Lesson capture and streaming for further education institutions

How can further education Institutions in Wales discover, adopt or enhance the use of recorded and streamed content for teaching and learning?


Recording taught sessions is not a new practice. Institutions have been capturing content for their learners in many different ways for well over a decade. The arrival of more mobile and capable technologies has made the process of sharing taught content more efficient and much easier to access. How can further education institutions in Wales share their teaching and learning content effectively and comfortably?

This guide is aimed at further education institutions that are either practising the use of recorded content to support teaching and learning, or are looking to begin the journey. While the sections in this guide are aimed at further education institutions specifically, practitioners and teachers can find more practice based guidance in the lesson capture and streaming guide for teachers.

Understanding how, why and when captured content can be effective, valued and compliant will be the foundations on which a robust culture of recording can thrive. It is important that the right processes are developed to support all users and be empathic to their concerns. As discussed in this guide, buy-in and motivation are absolutely key to success. Transparency and communication around the use of recorded content provide boundaries in which teachers and learners can feel safe and engaged in its use.

All staff can benefit from being aware of values, challenges and barriers that impact each user. Material in these guides may also be relevant to staff and providers of work-based learning and adult learning in the community.

Define what we mean by ‘streaming’

This guide defines that ‘streaming’ of learning and teaching content as where online content is broadcast live in a synchronous format. Streaming content could be accessed during a taught lesson for students joining in a lesson from home/other location or from a lesson that is delivered purely online. The delivery of the lesson is broadcast in real-time, live to an audience watching online. Streaming content can also form part of Hybrid or HyFlex lessons where a session is designed to involve learners in both modes of attendance, online and in-person. Streaming could be audio content or video content.

Define what we mean by ‘content capturing’

This guide defines ‘content capture’ as recorded content that can be accessed by learners asynchronously. Content capturing could be recorded content that is accessed multiple times after the recording is made. This could be a recording of content that was previously streamed live and has been made available afterwards.

In this guide we have used the broader term ‘content capture, rather than ‘lesson capture’, to reflect the wider opportunities in FE to record content outside the classroom.

Desktop recordings or content captured on mobile devices for teaching and learning provide additional options for ‘content capturing’.

Develop a clear institution-wide vision for content capture

A huge part of any successful technology or platform adoption at an institution is the need for users to understand the purpose of using it. Why should anyone invest time and effort into learning or developing skills for a tool or platform that they may not fully understand?

Having a clear and defined reason for recording teaching and learning content can form robust foundations for encouraging a culture of recording content for learners. Those reasons need to be realistic, inclusive and transparent. Capturing lesson content could be seen as an unwelcome intrusion into class time, especially if teaching staff do not recognise it as adding value for learners.

A first step is to fully clarify the institution’s reasons for wanting to record any content to staff and learners. If the leadership/management hasn’t defined that internally yet, it could be a hard sell to staff. As with many practices around teaching, learning and assessment, the adoption of something new, or further development, will require staff to feel motivated enough to use their time. A clear vision of what a successful service is intended to look like, and its intended purpose, should be a first communication around the use of it.

Be specific on what it is for and what it is not

Transparency is key to ensure there are no surprises when it comes to point of use. You don’t want staff or learners to adopt the technology to find there are unexpected agendas after implementation. Many concerns around technology in teaching and learning come from a misunderstanding of the technology and intentions of the institution using it. There is often financial commitment to install and maintain such a service. The more people have bought into using it, the more value the organisation gets from it. So, it makes sense to get this part right. Involving staff and learners in the conversation around defining the need sets the tone for their involvement and future acceptance. Having a clear and transparent policy that addresses issues such as teachers’ rights, provides fairness for teachers and clarity for the institution.

Who will benefit from the practice of recording content? Who will not? Different user groups in your institution may have very different answers depending on their role, experience or priorities. Some positive examples of using recorded content include the enablement of learners to revisit and digest content at their own pace. Not all learners will feel able to follow lessons effectively. Allowing them to access the lesson, pause and take notes at a pace that is comfortable for them offers a vital tool that supports learning. Teachers can also refer to previous lessons. Asking learners to recap on a subject before the next lesson, for an activity or debate, means the teacher can be sure the learners have all the information they need. (There are more user examples at the end of this guide.)

Listening to the concerns and reservations that some may have is important to ensure the vision is a good fit for the institution. Being empathic to the needs of the users, rather than changing users’ practices around a system, can help keep the priorities aligned across different user groups. Feedback from Jisc members shows that this opportunity of listening to users sounds simple but is often missed or disregarded. What does success look like, from the perspective of each user group? Apply their idea of success to the intentions of the institution in the project to develop a more in-depth vision. Involve staff in evaluating how your intended approach could impact workload, both positively and negatively, and involve them in any mitigating measures to help alleviate negative impacts.

