Online Teaching and FERPA

Online Teaching & FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) limits the sharing of student educational records.  JCCC’s FERPA information page can be found at:

This document addresses many frequently asked questions as we teach in a primarily online environment this fall.

Merging sections in Canvas:  If teaching multiple sections of the same course you may want to merge courses. That is permissible, but students should not see students from other sections.  Here is a link identifying steps you need to take to be compliant with FERPA when merging courses:

Canvas Roles and Mentoring/Observing:  Canvas has many roles such as Teacher, TA, Observer, Student and Designer.  You should ask your Chair/Dean before you add anyone to your course (in any role) that is not an enrolled student.

Zoom Recordings and Sharing

Recordings:  It is ok to record zoom class sessions and share the recording, provided that you only share the recording with that class.  You should state up front (preferably in the syllabus) that class sessions will be recorded.

Zoom recordings should be saved to the cloud, not to the local computer.  Zoom recordings should be posted in Canvas only and should not be posted on public websites such as YouTube.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Place a statement in the syllabus. (example language – This is a web-based class, and I record and post our zoom class sessions for everyone enrolled in this class. Your continued enrollment constitutes your consent for these recordings and their use in this way.)
  • Utilize a Zoom consent form. Zoom sessions can be set to implement a recording disclaimer that will provide a message to attendees: “This meeting is being recorded.  By continuing in the meeting, you are consenting to being recorded.”  Instructions on how to do that can be found here –

Faculty Sharing Zoom Recordings:   You should only share class session recordings with the class you recorded.  If you want to share the same video with all classes, it must not contain any students’ names, student videos/images or student participation.  You could record yourself giving a lecture and share to all courses, but if it contains any students you should not share with anyone other than that section.

High School Students:  Minors who are enrolled in college classes have all the rights associated with FERPA and do not need additional permissions.

Zoom Meeting Screenshots: Images of zoom class meetings should not be shared outside of that class.  Do not share zoom screenshots of your class on social media or anywhere outside of your class.

Zoom Sessions with Multiple Sections Present:  If you offer a zoom session for multiple sections at the same time:

  • Attendance should be optional
  • Students should be informed in advance that they will be in a Zoom room with other students from other sections of the same course
  • Students should be given the option to change their name displayed in Zoom
  • Faculty need to be mindful of management to prevent accidental disclosure of student grade information in front of other students. Discussions with students regarding their specific grades should be done in a private Zoom meeting.

Online Office Hours using Zoom:  It would be recommended to use a waiting room or schedule appointments during online office hours so that students from different sections are not in the session at the same time.  Discussions with students regarding their specific grades should be done in a private Zoom meeting.

Students Recording and Sharing Zoom Sessions:  You may want to insert some language into your syllabus to prohibit this activity.  In the Student Code of Conduct, language already exists in 319.01.14 in Technology, Communication Systems and Electronic Devices – which can be found here –

“…no electronic communication device shall be used in a manner that causes disruption in any instructional, learning or activity setting, during any class, or within any College-owned, College-operated, or College-utilized facilities. This includes, but is not limited to, abuse of cellular or other electronic devices as follows:

  • Utilizing any type of electronic device to photograph, video record or audio record a course or extra-curricular activity unless permission is expressly granted by the faculty member or JCCC representative. A student may be required to complete a Tape Recording Lecture Agreement before receiving permission to record. Regardless, when permission is granted, students agree to use such recordings only for personal use and agree not to post such recordings on the internet, or otherwise distribute them to others. Students needing recordings of lectures for disability-related reasons should contact the ACCESS Services Officeto arrange for appropriate accommodations.”

If you have questions regarding FERPA, please contact Leslie Quinn, Director of Enrollment Services & Registrar at  If you have questions about how to structure your class appropriately in Canvas or Zoom to align with FERPA, please contact Ed Lovitt, Director of Educational Technology at