Student 101: When can you record lectures?

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 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Recordings could help satisfy ADA accommodations.

By Sasha D. Robinson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Some students can learn a lot more by recording lectures and replaying them after class rather than reading over notes.

But the student handbook forbids students from using electronic communication devices during classes without an instructor’s permission.

So can a student record a class?

According to the student handbook, “Students are required to silence and store out of sight all electronic communication devices when in classrooms, laboratories, libraries, or other areas where such devices would interfere with instruction and learning. Faculty members have the latitude to modify this policy in their syllabi.”

Christy Woodward-Kaupert, coordinator for political science, explained that program does not have a policy on having electronic devices in classrooms, but as in the handbook, leaves it to the instructor’s discretion.

“If they choose to allow or not allow is entirely up to them,” she said.

“Video cameras are a little different. I do not think it is appropriate nor do I find it useful to sit there with the video camera watching an instructor. It is just distracting,” she continued.

The chair of English, education, humanities and journalism-photography, Gilliam “Mike” Burton said students should get permission from the instructor.

“We ask that a student mention it and ask permission from the instructor. Generally the instructor will say yes if it is not going to inconvenience the rest of the class,” he said.

Richard Farias, interim dean of student success, explained, “In the handbook, it is OK to have a recording (with the instructor’s permission). I do not believe there is anything legal or concern for a student to put it on social media or any website as long as they get the permission from the professor.”

Disability support services accommodates students with certain disabilities who may need to record classes to improve.

Delia De Luna, an employee of disability support services, said the office follows the handbook, but if an instructor does not allow recordings, an accommodation letter can be sent to them to explain that it is necessary to help the student.

There have been times that an instructor has not allowed recordings even if it is for a student’s disability, she said.

In those cases, further steps, such as talking with the chair, were taken.

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