By Dan Fuentes
Ellen Zimmerman, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, sent a campus-wide email regarding the University’s recording policies on Feb. 25.
The email included information from the Education Technology Office from their Lecture Capture Standards and Guidelines.
In the email, Zimmerman stated there were “concerns raised around the recording of class activities for out-of-class usage.”
The Lecture Capture Standards and Guidelines were created to “establish usage and documentation requirements for lecture capture of course materials, authored by an instructor or a student, for later playback from within the Framingham State University Learning Management System or other web-based course space.”
Robin Robinson, director of education technology and instructional design co-coordinator and advisor, said, “It was to provide guidance and standards by which a faculty member could record a classroom interaction for the purpose of giving it to only other students in the class.”
The University’s Policy on Lecture Capture was created to “establish a policy on the recording of course materials for the purpose of making that content available to students within the conQnes of a secure and protected learning environment and not through a public forum.”
Course materials, as defined by the Policy on Lecture Capture, includes “captured materials from class proceedings within a classroom, student-produced recordings created for an assignment, recorded presentations, and any other recorded materials to enhance the course experience.”
The Lecture Capture Standards and Guidelines state, “Recordings are intended for students enrolled in a specific course through the University Learning Management System (LMS). The same privacy considerations that would apply in a physical classroom, particularly to student work, also apply to a lecture capture recording.
In her email, Zimmerman said, “Although not expressly stated, this also applies to independent student recordings of class proceedings.”
According to the Lecture Capture Standards and Guidelines, student recordings must “follow privacy guidelines when their recording captures the image or voice of other students.”
“This includes the requirement to obtain explicit written permission from other captured individuals before re-using the video in other circumstances.”
An FSU student uploaded a 43-second video clip of a Zoom call on TikTok on Feb. 4.
The video includes edited sound effects and a caption that reads, “Zoom class gone wrong,” followed by an exploding head emoji.
The TikTok video currently has 5.1 million views, over 693,000 likes, 5,853 comments, and 3,598 shares as of April 8.
The TikTok was a video of a class taught by Mary Kate Caffrey, Communication, Media, and Performance Department chair and professor.
Caffrey said, “I didn’t find out until one of my students contacted me and said that they would not be willing to participate in the class anymore because they’ve been humiliated on TikTok.
“It was a big deal, especially the class that I was teaching. It was an acting class and students need to be able to trust each other.” Caffrey added, “ I feel like in any classroom, you should be able to trust your classmates.”
Nicole Viera, a senior English major and student in Caffrey’s class, said, “Well, my first thought was, that is the most awkward class I’ve ever been in my life, and now it’s on the internet forever.”
She added, “Out of context, it’s kind of funny and a little bit weird, but I think that reading the comments on TikTok, and thinking about it, nobody except for the 20 people in that room know the full story and it kind of made me take a step back.”
David Baldwin, associate dean of students and student development, said, “Massachusetts is a two-party state, so if you’re going to record someone, especially their voice, [you] have to have consent from the party to do it.”
Baldwin added, “To record and not let people know that you’re recording them – that’s a violation – and it’s a violation of trust, too.”
Viera said, “I had people tell me like, ‘Oh I noticed your background’ and even my first, middle, and last name were fully present on the screen and that really didn’t make me comfortable.”
Caffrey said, “I thought it was an invasion of privacy. I thought it was disrespectful.”
She added, “The other thing about when you post media, you can edit it. You can add sound effects. You can do all this kind of stuff. So I just thought it was totally inappropriate.”
Baldwin said, “To have someone else tell you, ‘Oh, you know, there’s this video of you up there’ – I mean – that’s got to feel pretty bad.”
“Then to see that so many people have seen it. I mean, just put yourself in that person’s shoes if it were a video of you,” he added.
Although Baldwin stated in an interview with The Gatepost the TikTok video has been taken down, the video is still up for viewing on the original poster’s TikTok page and has been since Feb 4.
The Policy on Lecture Capture states that student work is “only made available within the single class,” and “explicit written permission must be obtained by the instructor to share the recording beyond the specific course.”
Robinson explained the content of that recording would fall under the professor’s intellectual property.
Robinson said, “So students creating such recordings need to follow the general copyright policies.”
Caffrey said, “What I do in my classroom is my intellectual property. You can’t take my class, and then post it somewhere else.”
The Lecture Capture Standards and Guidelines states, “Students creating recordings should adhere to the University’s and third-party copyright policies as appropriate.”
Zimmerman stated in her email, “Please be advised of this policy and that violation of it may lead to disciplinary sanctions.”
She added, “Because your faculty may record their courses within the terms of this policy, students may believe that their own recording of a class without the instructor’s permission is permissible. It is not.”
Zimmerman said, “That’s regarded as a student conduct issue, if a student violates that.”
According to the RAM Handbook, any student found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct Regulations can be held to disciplinary sanctions.
Disciplinary sanctions include but are not limited to disciplinary warnings, suspension, and expulsion from the University.
Zimmerman said, “It’s good for everybody to know that if there is a violation or if they become aware of a violation, that they can report that to the Office of Community Standards.”