Audio and Video Recording of Lectures and Class Sessions

There are several possible reasons why a lecture or class session might be recorded for teaching and learning purposes.  Most frequently, lectures are recorded for use as a study aid.  This process might be directed by the instructor, or by the student.  For example:

  • Some instructors produce podcasts or video-podcasts (sometimes called vodcasts) of their courses.  These may be linked to the course Blackboard site or otherwise distributed to students as a study aid.  Please contact CTSI for more information about developing podcasts and vodcasts.
  • Some students wish to create their own audio or video recording of a lecture as a personal study aid.  In certain cases, this may be a study strategy associated with a cognitive or physical disability.
  • More recently, the UofT has encountered several problematic cases of students creating audio and video recordings of lectures and subsequently sharing these recordings with other students, sometimes on publicly accessible websites, and occasionally for profit.

PLEASE NOTE: Additionally, the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation can provide individual in-class observations, followed by a consultation, to instructors.  This process often involves videotaping part of a lecture so that an instructor can see their own teaching from the perspective of a student. You can book a consultation with CTSI online.

Some instructors see recorded lectures as an opportunity for students to review lecture material; others feel that without the pressure of writing down all lecture material, students can listen more attentively and can focus their notes on questions, connections, and conceptually complex ideas.  Other instructors do not wish to record their lectures or have their lectures recorded, often because they believe that the process of taking comprehensive notes allows students to organize and assess their own understanding of a topic, because they believe that the ephemeral nature of a lecture encourages student engagement and attendance, or because they believe that a lecture is a spontaneous and interpersonal event that should remain within the confines of the classroom.

Whether instructors wish to record their lectures or have their lectures recorded or not is entirely at the discretion of the individual instructor.  A lecture is considered the intellectual property of the instructor, and copyright guidelines and regulations apply to the recording of lectures.  Furthermore, recording a lecture also requires the observation of privacy guidelines and regulations for students in the class whose presence or statements might also be recorded.

Consequently, the following considerations, guidelines, and policies apply to the audio and video recording of lectures:


If you have questions about audio and video recordings of lectures and class sessions, please contact the CTSI at or 416-946-3139.