Warwick UCU Recommendations on Lecture Capture

We are thrilled to announce that at our All Member Meeting on Wednesday 16 October 2019, we passed our a motion endorsing our new Recommendations on Lecture Capture. This policy, which is the result of months of research and consultation with our members, lays out the problems in the University’s current lecture capture policy and the changes we think are necessary to create a fair, equitable and working policy. Huge thanks to our research committee for their work on this important issue.

Elements of current lecture capture policy to keep:

  • Opt-in policy

Elements to improve:

Acknowledgement of pros and cons of lecture capture

An objective presentation of lecture capture to students that outlines both the pros and the cons of Lecture Capture to students and staff. Currently the policy presentation on the website is biased to articulating positive aspects. UCU recognises, however, that the decision of many academic staff not to opt in is based on reasonable concerns about learning and inclusion. Furthermore, academic research supports both pros and cons when it comes to utilising Lecture Capture; presenting Lecture Capture as an unproblematic benefit ignores these findings, and moreover has direct implications for the relationship between students and academic staff.

Trumpeting the advantages of Lecture Capture has stirred dissatisfaction among students, who have not been informed about the reasons why many lecturers choose not to use it. We therefore recommend that the policy outlines both pros and cons in “Key Points about Lecture Capture”(https://warwick.ac.uk/services/its/servicessupport/av/lecture_capture/review/), in the “Lecture Capture Policy” (https://warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/categories/goodpractice/lecturecapturepolicy) and in the “https://warwick.ac.uk/services/aro/dar/quality/recordinglectures/”.

An important issue of lecture capture concerns inclusion: students may not participate in interactive activities knowing that they are being recorded, particularly those students with anxiety (the detrimental effects of recording on individual’s ability to debate challenging ideas and to participate has been documented by several psychological studies).

At the moment the policy states: “If there is an interactive element to your lecture, individuals may not wish to be recorded and can therefore choose to refrain from participating,” which normalises the idea that some students will be deterred from participating. This isn’t acceptable, and we believe that staff worries about student participation raise reasonable concerns that should be acknowledged in the way we communicate to students on the university website.

Recommendation: To re-open a consultation between the university and the UCU representing academic staff to produce a ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ list to be assimilated on the Lecture Capture presentation online.

 

Intellectual Property Issues

The current provisions in the Consent Form are:

“In order to enhance the student learning experience, the University of Warwick (the “University”) wishes to make available to its current students digital recordings of University lectures, presentations and seminars (“Recordings”) for learning and teaching purposes.

Recordings will not be used for any other purpose, and will be stored securely within the EU for a period of four years, after which time they will be deleted/destroyed.”

Recommendations:

  1. Intellectual property provision should define ‘current students’ as the student cohort for that particular module that the lecturer chooses to use lecture capture recordings for in that particular moment in time.
  2. The university policy should include clear guidelines as to what constitutes ‘fair educational use’ of lecture capture material.
  3. Lecture capture recordings should be deleted/destroyed if a member of staff is no longer an employee of the university. The lecturer may have the choice of explicitly agreeing not to destroy the recordings after employment ends but in this case the Intellectual Property should be shared between the university and the lecturer, such that the lecturer has the right to rescind permission for the use of the material at any point.
  4. If the lecturer continues to be an employee at the university but decides to no longer use lecture capture, the previous lecture capture materials should be deleted/destroyed as soon as the students from the taught cohort that were provided with lecture recordings graduate (the cohort graduation date applies). The lecturer may have the choice of explicitly agreeing not to destroy the recordings after the graduation of the taught cohort that benefited from his/her recordings but in this case the Intellectual Property should be shared between the university and the lecturer.
  5. In the context of strike action, lecture capture materials should not be made available to students.

Overall Recommendation: To re-open a consultation between the university and the UCU representing academic staff to expand the current Lecture Capture policy accordingly.