Insights and opinions gathered from teaching staff and learners can inform decisions around why the institution wants or needs a service that provides recorded content. There will be other voices needed in the conversation, such as IT, infrastructure, cyber security, library, learner support etc. A balanced approach should ensure all user groups are acknowledged in the process of creating a vision. All groups should agree on the vision before implementing it. Conversations on attitudes to recording or streaming are much easier to have when a vision is defined and presented clearly. If there is a mixture of unresolved opinions, the intentions and direction of the project can look confused and unplanned.

Staff and learners who can relate to the vision and see the benefits over the challenges will be more motivated to engage and adopt it.

Other areas of opportunity

While lesson capturing offers a chance for learners to catch up or revisit lessons, there will be other areas of the institution that can take advantage of recorded material for learners, staff or even external audiences.

There will be events or news from different departments of the institution that lend themselves to video or audio recording. Whether they are events in employability/careers or library news, having a platform that can record, process and share recorded content can be a huge asset.

There may be opportunity to stream live events such as open day speeches or campus tours from a mobile device to external audiences. While being a different purpose to providing teaching and learning content, the principles of producing video or audio material could be very similar.

Are you on the right train?

Having developed a robust vision that is realistic and inclusive, understanding the barriers and challenges to achieving the agreed success is key. Mapping out where the challenges are found can be useful when planning how to overcome them. Different problems will require different actions.

Implementing a new platform/service (or enhancing something existing) needs users to engage with it. What are the barriers or challenges for those users? It isn’t something anyone should or could reliably guess, especially if not embedded in the culture of teaching or learning in the classroom.

Feedback from Jisc members shows that training is often the ‘go to’ solution when it comes to overcoming challenges with digital practice or technology with staff/learners.

When you start to dissect what the issues really are, particularly around buy-in and motivation, it becomes clear that training may not be the best initial approach.

A method often used by Jisc with member further education institutions is applying a way to distinguish what sort of challenge or barrier exists. While many will try to think of ways to change practice or encourage people to engage, a more effective question will be to ask, “why is it not happening?”. There may be very notable reasons why someone has decided they don’t want to record their lessons or stream them live. Getting to the root of those reasons is far more important than deciding that they should just do things your way.

At its basic form, mapping issues can be broken down into categories.  Based on ‘Action Mapping’, this process opens up distinctions between those categories. Devised by Cathy Moore, Action Mapping is a process that aims to enable people to analyse challenges or performance issues in a visual way that is easy to understand.

There may be a combination of reasons why a teacher is not interested in recording their lessons. It may be a lack of confidence in using the technology or it may be a perceived lack of time to learn something new, eg they aren’t necessarily going to benefit from mandatory training. It has a lower chance of motivating them to engage with the practice. Approaching them in a way that is more in line with how they, or their learners could benefit from recording, before talking about the processes or skills needed is a more effective action.

So, when hearing why staff aren’t recording their sessions, the challenges can be broken into these categories.

  • Skills
  • Motivation
  • Knowledge
  • Environment

There are some crossovers, but when breaking down what these categories mean, you can see distinct directions that aim to overcome those barriers in the context of recording and streaming lessons.


Skills challenges are easier to tackle, often through training and signposting access to support and guidance. Where staff or learners don’t have the skills to use the software or cameras to record/stream their lessons, they can be shown how to do this and be supported to develop confidence. The important part is to gauge what sort of training best works for the staff and learners at your institution. Be careful not to jump too quickly to ‘skills’ and start pushing training, there may be other reasons why staff or learners haven’t engaged to learn the skills.


It is important to approach motivational challenges in the right way. Understanding why someone isn’t motivated to engage with recording or streaming their lessons is a must.  Showing empathy and a willingness to recognise their concerns or barriers means your next action to look for buy in and engagement is much better informed.

Helping staff understand the reasons why the institution would like to introduce or enhance its ability to record or stream content to learners is part of asking for their buy in. Learners may be struggling with keeping up or missing sessions too frequently. Data may provide a starting point for demonstrating need, but the story behind the data is where the human or relatable messages are. If staff can genuinely understand why learners may benefit or how staff may use recorded content to underpin or enhance their teaching in a positive way, their buy-in or motivation to engage with recording content could change.

Looking for a halfway point might be a useful action. Recording or streaming lessons may be a step too far to begin with. There is so much more to capturing content for teaching and learning than just in the classroom. Desktop or mobile snippets of recordings could be a compromise that works by introducing staff to the value of reusable and accessible content on their terms, rather than going all in and forcing the issue. Teachers can also engage with the technology by recording instructions to learners (for assignments), which enables the learners to replay the instructions again as often as they need to and helps them to feel more confident with understanding the task.

If they become motivated to engage with recording or streaming content, then the challenge may change to a skills category where training or partnering people are then effective.


Knowledge challenges are more about a member of staff or learner not engaging with recorded content because they don’t know about a key aspect. An example of this could be that they didn’t know that the institution could record lessons or content. They may not know where to go to access the tools or platforms for the service. Do they know where support channels are, to access self-help, eg responses to frequently asked questions, basic ‘how to’ guidance or 1:1 support?

There may be issues around knowledge of crucial details surrounding copyright or intellectual property rights.

