The Privacy Concerns of Course Recordings at UCLA

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. John Villasenor, Co-Director at the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy joined the podcast to discuss the pro and cons of course recordings and the different factors an institution should consider when developing their policies around them.

Should College administrators requirerecording and if so, should they do so as a functionl class size? Should theyleave it in some cases or all cases up t the discretion of the Faculty member?These are really really hard questions: You're, listening to enrolment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to Enroman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWolson with helics education and were here today with dctor John, via SenorCo, director at the UCLA Institute for Technology Law and Policy. John Welcometo the show. Thank you very much for aving really excited to talk with youtoday about the pros and the cons of...

...course recordings before we dig intothat. Can you get the listeners a little bit better understanding of bothUcla and your rule? There Howel I'm on the faculty at Ucla and I'm on the factulty, particularly my teach, not only in the engineering school, but also inseveral other schools UUCLA. I have a appointment in the public policydepartment and at the law school in the School of Management. My work is on thebroader implications of Technology, so how technology touches other areas,such as public policy and law. They are really excited to dig into this issuetoday that I think a lot of us at the adman level might not have thought ofbefore John. At the beginning of this semester, you receive an email fromyour ety coordinator in your school of law, asking if you wanted to opt out ofyour course being recorded. I love for you to walk us through the pros. Thecons that you debated in your head first o help us think through thestudent benefits, of course recordings yeah. So let me just cavvy at all thisby saying, of course, this was the prepandemic world. Yes, when it wasstill...

...reasonable to expect everyone to showup physically in the same classroom, yeah- and I was was told that thepractice was you had to opt out. In other words, unless you, youspecifically chose not to have your class recorded, it would be recordedand I did opt tout, as I had for that course in previous years, as well, justfor context I'll mention this is a small course. Roughly. Twenty fivestudents on digital technologies and the constitution so have constitutionallaw frame, works, Inra, Cathedre Technologies, and it's a verydiscussion oriented course with lots of student participation. So it's not notat all. The sort of you know model where I'm just standing in front of abig giant. You kno lecture hall kind of you know talking to everyone, I'mreally it's a very highly interacted course yeah and so help us thinkthrough through the withthat background. The student benefits of courserecordings why these course recordings are helpful. Well, you know so. Firstof all, I didn't record this course, but certainly I'm highly sympathetic tothe argument that they are helpful...

...because, for example, if a student isunable to attend class for any number of completely legitimate reasons, thenobviously thethere's a benefit. If that student can simply go back and wash therecording, perhaps it's not quite the same as being in the classroom, butit's certainly a lot better than if they have w no access to the reportingat all. So from the students standpoint, you can certainly see in that respectfor students who have to Miss Class- or you know if a student you know has tobe out of town for an interview, therare, clearly some advantages tothose recordings awesome, and yet you decided not to help us understand thestudent privacy concerns that that may be overlooked too often, when we thinkabout course, recordings yeah. So this is a the class where you know there's alot of discussion among students. I encourage students to be very engagedwith asking questions, and you know it's interesting, because classroomisn't private in the sense of you know,...

F student, a says something and studentb wants to talk outside the class about what student a said. Well, there's no,of course, legal barrier to student. Be Talking about that. So you don't haveprivacy in a classroom in the way you might have privacy in your own livingroom. But there is to me there's almost an implicit. You know assumption thatwhen you're in these classroom discussions that you're notbroadcasting them to the world and, of course to be fair, universties thatrecord classes don't tend to broadcast into the world. But the fact remainsthat a recorded conversation is one. I think that all of us would approachsomewhat differently and more carefully than when that isn't recorded, simplybecause when conversations are recorded and discussions are recorded, there'smore of a risk of things being taken out of contexts and used potentially inways that are detriental to somebody who might have said something you knowrelatively inocuous in context, but that might not sound so inoccuous outof context like, and I it's just th the...

...other issues that you want students tobe free to explore their thoughts to sort of start and stop to think hey.How about this? No An and second thought that's a bad idea, ow aboutthat, and I just think that it chills conversation in te classroom. Ifeverybody knows that every word they say is going to be recorded, and then Iguess I also say that you know universities typically promised thatthe recordings are going to be available. You know only to thestudents in the class and they're going to be deleted after the academicsemester. Recorder is over, but I'm highly skeptical of that, and you knowyou can you can imagine you know in today's environment. Let's say you knowwhenever anyone runs for political office, if there are recordings ofeveryone of their classroom discussions, you know people would go mind, thosetrying to come up with things. They might have said that they could be. Youknow, taken to task for something and I think think it's healthy for people tobe able to be in a classroom environment and not be subjected torecording and then the final thing I'll say is that we, you know we sourt oflive in increasingly what has become sort of a digital, Penopti, conver sortof everything we say or do everywhere.

