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Education Quality and Policy Office


In support of the expectations to record lectures for 20-21, the General Board’s Education Committee considered the issue of availability of recordings, and specifically instances where material was made available to students for a limited period of time before being removed.  At its meeting of 21 October 2020, GBEC agreed that:  

  • Limiting access to lecture recordings is not desirable and may disadvantage some learners.   
  • Students should be expected, and supported, to engage with recorded material in an appropriate fashion. To support this, departments should provide clear and consistent information about the content of recorded materials. Where appropriate, it may also include scheduling short ‘live’ online question and discussion sessions and / or indicating potential relevance for students’ small-group teaching such as supervisions, seminars or classes. 
  • The default expectation is that recordings, once published, should be made available to students for the remainder of the academic year.  This will encourage greater inclusivity, not only on disability and health grounds, but also in the adjustment to new modes of learning.  It will enable students to engage fully and responsibly with the material as adult learners.  
  • Where departments identify a pedagogical reason to limit access, this may be done under the following conditions:  
    • It must be a course-level decision supported by the Faculty Board, and not one made by individual lecturers; 
    • Where such restrictions exist, they should be no shorter than the Term in which the teaching takes place, plus 2 weeks; 
    • Departments must show clear consultation with students in developing such a policy; 
    • Departments must provide advice and guidance to students about how they can engage with online material in ways which are appropriate to their education and to their circumstances; for example, a suggested timeline for watching recordings, or to identify when supervisors can reasonably expect them to have engaged with certain topics or elements. 
  • Students should be encouraged to communicate with course organisers regarding any concerns about availability of lecture recordings. 

The Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning has published introductory guides to teaching in 2020-21, as well as guidance for students. Feedback and comments are welcome:  


Page created 02/11/20; updated with student guidance link 05/11/20