Approaching knowledge challenges can be about ensuring staff and learners know where to go and what they need to facilitate recording their lessons or other content.  An action around knowledge challenges could be better signposting or an improved presence on institution communication channels.


Challenges that are categorised as environmental are challenges or barriers that are out of the control of the teaching staff or learners at the institution. They may be motivated and have the skills and knowledge but are blocked by an issue that they cannot affect themselves. For example, the WIFI in a particular part of the building may be below the standard needed to allow live streaming. Again, institutions adopting mandatory training to try and overcome a barrier, without realising the issue properly, isn’t going to be effective if the real problem is due to environmental challenges.

If staff or learners talk about difficulty in accessing recording platforms, or the quality of the recordings are poor due to the equipment being used, the action should be to investigate these problems. Again, being empathic to the users allows the institution to better understand the issues and be more informed of their impact.

Service pipeline, data and monitoring success

If you have defined what success looks like, created a vision and developed a strategy, how and when will you know you have reached your goals?

Setting recognised stages in the launch or development of capturing learning content at the institution help to keep yourself and others informed on progress. Data has a role in diagnosing the use and impact of recording or streaming lessons. Informed decision making is key to ensuring that the actions chosen are in line with how your staff and learners are engaging with your platforms. However, collecting data isn’t the whole answer. There will need to be an understanding of the story behind it, so sharing it with teaching staff must be done in a way that is easy to interpret. Data dumps on already busy teaching teams will be ineffective if they aren’t able to grasp the details.

Service pipeline

Even with the best laid plans, the successful running of a service can come up against surprises and glitches. Having a robust process for developing a service, whether it be from scratch or not, keeps projects from running out of control or getting stagnant.

Recognised and agreed steps help to maintain user expectations and control within the project team. A lot can be learned from trying a service with a smaller group (Alpha testing) before expanding to a larger one (Beta testing).

Launching a service to enable recording across the institution all in one go means that everyone experiences the initial teething issues, rather than just a selected few.

Motivation in staff and learners to buy in to and engage with recorded content for teaching and learning is essential. Trying to adopt new practices in a platform or service that is full of bugs or poorly written help resources will only make things harder.

Alpha/Beta testing

Working with a small group of staff and learners in Alpha allows the project team to observe their planning in action, but at a lower risk. What worked? What didn’t? Adjustments can be made before widening the user group (Beta). How do these adjustments work now? Do these users understand and make use of the service effectively?

State clear targets for testing. Moving on to the next stage before the service is ready can mean users lose confidence in the process.

Service growth

Once the adjustments are made and identified issues are ironed out, the service can be rolled out across the institution. While further issues may still develop, by this stage, the service is running smoothly and effectively. Growth is essential to keep the service adapting fully to the behaviours of your users. Some teachers and learners will have different needs. Adapting help, support or hardware is part of the growth.

The vision for success will have a huge influence on deciding where to take the service through testing. Allowing users to make the most of recorded content that enables access to teaching and learning will generate feedback that will refine how the service grows while in use.

Keep monitoring the data, the feedback, and buy-in from users to enable the institution to react. Set specific points in the future to evaluate the service against its original goals, as well as identifying new goals.

Service enhancement

At some point there will be a need to re-evaluate the service. Looking at the history of data, the behaviours of users and their feedback, how can the service be enhanced? This may be an upgrade to the hardware or platform provider. It could be a change of procedure or support for users to adopt best practices. It could involve support for staff to share content or collaborate to create new content.

The service enhancement stage allows the institution to re-ignite interest or even relaunch the service with both staff and learners. It may be an opportunity to revisit the vision and adapt it to better fit the need and/or aspirations of the institution in regard to recorded teaching and learning content.

Identifying the project or service as being in service enhancement should mean that the practice of recording lessons or desktop recordings has been widely adopted and the input from the users are a part of the enhancement process. Outcomes at this stage will be that changes are made to further develop the service with clear goals that foster further use within agreed timescales.

There may be multiple levels of enhancement within this stage at each timepoint set out at the beginning of each enhancement stage.

Service decommission

Due to a replacement service or a change in vision at the institution, there could be a point where a decision is needed to put a process or application into decommission to allow better use of content capturing. Many organisations that Jisc speaks to have legacy service processes or digital platforms still running that have very minimal use.

If a service is static or neglected it can fall into a state that is difficult to support or monitor. Standards or quality of service could be impacted by falling below the intended user experience.

It is important to identify when to move a service to a position where more enhancement is not viable and a replacement is needed. This is when the service should be moved to a stage of needing to be turned off once a replacement has been found.

Using data and sharing the story

Informed decision making is an important part of setting up or evaluating the use of recorded content for teaching and learning. Data collection opportunities are touchpoints into the behaviours of the users, which can affect the progress, engagement and success of the service.

Beneath the analytics from recorded content there is human interaction and activities that are affected by many different circumstances. Why does a particular lesson receive such a high or low number of views? Just looking at a number of views won’t explain the whole story. Does a particular classroom get different engagement with recordings?  What reasons could there be that could affect the numbers? Do full lesson classroom recordings get viewed as much as bite size clips? There will be a story behind the numbers that could inform the institution of the appetite for recorded content from both staff and learners.

