Recording Lectures and Educational Activities Policy


The purpose of this policy is to provide the framework for Seneca’s practices regarding the collection, use, disclosure, and disposal of recordings of educational activities, and to reinforce Seneca’s support of recordings as a means to promote student learning and success.


The policy applies to all Seneca employees and students.

Key Definitions


The sole right to produce, reproduce and copy a work. In Canada, all original creative works are automatically protected by copyright upon their creation and protection applies whether or not a copyright symbol appears on the material. Only the copyright owner or its authorized licensees have the right to decide when and how the work is to be copied, altered or made available. Regardless of format, the use, reproduction and distribution of copyright protected materials are subject to limits and restrictions.

Intellectual Property

For the purposes of this policy, intellectual property includes all of the interests and rights to all Canadian and foreign registered, pending and common law, trade names and trademarks; all Canadian and foreign issued patents and pending applications therefore; all Canadian and foreign copyrights, whether or not registered; rights of publicity; franchises and all technology rights and licences, including computer software and all proprietary know-how, trade secrets, inventions, discoveries, developments, research and formulae, whether or not patentable; and all other proprietary information or property relating to works created at or in conjunction or in partnership with the College, and any improvements, updates, enhancements or modifications related to any of the foregoing.


Includes audio and/or video or photographic capture of educational activities such as lectures, discussions, learning sessions by electronic or digital means, either original format or copied/shared.


1. General

Recorded lectures and educational activities support good teaching and learning practices outlined in Seneca’s Teaching Standards of Practice by respecting the diverse learning needs of students and promoting the Universal Design for Learning principle of multiple means of representation.

Lecture content and materials are considered Seneca’s intellectual property (or an instructor’s as per the Intellectual Property Policy and any written agreement to the contrary between College and an employee) and therefore guidelines and regulations regarding copyright apply to the recording of lectures. In addition, because recordings may also capture the presence, ideas and opinions of other individuals (i.e. other students, guests), the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) also applies.

Furthermore, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), Seneca has a responsibility to provide accommodations to students with disabilities that are consistent with, and supportive of the essential requirements of courses and programs.

There are a number of reasons a lecture or other educational activity might be recorded and the request may be initiated by the instructor, or by a student:

  • To develop learning materials for synchronous, hybrid and/or fully online courses
  • To provide lecture materials to learners as a study aid
  • To provide access to lecture recordings for remote students (located in other time zones) or due to a missed class (as permitted by the instructor and that do not contradict course attendance requirements)
  • To meet student accommodation requirements.

Recordings for other reasons may be considered but may be subject to further review by instructors and Chairs (as required) and in order to take into consideration specific program or course requirements.

Any student may request permission from an instructor to record all or part of a learning activity, whether conducted inside or outside of a classroom; this may include requesting that the instructor enable the recording function of an online lecture or webinar. If permission to record is denied, a student may discuss the matter with their faculty and program coordinator or chair to see if a mutually satisfactory solution can be reached.

2. Policy Statements

2.1 Recording of lectures and other educational activities is prohibited unless conducted in accordance with this policy.

2.2 Instructors may choose to record lectures and other educational activities for academic purposes and/or professional development.

2.3 Students may not record any portion of a lecture, class discussion or other learning activity without the prior knowledge and consent of the instructor.

2.3 Counselling and Accessibility Services is responsible for establishing a student’s accommodation needs, which can include the recording of educational activities. In the case of a use of a recording by a student for accommodation purposes, instructors are notified via an Accommodation Letter, and consent must not be unreasonably withheld.

2.4 Participants (i.e. instructors, students, guest speakers) are required to take reasonable steps to ensure recordings are conducted in a manner that respects the privacy of others and the instructor is required to provide notice of the recording to all participants in advance of the recording. Refer to Appendix A for instructor responsibilities.

2.5 Recordings must not be used or disclosed for purposes that were not identified in the original collection, use and disclosure notice unless the individuals have expressly consented to the new use or disclosure.

