Dear FERPA Professor:
Our University has starting offering students the ability to attend class meetings remotely, synchronously, using web conferencing technology. Instructors record these web conference sessions for instructional purposes, such as for viewing later
by students who were absent, or for students to view their presentations in order to make improvements.
We believe that so long as the recordings are shared only with the other students enrolled in the course section, that there are no FERPA implications. However, if the instructor wants to share the recordings with other parties, that there could be
FERPA implications if any students were captured in the video recording.
Is this correct? Would we need students to sign release forms in order share their images to audiences outside of the course section in which they are enrolled?
You are spot on regarding the sharing of recorded class sessions. They could be shared without consent within the class as part of the class learning process. Even in the situation where a student has opted out of having "directory information"
shared, the University can still share the recorded session within the classroom, which includes those attending remotely. (See §99.37(c)(1) on page 167 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.)
Sharing the recordings outside of the class, however, would generally require that the signed consent requirements of §99.30 be met prior to any such disclosure.
The FERPA Professor
I hope this is helpful in answering your questions.