Can the institution myth-bust using data? Some staff worry that learners won’t attend lessons if they can watch the recordings online. Can the data prove otherwise?  Interactions and engagement in class can’t be replaced by a recording, and if learners are deciding to rely only on recordings, there may be other reasons for them choosing not to be in class that require investigating. When introducing learners to recorded content, particularly lesson recordings, this is an opportunity for institutions to update and communicate attendance policies so that learners understand the expectations and staff can enforce them if the data shows an issue.

Do staff see a rise in views at assessment times? Rather than recorded content being available for missed sessions, do they become a useful revision asset that benefits results? Giving staff access to analytics is useful, but enabling and encouraging them to understand the human elements behind the numbers are key to effective data usage.

Data will always be a proof of use, but often the answer is deeper within the ‘So what’.

Where there are successes, be sure to celebrate them. Showcase where good practice is working for users, both staff and learners. What can other users learn from this? What can the institution learn and document for next steps? Does there need to be a change to guidance available?

Accessibility and inclusion

By law, content released to learners needs to be accessible. The captioning of recorded content is a necessity. When setting up or enhancing a service of recorded content for teaching and learning, the institution must ensure it abides by standards set for accessibility.

Giving teaching staff the guidance and confidence to record accessible and inclusive content is vital for learners who may depend on it. Streaming/recording lessons as well as additional recorded content from outside the classroom may be a vital lifeline for some learners to participate and engage with their institution and their learning.  Whether they need to slow the speed down or pause to make notes, the ability to control the pace of information being passed to them could make the world of difference.  Some learners may struggle to make it onto campus on time or sometimes at all, through no fault of their own. Rather than the teacher spending time going back over the missed content, there are opportunities to use recorded content as a support.

Clear policy and guidance for staff around accessibility will position the institution on firm foundations regarding capturing content for learners. While capturing of complete lessons gives a record of taught content, there may be some learners who struggle with such large and lengthy recordings. These may also be large files if downloading on a mobile device that is on a lower data contract. Many learners may have little or no access to WIFI outside of the campus. They may be reliant on their own data allowance or pay as you go mobile connections. Allowing learners to download captured content when on campus to watch later could be a useful tool that enables more usage. Teachers may find it more effective to break up the lesson recordings or upload short clips recorded separately to underpin the taught lessons with the key learning points. This will make it less data heavy for learners to access if they need a specific part. In addition, where available, transcripts allow the resource to become more easily searchable. There are many lesson capture providers that allow searches of the transcript and take users to that section of the recording, whether it be lesson captured recordings or desktop recordings.

What the regulations say

Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR) require that audio and video recordings made available from September 23 2020 must meet accessibility standards, as defined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA.

When publishing video, ensuring that it meets compliance standards means including closed captions that have been checked. There are many other ways to increase the accessibility of pre-recorded audio and video material. Adding audio description, considering the visibility of a speaker, the audio quality, the readability of overlayed text, and the controls you give users when accessing the media will all contribute to the accessibility of the content and how it is consumed by users of varying needs. These and other recommendations along with their required level of compliance and how to meet them, are detailed in the time-based media section of WCAG.

Ensuring that all audio and video recordings are accessible to the required standard presents challenges for institutions. For example, for many institutions, checking/correcting captions to ensure they are accurate to the video dialogue is not easily achievable, given the volume of video possibly being produced. Note that this guidance is in reference to pre-recorded, not live, content. Using a tool or service to automatically generate captions will save on time. Technology in this area is always advancing, but it is important to note that these generated captions should still be checked for accuracy against the dialogue. The PSBAR allows up to 14 days after the video has been published for captions to be added, although this is minimum guidance and your policy could be to add captions more quickly. Taking down video, to avoid having to caption it, disadvantages learners. The new learning and teaching landscape requires that learners have access to the digital content they need in order to thrive.

The institution should aim to grow a culture of understanding and buy-in around the need for accessible content within their lessons, so that content is digestible from outside the sessions, either synchronously or asynchronously.

Your accessibility statement is where you communicate how accessible your digital content is and what you are doing about non-compliant content. The Jisc guide on practical steps to meeting accessibility regulations and video captioning and accessibility guidance give more practical support. The law aside, the impact of accessible content for learners across the institution could make a difference to both learner experience and the grades achieved.

Help and support

Whether recording within the classroom or viewing a recording externally, users may look to the institution for assistance or trouble shooting. A successful adoption from staff and learners requires a dependable level of support for them to feel confident in using it.

Not every user will respond to the same style of help or support. Issues could arise from technical problems with cameras or microphones in the classroom, or help may be needed with editing a video or uploading to the VLE or capture platform. While help and support can come in many ways, the institution should decide on the processes for setting up different levels of support that fit around the users’ needs.  It may be helpful, when deciding how to support staff and learners, to differentiate methods of interaction, or self-help.

