Table of contents


Aalto University’s purpose, values, and way of working define our long-term direction. Lecture Recording Policy is a development area needed to drive us towards our purpose.

The university’s Living Strategy for a World in Motion recognises that digitalization is a key aspect of the changing landscape of higher education. Aalto University’s strategy provides a framework in which the university recognises remote work from home as a transformation of working life for both students and staff and the technologies enabling audiovisual recordings and video sharing as technological disruptions that enable sustainable development and innovative learning but also require clearer definitions for the Aalto way of working. As a community, we proactively and continuously re-evaluate our choices, and this policy is reviewed based on feedback.


 This policy applies to recording lectures held on university premises or on-line.

This policy does not apply as such to sessions where the students are presenting their work (e.g. thesis seminars), confidential material is handled or to exams. As a rule, these sessions are not recorded. See also provisions for interactive teaching, section IX. See guidelines for online exams and remotely proctored exams https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/digital-assessment


Everyone in the Aalto community is encouraged to develop and enhance their individual skills and capabilities. Providing learning materials in video and audio form is part of Aalto University’s commitment to equality and diversity, as it meets university obligations to embed inclusive practices into teaching. Recordings of lectures:

  • Provide a study aid for revision; used to review difficult sections, improve the quality of notes and allow for more independent study.
  • Help accommodate different approaches to learning.
  • Assist students who do not have the language of instruction as their first language.
  • Assist students who have particular educational needs or disabilities.


  1. Public teaching. According to the Universities Act (558/2009), teaching in the universities is public. This applies to online lectures as well as to traditional lectures on university premises. However, when teaching from home, there is a responsibility to guard private life. The online teaching IT services chosen by Aalto University include background views of the Aalto University campus and other images. When guarding privacy, these backgrounds should be used instead of showing private spaces where the lecture is captured.
  2. Copyright and personal data processing. The copyright and personal data processing policies of Aalto University and the legislative framework for recording and publishing lectures is described in sections VII and VIII.
  3. A lecture can be published as an open educational resource by the instructor on the Aalto OpenLearning platform at https://openlearning.aalto.fi/ or other platforms such as YouTube.
  4. Restricted availability. The instructor can choose to disseminate the recorded lecture only for restricted audiences, 1) only for the course participants or 2) only for the Aalto community, meaning persons with aalto.fi e-mail.


Citations, such as the citation of images, must always include proper credit, the source and the authors of the images, according to good scientific practice. A citation method must be chosen for images and for other copyright protected materials. For more information on images and citation methods, see https://libguides.aalto.fi/imagoa_eng.


All students take responsibility for their own learning. Engaging in interaction during lectures may include voluntary enabling of video and/or audio by students.

Students have the right to know beforehand about the recording of a session by the instructor or Aalto University services and where the recording is going to be shared (e.g. a MyCourses course page, an Aalto.fi page only available to the Aalto community, freely in the internet).

The student must be able to choose during the recording whether he/she will appear in the recording and whether he/she speaks.

If the names or other similar direct identifiers (= attendance list) of the attendees remain in the recording, the recording may not be distributed outside the course without the consent of the students.

Students may opt out of video or audio recordings. They must be informed of their right to opt out of being recorded at the first viable point of communication. It must be explicitly brought to the attention of individuals and must be presented clearly and separately from any other information, along with details of the opt-out process.

Students have the right to know which sessions are captured and who will have access to the recordings.

According to section 12 of the Copyright Act (404/1961), anyone may make single copies for his private use of a copyright-protected work that has been made public. As stated in section 6 of the Universities Act, copyright-protected lecture materials and lecture have been made public. The copies thus made for private use by students may not be used for other purposes. Students have the responsibility to ensure that copies of university lectures are not published or otherwise made available to third persons for example online. In addition to copyright infringement, misuse of recordings will be treated as misconduct and handled according to the appropriate disciplinary process.


Instructors make the decisions to record and share their lectures unless they have entered into specific agreements, for example agreements on projects and funding.

The instructor has the responsibility to respect the students legal right to record a lecture for private use.

All recordings made by university staff must be made using Aalto University IT services and university-owned devices to support fair and lawful processing of personal data. The students’ consent to the handling of personal data will be discussed in section IX.


Aalto University respects the right of all authors to self-created material as defined in the Copyright Act and ensures that copyright is taken into account when designing teaching or learning materials.

Copyright is taken into account for all authors and right holders already when planning educational material. These rights arise for each author and performer of an audiovisual work. Aalto University is the producer of all audiovisual works produced according to this Lecture Recording Policy.

Learning materials are shared openly only when university has obtained sufficient rights to do so from all parties. While Aalto University makes the development of open access learning materials possible, it is understood that their development is voluntary.


Legal basis and purpose

The legal bases for recording and use of video and audio recordings of lectures are Article 6(1)(2) of the General Data Protection Regulation and sections 2 and 6 of the Universities Act.

An appropriate permission form must be used to obtain explicit opt-in consent for recordings of non-university employees (such as guest speakers). The recording of any kind of interactive teaching involving substantive student participation and sessions (such as students presenting their work, tutorials) is not permitted unless opt-in consent is obtained from all participants at the beginning of such activities.

Lecture recordings will not be used for staff performance management purposes and or as a basis for instigating performance or disciplinary proceedings.

The university’s Data Protection Policy allows the university as data controller to process personal data in relation to employees, students, research subjects and other users, for education and student/staff support services where there is a legal basis. Where recordings are held in online environments, it should be noted that a user’s access to and use of online services can be monitored and is an example of the type of personal data held by the university, as stated in the Privacy notice for students.

Data subject rights

If the staff or students wish to have a recording edited, they must request a change from the person responsible for the activity being recorded.

With regard to recordings of educational activities, individuals have the right to obtain confirmation that their data is being processed and to get access to their data. Individuals are also entitled to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.

An individual has the right to request the deletion or removal of personal data including participation in recordings of educational activities.

The university as the data controller has the responsibility to remove and delete personal data, unless the university can demonstrate a legal basis for the processing the personal data that overrides the interests, rights and freedoms of the individuals being recorded.

Recording storage, access, and dissemination

All educational recordings must be stored, accessed, disseminated and processed in accordance with the university’s Information Security Policies. Any recordings made by students are intended for personal use and must not be re-distributed, shared or re-used in any way.

Storage period

Recorded lectures may be stored for:

  1. The duration of the course, including availability for exam preparation.
  2. Three years, which is the MyCourses platform storage period.
  3. As long as recorded lecture is relevant for teaching and learning objectives.


The policy will be reviewed no less frequently than every two years by Aalto University Learning Services.

The procedures and associated responsibilities will be reviewed every year.


Elliott, Caroline and Neal, David (2015), Evaluating the use of lecture capture using a revealed preference approach. Active Learning in Higher Education, http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/24540/

Feir et al (2013), Use of Echo360 generated materials and its impact on class attendance, 30th Ascilite Conference Proceedings, http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/sydney13/about/proceedings.pdf

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