility to move out of shot, and that audio is still part of the recording. If a student in the safe zone answers a question orally during class, this can still be part of the recording.

The storage of video recordings falls under the processing of student data and is inextricably linked to Ghent University’s teaching assignment [1] and crucial so that the university can carry out its teaching assignment and provide high-quality education to all Ghent University students. This data is stored meticulously and securely in a Ghent University data database and is handled in a careful and responsible manner to safeguard the privacy of all those involved [2]. Personal data of (prospective) students will not be passed on to third parties, except if Ghent University is obliged to do so by law or decree, or in other cases [3].

What about the copyright of students and lecturers?

Students' Copyright

Students do not transfer any intellectual property rights to Ghent University for works they produce, and remain the owner of their work. As part of the teaching assignment, students' products may be shared with fellow students in order to achieve the learning outcomes/competencies. Students should be informed if their work is shown or discussed during a lecture recording that will later be shared on the Ufora platform. This means that the lecturer must clearly state in the course description (e.g. via an announcement) what will be done with the student product, and to whom it will be made visible. We recommend anonymizing products unless identifying the author of the product is a necessity and/or added value for the teaching practice.

If the lecturer wishes to reuse the lecture recording in which the discussion of a student product is discussed in another course unit and/or next academic year, the lecturer must explicitly request written permission from the student. This can be done by e-mail.

Lecturers' copyright

According to Belgian copyright law [4], copyright protects the original creations of the mind. Copyright gives the creator a monopoly or exclusive rights to his or her work, and thus makes him or her a rightsholder. Copyright allows the author to control the exploitation of the creation and to protect its integrity. Specifically for the teaching practice, this means that the lecturer holds the copyright on the teaching and assessment content that is offered.

Additionally, only the lecturer has the right to make lecture recordings. As is laid down by Article 47§5 (EEC), students are not allowed to use any means of image and/or sound recording to capture teaching activities (including continuous assessment and feedback) and projected teaching materials without prior consent. Doing so is regarded as disrupting the teaching activities. Furthermore, a recording made by a student, without the permission of the lecturer, is inadmissible as evidence in administrative or legal proceedings and is to be destroyed at the first request (EEC 47§5).

Neither is it permitted for students to disseminate and multiply images and any kind of course and examination material (e.g. syllabuses, exercises, presentations, exam questions, class notes) without the permission of the lecturer-in-charge and, if applicable, the author, in exchange for payment and/or in the pursuit of profit. This may give rise to a disciplinary procedure against the students involved in accordance with the Disciplinary Regulations (EEC 47§6).

Is the content of a lecture recording binding?

The lecture recording of a teaching activity is non-binding in terms of content. This means that the lecturer has the right to make changes or corrections to the content at any time in the event that incorrect or unclear information was shared. If changes have been made, the lecturer is to announce this by means of an announcement on the relevant Ufora course (EEC 22§3). According to the EEC, it is the student's responsibility to regularly consult the course and info sites on the electronic learning environment. After the lecturer’s announcement, the content rectification is considered to be known to the students.

In addition, the lecturer can also make formal changes to the lecture recording, such as adding visuals or extra textual information. The lecturer ensures that the file is uploaded on Ufora in as definitive a form as possible.

An important remark is that course contents mentioned in a lecture recording must always be contextualised in the course unit as a whole. Students therefore know that they can be assessed for content which is not included in the syllabus, the slides and/or the lecture recording, provided that it concerns a broader topic mentioned in the course, slides or course sheet, and the students could have known that they were expected to master this matter as well, e.g. because it concerns learning contents which has been explicitly dealt with in class (see also EEC 49§1,2).

Footnotes and references

[1] UGent processes personal data of more than 9,000 UGent staff members, 44,000 students, various alumni, external partners, visitors or other groups involved in the context of the education, scientific research, quality assurance and business operations provided by UGent. On 18 May 2018 the Executive Council of UGent approved the Generic Code of Conduct for the Processing of Personal Data and Confidential Information. In doing so, UGent, as controller, endorsed its general data protection policy which focuses on the safety, accuracy, care and responsibility of the processing of personal data and confidential information together with compliance with the Data Protection Authority (DPA). For more information, click here.

[2] Students can consult and change their personal privacy settings at any time via the web application available for this purpose in Oasis.

[3] For more information about the privacy and personal data of (prospective) students, click here.

[4] Dutch: Wetboek van economisch recht, boek XI Intellectuele eigendom, Titel 5 - Auteursrecht en naburige rechten, HOOFDSTUK 2. – Auteursrecht (p. 433)