2.6 Recordings must not be reproduced, distributed in any manner, via the Internet, using social media (Facebook, You Tube, etc.), file sharing, or any other distribution channels without the expressed consent of the instructor and/or Seneca in accordance with this policy as well as provincial/federal laws and Seneca’s Information Technology Acceptable Use, Copyright, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy and Intellectual Properties Policies.

2.7. Unless otherwise agreed to, recordings of educational activities will remain the property of Seneca and for the student/instructor’s academic use only.

2.8 Unless otherwise authorized by Seneca, recordings should be deleted once they have been used for their authorized purpose(s) in order to support privacy and intellectual property considerations.

2.9 Questions or concerns related to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information can be referred to the Seneca Privacy Office at or at ext. 416-491-5050 ext. 77846.

3. Non-Compliance

Although an attempt will be made to resolve situations involving the unauthorized use or disclosure of recordings, individuals may be subject to disciplinary action when found to be in violation of this and other related Seneca policies, or where participants held a reasonable expectation of privacy, and recording of their activities may be considered unlawful.

In the event of a violation, Seneca will exercise its rights to take appropriate disciplinary action, according to the applicable Seneca policies, with Student Conduct, or in the case of an employee, with their direct supervisor, and Human Resources as required.

Supporting Documentation

Related Seneca Policies

Related Materials

Appendix A: Instructor Responsibilities

  1. Privacy legislation requires that notice be given and consent be obtained when personal information is collected, used or disclosed. Notice can be given verbally or in writing and should specify the purpose for which the personal information is intended to be used, and individuals should be afforded the opportunity to consent.
    • For most recordings, implicit consent is sufficient, and can be completed by notifying students at the beginning of a session that it will be recorded, and for what purpose. Notice should also be given if a recording is being done by a student (i.e. for accommodation purposes, without identifying the student).
  2. Instructors should provide alternate feedback methods (i.e. email) if students are not comfortable asking questions or making comments during recordings and remind students if they wish to not be recorded, they can choose to turn off their camera and audio.
  3. Instructors are encouraged to use the Consent to use Personal Information Form when it is important to have evidence that an individual has consented to the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information. For example, written consent must be obtained if the recording contains a considerable amount of student presented content, involves an external guest/visitor, or if there is an intention to re-purpose the recording in the future. Programs, such as Early Childhood Education, require mandatory use of program specific Consent forms in order to ensure written consent is obtained for the collection and appropriate use of recordings for approved purposes.
  4. Instructors have the option to request a student provide their own in-person class recording equipment, or choose to facilitate the recording and provide a copy to the student. 
  5. Instructors should remind students how educational activity recordings may be used or disclosed by the students. For example, instructors should confirm whether the recording is for personal use only or whether the recording can be shared with other students in the course.

  6. Course Notice/Outline Example:
    To support access to course content, lectures may be recorded and the links to the lectures posted in Blackboard. These resources are intended to be used as a student study aid and are not a substitute for participation (exception may include remote students residing in another time zone).
    Video recordings will primarily capture the instructor and onscreen content. Students will not be visible on video recordings unless their webcam is enabled. Your voice, however, may be captured as an audio recording if you ask a question in class. The same would hold true for questions posted in the chat tool. If you have any concerns about your voice or text being recorded, please speak to me to determine an alternative means of participating.
    For student initiated recording requests, prior to recording any lecture or learning activity, students must seek written permission of the instructor and are required to adhere to the Recording Lectures and Educational Activities Policy.
    In all cases, recordings may not be reproduced, posted or shared anywhere and should only be used by students currently registered in the course. Recordings may be saved to students’ laptops for personal use; however, recordings should be securely stored and then deleted once they have served their authorized purpose.
    Students creating unauthorized recordings may be in violation of Seneca’s Intellectual Property Policy, privacy legislation, and the Canadian Copyright Act and may be subject to disciplinary actions under the Student Code of Conduct. Please see the Recording Lectures and Educational Activities Policy for more details.