This document sets out some general points on the rationale for making use of lecture capture technology for students with disabilities. It focuses on lectures and teaching sessions recorded by Colleges and University departments, faculties and centres, and not recordings made by students.
Equality Act Duties
Providers of educational services must make reasonable adjustments for disabled students, staff and visitors under the Equality Act (2010), to ensure that disabled students are not put at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with students who are not disabled. It defines disability as follows:
A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.1
One such reasonable adjustment could be permission to make use of lecture recordings. The duty is not just to respond to student need but to anticipate needs where possible. This means we must think ahead about the range of adjustments that might reasonably be made for potential students and plan ahead to remove identified barriers to study. Institution initiated recording of core teaching sessions would contribute to meeting this anticipatory requirement.
Common Framework for Supporting Disabled Students2
The collegiate University has committed to seeking to offer “exemplary inclusive practice” with regard to its disabled students; lecture capture is a positive step in this process.
Furthermore, until recently disabled students could apply for individual funding to cover human support or assistive technology and equipment to help with note-taking. This type of Government funding has been changed and the University must now take primary responsibility for providing this kind of support. The use of this technology could promote student independence, and reduce reliance on University provision of human note-takers and individual equipment.
There are various groups of disabled students who would benefit from the recordings; if made available to all, they can additionally support those who have not felt able to disclose. For example:
A student with any mental or physical condition might experience a substantial impact on attendance – for example, due to the fluctuating nature of the condition, requirements to attend medical appointments or if physical access was temporarily not available, perhaps a lift might breakdown. A recording would mean the teaching session was not lost to the student.
Some conditions mean that disabled students cannot fully benefit from their attendance at the live lecture. They might have to take frequent breaks, write very slowly, experience pain or fatigue with a consequent impact on concentration, face significant anxiety, or experience difficulties in processing information at speed. All of these might impact on their ability to take meaningful lecture notes. A recording would reduce the pressure of trying to take comprehensive notes at the time, allow more active engagement in the session and support independent and interactive review of material afterwards.
To gain permission to record lectures themselves, students must first register with the University’s Disability Advisory Service. If recording is a recommended adjustment, students must agree to follow the policy on recording of lectures and other formal teaching sessions3 and sign a declaration4.
These policies apply equally to any institution-led lecture capture service. The key points of the agreement are:
the recordings must be used only for personal and private use, and must not be passed on to any other person or published in any form
the recordings must be destroyed once the student has completed the programme of study.
Study support recommendations for disabled students, including requests for use of lecture capture, are communicated to departments by the Disability Advisory Service using a Student Support Plan. Departments are advised to seek further guidance on the use of lecture capture technology from the Replay Team.
1. Equality Act (2010) section 6, Data Protection Act (1998), Technical Guidance of Further and Higher Education (2012).
3. https://www.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxford/field/field_document/Recording%2... published August 2015.