Zoom Session Recording & Privacy Considerations


During virtual instruction, it can be helpful to communicate expectations and protocols for participation in Zoom sessions, as well as options available to students to ensure their privacy. This page contains some SAMPLE language for communicating expectations and privacy options to students. Some of this language is drawn from the syllabi of faculty from different departments, as well as from FAQs from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and is intended for illustration only. You are welcome to adapt this language for your particular teaching context and in conjunction with any further guidance you may receive from your department or the Chancellor’s Office.

Remember: It is helpful for students if you explain WHY you have the policies you do, whether they are institutionally mandated or based on your own teaching philosophy/values.

Recording Zoom Sessions

If you plan to record your synchronous class sessions (whether in Zoom, Google Meet, or elsewhere), you should be aware that, per California law and FERPA protection, all participants (including faculty and students) must provide consent. You should notify your students in advance if you plan to record some or all of your Zoom session and let them know what privacy options are available to them (e.g., mute microphone; change display name to initials or pseudonym; turn off video). 

Example Syllabus Language

Consider adding language to your syllabus, as well as any course page that explains instructions for synchronous class sessions (e.g., in Canvas). Below, we offer some examples.

Regarding the use of camera during Zoom meetings:

In order to increase active participation and engagement in this class, students are expected to turn on their webcam during Zoom meetings. Students that do not wish to be on camera or are unable to use a camera (e.g., due to technical difficulty or lack of access to a device with a camera) should work with their instructor to make accommodations.

Regarding the recording of Zoom meetings:

Zoom meetings will be recorded and will be available to students enrolled in this course as a study aid. Students who do not want their likeness during class participation included in the recorded class session may elect to turn off the camera and change their name in the Zoom window. Recordings will be available for viewing during the Remote Instruction Period subject to the following:

  • Only students enrolled in the [subject class] during the Remote Instruction Period may view the recording. 
  • Students may not post or use the recordings in any other setting (e.g., social media) for any purpose. Students who violate this will be subject to student discipline, up to and including expulsion. 
  • Federal and California law as well as University policies protecting intellectual property rights and use of instructional materials (including any recordings of class sessions) remain in effect during the Remote Instruction Period. 
  • If faculty have any plan to use the recording for a different class in the future, the faculty member will need written FERPA consent from those students in the current class who are identifiable in any of the recordings. A FERPA consent form signed by all students in the course will also be needed if the recordings are made available to others beyond the classroom on a non-secure digital platform.

Example Zoom Waiting Room Language

If you enable the waiting room in Zoom, this is another relevant place to remind students of your expectations and their privacy options. Below, we offer an example message for the Zoom waiting room.

Waiting Room Statements

Example 1: I will be with you in a moment. Please know our class session will be recorded. If you wish to not have your image shown in the recording, please let me know and we will make accommodations.

Example 2: I will be with you in a moment. Our class session will be recorded. If you wish to not have your image shown in the recording, please let me know. Once you are in the room, you may turn off your camera and change your name.

Example 3: This Zoom session will be recorded for students who may not be able to attend at this time, as well as for your later viewing. If you do not want to be included in the recording, you can do any or all of the following: mute your microphone, turn off your camera, rename your display name. You may type questions and comments in the Zoom chat. Note: Only the instructor is permitted to record Zoom sessions.

Guidance from the CSU Office of the Chancellor