Teaching & Learning


Initiatives and resources supporting the objectives of UCL's Education Strategy 2016-21


Guidance on recording of teaching during 2021-22

23 November 2021

Interim guidance on recording of teaching during 2021-22 whilst an updated policy is in development for 2022-23.


This is slightly modified guidance first issued for the 2020-21 academic year to reflect certain contextual changes and to take account of the requirements of the operating model for 2021-22.  

An updated policy on recording of educational activities is planned for 2022-23 following discussion and debate with stakeholders.   

Why record your teaching?

Students greatly value recordings of lectures and other teaching activities both for the flexibility (being able to study at a time that suits their time zone, caring responsibilities, accommodating part-time work etc) and for the ability to review and revisit them for revision and clarification.

Many colleagues have pre-recorded (some of) their lectures to be delivered asynchronously. In addition, staff are preparing to deliver live or basic hybrid teaching - including engagement activities, seminars, discussion sessions and workshops and discussion sessions - using  Zoom and Teams. Should these be recorded? 

Given the value felt by students, staff are strongly encouraged to record staff-led presentation-style live classes where possible, using institutionally supported services, and to make recordings available to students through Moodle, unless the member of staff deems it inappropriate to do so. 

When it comes to more interactive and participatory live sessions, including basic hybrid sessions, students’ (and staff) views on recording are more complex. There is still demand for flexibility and revisiting but some students report anxiety about how to behave in an online interactive session and concern about how others might perceive their contributions or monitor and judge their views and opinions. As with all sessions, it is at the discretion of the member of staff whether or not to record.  However, it is possible that remote learners in basic hybrid classes might experience technical difficulties during the live class. For this reason, staff are advised to make a recording of the class using Zoom or Teams (as appropriate) which could be released to the remote students if technical problems disrupt the session. 

When not to record

Where sensitive, controversial or potentially confidential information is being shared, or when the session is planned to be ‘deliberately discursive’, the member of staff may determine that it is inappropriate to record this.

Academic judgment of the appropriateness of recording may also include consideration of content, student preferences and the level of student contribution.

This ‘academic judgement’ approach protects the right of an academic to use their discretion to determine when it is inappropriate to record a teaching event and elect not to make a recording under these circumstances.  

If you have any concerns about the welfare of wellbeing of students as a consequence of recording your session, please discuss these with your Faculty Tutors in the first instance. 

Use of recordings 

UCL policy is that recordings made of teaching and learning activity using recording platforms, such as Lecturecast, MS Teams, Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate: 

  • cannot be used in case of a strike
  • cannot be used for performance management
  • cannot be used by the institution to substitute for an academic who wishes to deliver a face to face lecture

Ownership and use of teaching materials is covered by UCL’s Intellectual Property Policy. While UCL staff own the teaching materials that they have created in the course of their work, the recordings of lectures and other educational activities are owned by the institution. UCL commits not to use recordings created during academic years 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 without the originator’s consent. 

Method of recording

Mode of teachingMethod of recording
Pre-recorded presentation-style lecturesUsing Lecturecast; recordings created automatically
Live presentation-style lectures using recommended ‘live teaching platforms’Zoom or MS Teams or Blackboard Collaborate; recordings are not created automatically so need to be set up by presenter
Live seminar/discussion-style classZoom or MS Teams or Blackboard Collaborate;
recordings are not created automatically so need to be set up by presenter

See our guide to choosing the right platform for live teaching for more information about Zoom and MS Teams functionality for live teaching. 

Note: The potential for Lecturecast as a live streaming platform is being explored but it is not yet recommended for live streaming. 

How to work with your students: 

  • Discuss with the students at the start of the term whether or not they wish to have some or all online synchronous events recorded or if there are particular parts of sessions they want recorded and parts they would prefer not be recorded.
  • You might agree in advance that some sessions will be recorded and others not recorded – in that case be clear at the start of a session whether or not it is being recorded.*  
    If a live session is not recorded, please consider those students who are unable to attend – will an additional session be provided for these students so that they are able to access the content?
  • When recording a session, make sure all students understand that they give their consent to be included in the recording if they choose to participate actively in a recorded session – remind them that there are audio, video and chat records if a session is recorded and that the recordings are solely for the purposes of private study and must not be shared on any external channels.
    If a small minority of students object to an event being recorded, it may prove easier to provide an alternative opportunity for engagement in a non-recorded event.

*if a session is not recorded, specific arrangements will be made for students requiring a recording as part of their SORA