IRB Guidance: Video Recording in Classrooms
This page outlines the requirements for video recording in classrooms for research purposes.
When utilizing video recording in classrooms as part of a research activity, all students and instructors in that class must sign consent forms, or video recording will not be allowed. Adherence to this guideline is based on the application of the informed consent rules (45 CFR 46.116). Participation in research has to be voluntary, and a person cannot be required to participate in a classroom research activity without having first given informed consent.
Since each student whose image is captured has to have consented to participate (or if under the age of 18, their parents have to consent and generally, minors have to assent), 100% consent is needed as it is logistically and technically difficult, if not impossible, to avoid capturing images of non-consenting students when video recording in classrooms or in any group setting.
There may be multiple reasons for not consenting to a research activity utilizing video recording of subjects including cultural and/or religious considerations. The preferences of parents, students, faculty, and staff should be respected. This principle is assured through the informed consent process.
Strategies to avoid capture of non-consenting students often "miss the point" or add unnecessary risk. When a researcher indicates they will not use data from, or will blur/erase images of non-consenting students, the fact remains that they have still been video recorded against their will. When video recording students' images is a research activity, a person retains the right to not participate in the research; this includes simply being captured on video taken as part of the research activity. Furthermore, attempting to segregate the participating students from those non-consenting may be coercive and/or stigmatizing, as it clearly identifies who declined to participate.