We goes tracked and the classroominside the classroom. H has traditionally been one of therelatively few spaces outside the home, where there isn't that sort of trackingand recording, and it's sort of a shame for a privacy standpoint to see thatlast barrier fall as well for all those listening in the year, two thousand andthirty. Two because John is running for office and they're looking for dirt.Welcome hope you learn something right. Johnn you mentioned just the inherentinteractive nature of this particular course for you and how conversationalTAT is. Should that be a factor as college administriors are thinkingabout policy and in what are our options here? This idea of a default,let's record large lectures, let's not record small interactive classes, let'sleave it to faculty discretion like is happening Ucli. What are our optionshere? Yeah! That's a that's a great question. I think that that's a reallygood point in this sense that you look at one end of the spectrum. If you haveyou know a course where you have, I don't know four hundred people in alecture hall and the Professor is...

...basically just talking and thes veryfew questions. You know I have no allusions or or conception. I know thatwhen I'm standing there in front of a very large group of students that I'm,I can't claim any privacy interest with respect to what I'm saying right, andso it wouldn't be detrimental at all to the class or to me. If a recording ofthis class of four hundred people was made- and so I don't think, there's sothen that sense- there's very little dat or much less downside and moreupside, because if you have a class of fourhinner people, just statisticallyevery single class there's going to be some students who, for whatever reason,are unable to be at the class. I think the concern I have is when you startmaking recordings of students- and you know that's and that's why it's verydifferent when you have a small interactive class where students mightdo quite a lot of the talking to me that does change the privacy equation.Yeah and let's take that to the extreme, you were very comfortable being onrecord you're guarding your student...

...privacy should collegest think aboutthis. From the other standpoint, if a professor gets accused something I hatespeech, for example, do they maybe want to lean on the side of let's justrecord everything to make sure that we can protect our our students anddiscipline our faculty if necessary? There certainly is an argument thatsomeone could make that you know if there's ever. You know, and by the wayit doesn't have to be simply be a professor. Anybody in the classroomcould say something yeah that is potentially you know, controversial andleads to some sort of sort of you know downstream action where DownstrimConsequencis, where it becomes of interest to know what was actually saidand, of course, y. u, you can make that argument, but the question is, you know:Does does that sort of forensic record keeping more than outweigh the value ofof having spontaneous, unrecorded classroom discussions, and I guess youknow for me- I still fall on the side...

...of you know believing that these sortof spontaneous, you know unrecorded classroom engagements. Are they givestudents more freedom to explore and think now? Of course again, this is allpre pandemic. When I was writing that that piece- and you know the dynamicshave obviously changed quite a bit since then, but at least that's what Ithought as of January two thousand and twenty yeah. Finally, John, as youmentioned, thes situation for you did come up prepademic, but now post orcurrent in the midst of it, we have a lot more students learning online inthese learning environments, where course recording has become much morecommon or available any finale. Next Steps advice for institutions currentlyswimming in this much heavier online learning space who may not have had tothink about these decisions before or what their policies are for them. Anynext steps for them navigating this issue. Where should they start? FirstYeah? THAT'S GOSH! How many hours do...

...you have right and that's you know PPAspart of the answers to that question. Dependnyou know if we're mostly onlinein fall, two thusand and twenty, but back in the classroom after that,that's very different than if we're mostly online for the next two and ahalf years right, and so you know, I think you know. Certainly with thepandemic. You know large foraction. Most you know. Perhaps nearly allinstruction is going to be online- that somewhat a distinct question from therecording question right. I still would think that for the large classes, it'syou know obviously going to make more sense in that context than in the smallclasses. I've just you know, anictotally in my own law school classat Cla, we did move online in the middle of the semester, law, schooluclas on semesters and and we didn't record the class in the last. You knowfour or five sessions I had just great attendance and everyone was engaged and-and so it worked out in that case, not to record but there'sn't. You knowthere's a really interesting and important question, which is: ShouldCollege administrators require recording and if so, should they do soas a function of class size should they...

...leave it in some cases or all cases upthe discretion of the Faculty member? These are really really hard questions.John. Thank you. So much of your time to day and helping us think throughsome of these hard questions, what's the best place for listeners to connectwith you if they have any followup questions well, there are certainlyi'measy to find a EUCLA. There'RS. Certainly welcome to send me. Send me an email and I'd behappy to engage with hem awesome thanks again so much for joining us today,John Okay, thank you attracting today's new post, traditional learners meansadopting new enrolmant strategies. Keeliks educations data drivenenterprise, wide approach to enrolment growth is uniquely helping colleges,ind universities thrive in this new education, landscape and Helex has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing enromant growth challenges download it today for free at Helocks,Educationcom playbook...

...you've been listening to enromantgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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