For example:

  • Self-help: Digital resources to show how to complete various tasks and functions within the lesson capture or content capture activities. These would be self-help resources that encourage users to solve the issue themselves. A self-help area with all the resources, as well as access to sandbox/testing spaces, allow staff to learn about new skills, or activities, and trial them in a safe space out of the view of learners. Building confidence is key to enabling more independent use of recorded content.
  • Support: There may be issues with kit or the platform that require advice or guidance from the institution support team. Having staff available that can answer these issues and provide a level of support can ensure that the service can continue and is accessible to the staff and learners. Where staff or learners have hit a barrier that they are struggling to overcome, they may need more support. Some may not feel motivated or confident enough to engage with the self-help resources yet and need a person to discuss the issue with. Relevant support processes should try to use the help resources together with the user to build confidence and familiarity with what is there.

Time to practise the practice

Time can often be a barrier for staff who need to either learn new skills or develop them further. Recognised time for personal development around digital technologies is nothing new in education, but due to heavy workloads it can often be overlooked. Teaching staff who are already busy may not be motivated to find additional time for something they aren’t bought into. Help and support channels must be as fluid as possible to enable staff to access it at their convenience.

As staff become more confident with recording and managing their recorded content, the time commitment will reduce. The institution should recognise the impact (in the early stages of adoption) on staff time and offer support accordingly. Making room for recorded content is not just about providing cameras and microphones. Skills, knowledge and confidence will play a huge part in an effective service so time must be made available for it to become part of the culture at the institution.

Bilingual provision

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language envisages a future where everyone has the ability and opportunities to use Welsh in their everyday lives, including in education.

It is important that teachers are aware of their learners’ Welsh language needs and are able to support them to maintain or develop these skills. Consideration should be given to how learners can have the same quality of experience, lesson information and knowledge in both Welsh and English. It is therefore best practice for recorded lessons to have the captions, created for accessibility requirements also translated into Welsh.

If quizzes are being used as part of a session it is best practice to have the quiz set up bilingually, rather than creating two separate quizzes in each language.

In an in-person classroom, it is good practice to use some basic Welsh, such as greetings, and to also have Welsh key terms on display to raise awareness and support learners in their subject areas. This could also be done for a recorded session in a variety of ways, for example a glossary of key terms is made available for learners to access throughout a lesson, alongside a recording. The recognised good practice of creating presentations that have the key terminology displayed in both languages is more inclusive and could offer a more comfortable environment. Support for practices such as this can be found from Coleg Cenedlaethol best practice videos on bilingual delivery.

It is important to point out that teachers should not be doing anything extra in a lesson capture situation when compared to an in-person session. Elements and practices for bilingual learners should be available in both in-person and recorded lessons.  There could however be a few extra administrative steps to do to ensure the Welsh subtitles and resources are available, along with a need to ensure teachers are given the necessary help and support with this.

Providers and equipment

There are many providers that enable the capture of teaching and learning content, whether synchronously or asynchronously. It is important for the institution to decide how staff should be enabled to record, interact and share their content with learners, before deciding on the solution. The provider and equipment chosen should be a good fit for the style of delivery and infrastructure at the institution.

Not every lesson, room or teacher is the same. An institution must decide on the right level of quality and procedures to allow staff to comfortably begin and end the recordings to support and/or enhance learning. Some rooms will require different equipment. Staff could use a mobile device like a phone to capture the lesson or HD camera mounted on the room ceiling. Will they use a lapel microphone, a handheld one or a room mic hanging from the ceiling? The technology used must be able to capture the content effectively, yet not be an intrusion or distraction from the pedagogy. Many lessons will also require the capture of a presentation screen, but not all. Are visualisers used on the lectern? If so, how will this be captured?

Deciding on how and what you want to capture is key

Does each classroom need a camera? Capturing the voice is essential for any classroom or desktop recording, but cameras can sometimes be a step too far for teachers who are not comfortable about being recorded. Many platforms allow the capture of sound and the slides of the presentation. It is essential to have a discussion with teaching staff and learners to understand how lesson capturing could be most useful yet least intrusive to the process of teaching and learning.

Whether for synchronous or asynchronous use, the lesson content may include interactive content or questions/discussion from the room. It could be crucial to the learner experience to ensure that all room content is captured effectively. There are specialist devices for capturing room audio and video that will aid the experience for viewers, but care should be taken to ensure the participants in the room are aware of what and when these devices are recording. Accidently capturing personal and private conversations can be a negative experience for those people affected.

Many providers of content capture systems offer different packages or recommend particular types of cameras or microphone to capture content that best fits your teachers’ needs. Again, being confident in your knowledge of what your requirements are will enable the most informed decisions to be made on equipment.


There’s often more to a lesson capture platform than just recording lessons. As well as producing a library of lesson content and enabling a live stream, many learners and teachers alike can benefit from understanding the additional elements that make lesson capturing or desktop content more useful.

