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Web Conferencing FERPA & Privacy

In order to protect student privacy, all online class sessions that are conducted through a web conferencing tool such as Zoom or Google Meet are subject to FERPA and Washington State recording regulations.  If recording a class meeting is necessary, such recordings, if not stored as a Zoom cloud recording, should only be distributed by an instructor through Google Drive and shared only with students in the course per the recommendations in the “Storing & Sharing Class Recordings” section below. Remind students that the recordings are for their use only. Although students may need to download recordings for their own use, such recordings may not otherwise be copied, distributed, or shared.

  • When recording is initiated during a meeting, all students will receive a recording consent disclaimer and be presented with the option to “Continue” or “Leave Meeting”. By continuing with the meeting they are consenting to be recorded. If they don’t wish to consent, they can choose the “Leave Meeting” option to exit the meeting. 
    • If a student attempts to join a recorded meeting that’s already in progress, they will be presented with the disclaimer upon entering.
    • In addition to the disclaimer, we recommend verbally discussing this with your students as well.

  • If students don’t wish to be recorded but still need to attend the meeting, they have the option to turn off their camera and mute themselves. They can consider using Chat to communicate.
    • (Zoom) The Chat window isn’t shown in local recordings. If recording to the cloud, ensure that the "Save chat messages from the meeting / webinar" option is disabled in your user settings. To access this setting, navigate to the Zoom Web Portal, click “Settings” from the column to the left, then click the “Recording” tab.

  • PLU’s legal counsel has recommended that instructors include information about class recordings in their syllabus (e.g. this syllabus statement from the Office of the Provost).

  • (Zoom) Meetings that are initiated through the Zoom Meetings tool in a Sakai course, and recorded to the cloud, are FERPA compliant. Cloud recordings within the Zoom Meetings tool are only available to the students enrolled in the course. Follow the steps in the following section to properly store and share class recordings on a long-term basis.

  • In some cases, you could consider recording an asynchronous video lecture to share with students instead of recording a synchronous class meeting. Lectures can be recorded with screencasting software such as Screencast-O-Matic.


The following recommendations pertain to class recordings that are not already distributed as Zoom cloud recordings, which are only available temporarily (more details: Sakai 12 - Zoom Meetings: How long may cloud recordings be available?).


We recommend creating a folder within Google Drive to store all recordings for each class. That folder can then be shared with the students, and they’ll have access to each file within it. If you’ve already created a parent folder for the class, such as to store other course material, you can create a subfolder for class recordings within it.


To create a new Google Drive folder for class recordings:

  1. Navigate to drive.google.com and login with your PLU ePass account.
  2. Click the “New” button to the top-left, and select “Folder” from the pop-up that appears.
  3. Enter a title for the folder, and click “Create.” The folder will appear in the main file list.
  4. Right-click the folder, and select “Share.” A new window will appear.
  5. Under the “Get Link” section of the popup window, ensure that the folder is marked as “Restricted: Only people added can open with this link.” If it is set to anything else, reset it to “Restricted.”  
  6. In Sakai, export an Excel spreadsheet of your roster for the course in question (more details: Sakai 12 - Roster: How do I export the roster?).
  7. Open the spreadsheet in Excel, highlight a column containing only student email addresses, and copy them (CTRL+C/Command+C)..
  8. Enter or paste (CTRL+V/Command+V) student emails into the “Add people and groups” field.
  9. Click the drop-down to the top-right, which has “Editor” selected by default, and select “Viewer.”
  10. If desired, enter text into the message field and ensure the “Notify people” box is checked. This will send an email notification to the students with a link directly to the folder.
  11. If a notification isn’t desired, uncheck the “Notify people” box.
  12. When done, click “Send/Share.”

To share a class recording:
  1. Navigate to the class recordings folder (see above).
  2. Click the “New” button to the top-left, and select “File Upload” from the pop-up that appears.
  3. Locate and select the desired class recording video that’s stored on the computer.
    • If the meeting you want to store in Google Drive was recorded by Zoom to the cloud, it will need to be downloaded from your account in the Zoom web portal first. More details: Zoom: Sharing a Meeting Recording .
  4. Click “Open.” A pop-up that displays the upload progress will appear to the bottom-right.

When done, the recording will be available to everyone with access to the folder. Consider also posting to an appropriate place in your Sakai course site (e.g., on the Course Information page) a link to the Google Drive folder that stores the recordings for that course. Be aware that videos need time to process before they can be played within Google Drive.

To disable downloading options for a class recording stored in Google Drive, refer to the “Disable Downloading” section of Google Drive: Sharing Files & Folders . Note that if you want to disable the downloading controls for content stored in Google Drive, this has to be implemented per file. Such restrictions cannot be set for an entire folder in Google Drive. 


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Keywords:recording, class, meeting, remote, virtual, video, call, session   Doc ID:105289
Owner:Misty B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2020-08-25 12:08 PDTUpdated:2021-02-23 12:20 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
CleanURL:https://kb.plu.edu/web-conferencing-ferpa-privacy
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