Capturing & Disseminating Video/Photography During Course Activities

The case and field methods, the hallmark pedagogies of Harvard Business School, are rooted in candid discussion, relying on the open exchange of information and ideas, and thus necessitating risk-taking to help students and participants achieve deeper understanding and realize personal growth. Consistent with the School’s community values, we all must work to create a learning environment of trust and mutual respect, free expression and inquiry, and a commitment to truth, excellence, and lifelong learning.

The purpose of this policy is to clarify the School’s position on capturing (e.g., photography, audio, video, live streaming and other formats) and/or disseminating (e.g., via the media or use of social media) content, images, or conversations that take place during class sessions. This policy pertains to all program or course activities taking place in a classroom or other academic setting, including, for example, discussion or project groups, work at project sites, and doctoral dissertation defenses.

The policy is also intended to clarify what is deemed sufficient notification for students and participants in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Capturing Classroom Activities

Students, participants, staff, faculty, and class visitors are not permitted to capture content, images, or conversations during class sessions in any form, whether photography, audio, video, live streaming, or other formats.

Outside Media in the Classroom

Media are not permitted in the classroom without the advance permission of the Office of Marketing and Communications; exceptions are rare and generally granted only when they serve School-wide objectives. Participants will always be notified if media are present in a course activity.

Social Media in the Classroom

The use of social media by students, participants, staff, faculty, or class visitors is not permitted in any form, during course-related sessions. This is intended to ensure that class-related activities remain confidential, thereby creating psychological safety needed for candid participation and risk-taking in our learning environments. Additionally, it removes distractions caused by any use of personal electronic devices in a class setting. Exception to this rule will only be considered if the social media activities are directly tied to the learning experience as dictated explicitly by the faculty member.

The practice of social media before and/or after class-related sessions is permissible so long as it:

  • Respects the privacy and confidentiality of students, participants, staff, faculty, and class visitors. For example, sharing comments attributed to individual students or class guests is not allowed. As another example, photographs that include seating cards with student names should not be shared unless individual permission has been explicitly granted.

  • Preserves the integrity of the HBS learning environment by not publishing or distributing case materials or course content to anyone who has not enrolled in a class, particularly those outside of the HBS community.

Exceptions

The School may record class sessions via audio or videotape for the following reasons:

  • A student or faculty member will view the material due to an absence for illness, a religious holiday, or other accommodation.

  • A current or prospective faculty member will view the material for education, training and development, or co-teaching.

  • A class review session will be shared with everyone enrolled in that class.

  • The School seeks to capture video and/or photography of classroom activities for use on the School’s websites and social media channels. In these instances, faculty, students, or participants will be notified and permissions will be requested ahead of time.

Students, participants, staff, faculty, and class visitors will be notified and appropriate permission sought if a class is being recorded by the School for any other purpose than those stated above.

Please note: All classroom recordings are owned by HBS, with copyright to the recordings belong to the President and Fellows of Harvard College.