When deciding on a platform/process for lesson capture at your institution, these are some things that you could consider:

Transcriptions and captions

A transcript is a text of the audio within a recording. Often in a separate file, it is a written record of the spoken words and sounds in the audio recording. Captions are the transcript of the audio file but displayed in sync with the audio as the video is played.

A system that provides captions in recordings is an essential tool for users who have additional accessibility requirements, but all users can search the transcripts for particular keywords and skip to that section of the recording. This means they don’t have to watch the whole video to find that section.


Many staff could benefit from looking at the analytics for their recordings. Not only does this offer insight into whether learners are viewing their classes, but it can also indicate which lessons were popular or which were useful when it comes to revision time.

Some platforms are able to show analytics on particular sections of recordings. This is particularly useful for teachers interested on which subjects or activities were of interest to the learners. It can also be a good indicator of which learning points the learners may have struggled with.

Mobile capturing

While titled ‘lesson capture’ in many institutions, there’s no need to limit it to within the four walls of the classroom. Platforms are often accessible through browsers or apps for laptop and desktop computers, but the addition of mobile apps allow for teachers and learners, where applicable, to use their devices to capture, edit and upload to the platform. This brings incredible versatility, particularly for curriculum subjects such as sport, performing arts; for 'playback' and critique of activities.

VLE/LMS integration

A platform that is integrated with other platforms at the institution could help manage recordings and ease the process of access and sharing. Once processed, the recording can be quickly and automatically made available to learners on their platforms. So, when thinking about which provider best fits your teaching, you should also consider the connections to other platforms already at the institution.

For example, recordings captured in class (or desktop recordings) could be processed and a link automatically posted to the specific VLE page for this group of learners. This removes the need for teachers to manually upload the recordings. It is worth noting that teachers may want to edit portions of the recording. Many lesson capture platforms allow easy editing so teacher training, resources and support channels should be available to ensure they feel they can manage the recorded content effectively.

Demonstrating the possible value of content capturing can open opportunities with staff, and learners, who may be reluctant to engage. Ensuring there is awareness to use deeper functionality in lesson/desktop capturing can help motivate staff and learners to engage more with recorded teaching and learning content.

Out of the classroom

Many teachers may find it useful to record additional short snippets at their desk.  Access to items such as webcams and microphones is much easier now with most devices having them built in. Depending on the quality of equipment available to teachers, institutions may need to provide additional devices such as USB microphones or cameras that can be easily connected to staff computers.

Considerations for regulation and compliance

How can FEIs use recorded content within the law?

Using recorded content can bring a wealth of value and opportunity as well as challenges and barriers that institutions will need to understand properly to embed it into the culture of teaching and learning. Institutions must also consider the regulations they must comply with to ensure they and their users are using recorded content safely and legally.

Once a lesson has been recorded what use can be made of the recording?

The short answer is that, if the correct permissions and safeguards are in place in advance, legal issues will not prevent recorded lessons becoming durable and effective learning resources.

A number of things affect what further use can be made of a recording of a lesson.

Lawfulness, fairness and transparency

Firstly, the recordings are likely to involve personal data of the individuals who deliver and participate in the lesson. This means that individuals need to be informed about how their data is and will be used. Data collected about how users access and use the recorded lesson subsequently needs to be treated lawfully, fairly and transparently.

Institutions already have expertise in processing personal data lawfully and it should be ensured that this expertise is applied to introducing and carrying out lesson capture.

Before recordings takes place, privacy information in the form of notices should be available to everyone involved. The notices should provide clarity for individuals about how their data is and will be used and should include information about:

  • the type of personal data that is being collected about them during any content capturing
  • what the institution is doing and will do with this personal data
  • the lawful basis for processing their data
  • with whom, if anyone, will their information be shared
  • how long the personal data will be held before it is erased securely

There’s no need for privacy notices to be long and complicated. In fact, it’s better if they are short and simple.

Analytics data

Likewise, all associated processing by platforms of analytics data and of personal data needs to be lawful, fair and transparent. With the appropriate data protection safeguards in place, data on the use of recordings can be used to assess the engagement of learners, for example. It is necessary to have clear privacy information and clear policies, practices and procedures in place that govern the processing of all lesson capture personal data. This will help ensure that data protection legislation will not be a barrier to recordings being made, used and re-used.

Copyright and licensing

It is likely that recordings will include third party content that will be licensed to be used in teaching. Where a ‘substantial part’ of any work is used in recordings, permission from the copyright owner is needed, usually in the form of a licence. In addition, storing and re-using the recording needs to be permitted by licence.

Many licensing agreements are in place between institutions and third parties. The specific terms and conditions of these agreements need to be checked to see what permissions are available. For certain licensed materials, re-using the recording and the licensed materials will be lawful as long as the recorded lecture is password protected and restricted to the particular students to whom the lecture was originally presented.

So, if there is proper licensed permission in place in advance of the third-party content being recorded in a lesson then the recording can be used and re-used as a valuable learning resource.

What about the teacher’s rights?

An important issue that needs to be resolved is the rights that a teacher may have in their own work.

