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.

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 (see first paragraph here: …). The UCU has found out, however, that the decision of many academic staff to not opt in is based on reasonable concerns of surrounding matters of learning and inclusion. Furthermore, academic research exists to support both pros and cons thus the decision to solely present the pros of lecture capture is biased and it has direct implications for student experience and for the relationship between students and academic staff.

By presenting solely the positive aspects of lecture capture the policy nurtured feelings of dissatisfaction among students who are not informed about the reasons why many lecturers choose not to use lecture capture. We therefore recommend that the policy outlined the pros but also the cons of lecture capture in the “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/”.

As an example, an important issue of lecture capture concerns inclusion: students may not participate to interactive activities knowing that they are being recorded, particularly students with anxiety (the detrimental effects of recording on individuals ability to debate challenging ideas and to participate has been document by several psychological studies).

At the moment the policy states that “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 essentially normalises the idea that some students will be deterred from participating. We do not find this acceptable and we believe that academic staff worries about student participation raise a reasonable concern that should be acknowledged in the way we communicate lecture capture 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, lecture capture materials should be made unavailable 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.