Copyright and other rights

Where an employee creates a literary, dramatic, musical, artistic work, or a film work in the course of their employment, the default position in law is that copyright in the work will belong to the employer, unless there is a contract or agreement to the contrary. See s.11(2) Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

So, where materials are created by the teacher (employee) working within their terms of employment and there is no agreement that states otherwise, the institution will own copyright in the work and separate copyright permission will not be required by the institution to include those works in a recording.

However, throughout education in HE and FE, there are a number of arrangements in place and many institutions do not assert ownership of copyright over materials created by staff. This is based on the understanding that staff grant the institution a non-exclusive licence to make the content available to learners for the duration of their studies.

Sound recordings

Different rules apply to sound recordings. Where a teacher makes an audio recording of the lesson for his/her own purposes, the copyright in the sound recording will probably be owned by the teacher, not the employer. An institution might argue that recordings carried out by the teacher on behalf of’ the institution are owned by the institution but, to avoid risk and uncertainty, the teacher’s permission should be obtained to make further use of the recording.

Note also that rights in materials created by visiting speakers are likely to be owned by the speaker or their employer and the institution will need a licence from either the speaker or their employer to record and reuse them.

Performers’ rights

In terms of lessons, it is arguable that a live delivery, a dramatic communication to others of opinions, thoughts and interpretation, would be covered by the definition of ‘performance’. It is important that institutions make the position clear by way of an agreement or licence. Institutions may choose to ask teachers to assign their performance rights in favour of the institution or to license them for use by the institution.

  • An assignment means that the institution will own the performance rights outright and simplifies any continued use of the recording.
  • A performance rights licence agreement means that the teacher remains the owner of the performance rights but permits use by the institution. Such a licence should provide for any intended future use of the recording, including where the teacher is no longer employed by that institution.

Good practice is to obtain the agreement of the teacher, in advance, to the rights, if any, that arise as a result of them performing during their lesson. Such agreements can be separate documents, rather than being incorporated into employment contracts. Consulting with all stakeholders including union representatives and others will help avoid conflict and provide certainty for all those involved.

Having a clear and transparent policy approach that addresses the issue of teachers’ rights provides fairness for teachers and clarity for the institution.

Can learners use their own devices to record and share lessons?

A number of questions are raised where learners are recording and re-using and sharing recordings of lectures including:

  • Can the institution’s data protection obligations of lawfulness, fairness and transparency be met?
  • Can the copyright and licensing conditions that the institution is required to adhere to be upheld?

This is not a new issue and many institutions will already have policy approaches in place for learners recording a lecture for their own use.

In general, a teacher may choose to allow learners to record their lecture for personal use. However, there is no obligation to do so other than for those learners that require reasonable adjustments in terms of disabilities or other learners authorised by learner support services, for example.

Agreement on conditions attached to such recordings need to be in place and should include the following terms:

  • Recordings are for personal use only and must not be further distributed
  • Both the institution and the teacher concerned own the rights to any recordings made including the rights to the electronic distribution of the lesson
  • Misuse of recorded material will be deemed a form of misconduct and be dealt with by the institution’s disciplinary procedures
  • All recordings should be destroyed after the completion of a learner’s studies

Additional safeguards will need to be in place for recordings of group-based learning such as tutorials, seminars and interactive lessons where sensitive issues or personal experiences are being discussed. As well as the teacher being able to exercise discretion in terms of confidentiality, it should be clear to all those involved that misuse of recorded material will be deemed a form of misconduct and be dealt with by the institution’s disciplinary procedures.

Many institutions publish policies on the use of recording devices by students/learners in lectures including The University of St Andrews policy (pdf).

How long should recordings be kept?

Once again both the personal data and the licence terms will determine how long recordings can be retained. However, with the appropriate permissions in place as suggested above, recorded lessons can become durable and effective learning resources.

Some licensed learning content can have restrictions on reuse and must be deleted at the end of the teaching year. The specific terms and conditions of these agreements need to be understood to see what permissions are available. Likewise, each institution will have policies on retention of personal data in place in order to comply with data protection legislation and these retention policies should reflect the pedagogic value in retaining recorded lessons where appropriate.

Is consent from teachers, learners' parents needed?

Most processing of personal data in teaching does not rely on consent as a lawful basis. However, there are extra responsibilities for considering and protecting people’s rights and interests, including privacy rights when lawful bases such as public task and legitimate interests are used.

Using public task and/or legitimate interests as the lawful basis for processing a child’s personal data puts the onus on the institution, rather than the child (or adult acting on their behalf), to make sure that their data protection interests are adequately protected.

In terms of data protection legislation in the UK, a child means anyone under the age of 18. Where there are learners under 18 years of age in situations that involve recordings, then it is recommended that a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is carried out. This will help decide if the children’s interests are adequately protected. Also, if the processing is likely to be high risk, then a DPIA must be carried out.

In practice, recording of individuals must be fair and lawful. Everyone attending should know that a recording is taking place, why it's being recorded and who will have access to it. A recording-free zone might be set up to accommodate those who wish to opt out.

Some other points

Some other points that are covered in many institution's policies on recording of lessons include:

  • Recordings should not be used to monitor staff performance
  • Recordings should not be used as part of any disciplinary investigations
  • Recordings should not be used to cover teaching during industrial action unless consent is explicitly given by the members of staff who recorded the lecture

Institutions that take into account the legal considerations early on and address them in full can be confident in the knowledge that the law will not act as a barrier to their subsequent use.

Useful resources

User cases

Content capture systems offer a wide range of functionality and value to teaching and learning, but there are uses outside of those spaces that can bring value to institutions.  Teaching and learning user examples have been included in the lesson capture and streaming guide for teachers.

Institution stream live event

Terry is part of the marketing team at the institution. There is a guest speaker attending an employability event for learners.

As not all learners can attend the event due to space in the room, the institution will stream and record the speaker’s presentation. There is a lectern microphone and a camera in the room which can be captured by the content capture system. Alongside the camera, the capture system is also able to share the presentation slides by sharing the screen of the lectern computer.

Before the event started, Terry created a link that was sent to staff to share with their learners. They also posted the link on the news page of the institution website. Terry opens the session window and presses record, which also starts the stream. Learners already at the institution can access the link through their VLE while external viewers can access the stream which has been embedded in a page on the website.

As the speaker finishes their presentation, they are able to take questions from the room. Terry is watching the chat window in the content capture window on their own device and can put the questions to the speaker.

At the end of the session, Terry closes the streaming window on the lectern computer, which also stops the recording.

Once processed, the web team can embed the recording in a news page about the event at the institution. Teachers can add the link to the news page to their VLE pages for those learners who missed the presentation.

Institution streams open day speeches on institution website

The institution is running an open day. Throughout the day there will be various speeches held in different spaces around the campus.

Terry schedules the recordings in the calendar, which allows them to give a streaming link to each speech session to the web team who can embed the streams into web pages for the event. Even though each speech will be streamed, the content capture system will also record them.

In each location, as each speech is about to begin, Terry ensures the lectern or classroom computer is recording. They also close the window after each speech to ensure streaming and recording has been stopped.

Parents or prospective learners who cannot be at the event in-person and want to know more about the institution are able to watch the desired speeches online via the website open day pages.

After the open day, the web team embed the recordings and they are made available on the institution website for those who missed the live stream.

Institution streams live campus tour on open day with mobile device

Terry is assisting a member of staff delivering a campus tour during an open day. The member of staff will be guiding a group of prospective learners and parents around the campus several times during the day. These tours are scheduled at specific times. For those who can’t attend in person, Terry will capture the tour and stream live as they move around the campus using a mobile device.

Terry creates links for each tour and asks the web team to place them on the open day pages of the website.

As each tour begins, Terry opens the streaming application app on their mobile device and starts the live stream. They ensure that they remain close enough to the tour leader to enable their voice to be captured by the device microphone and that the camera is able to view the leader as they speak about the facilities.

Terry is able to keep an eye on the chat window to see if there any questions coming from online viewers. As each question comes in, Terry can ask the question to the tour leader who can answer to the camera.

At the end of each tour, Terry checks for any questions before stopping the stream and closing the app.

The web team decide which of the recordings to make available on the institution website open day pages.

Institution streams campus webcam

Terry has set up a camera looking out of a top floor window of the main building on campus. The stream for this camera is not recording but a link is added to the homepage of the VLE. Learners can check the weather on campus before leaving home.

Institution produces news and events episodes in series of podcast videos

As part of the news and events pages on the institution website, Terry records updates on their desktop computer. Using a higher quality camera and microphone, Terry is able to record the latest updates for current learners and external viewers, that could be prospective learners and parents.

Some of the updates may include content recorded on Terry’s mobile device as they speak to staff or learners from around the campus.

Each recording is uploaded to the content capture platform and is made available by embedding on the news and event pages on the institution website.

Institution admissions team produces welcome series for new starters using desktop computer

Chris is a member of the admissions team. As part of a welcome to new starters, they use their desktop computer to record several short videos introducing the new learners to various elements to campus life.

Chris uses the microphone and camera on their desktop computer, as well as sharing their screen. Once in the content capture application, they press record and begin the video. Each recording may only be a few minutes, but Chris is able to show how to log into the VLE or book a meeting with the learner support team.

At the end of each recording, Chris stops the recording which, once processed, creates a link that can be sent to learners before they begin attending the institution. The videos can also be posted on the homepage of the VLE or a learner support space for learners to revisit.

Institution library team produces induction series for new starters on desktop computer

Charlie is a member of the library services team. Each year they run many library induction sessions for new starters. This year Charlie records a series of videos discussing the facilities and services from the library.

They access the content capture application on their desktop computer and press record. The recording uses the computer’s camera and microphone as well as screen share. Charlie records a video for various services including booking academic support sessions or checking if a certain resource is available.

As each recording is completed, Charlie stops the recording which, once processed, creates a link that can be posted on the library pages of the VLE or on library sections on module VLE pages.

This guide is made available under Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND).