The case and field methods, the hallmark pedagogies of Harvard Business School, are rooted in candid classroom discussion, relying on the open exchange of information and ideas, and thus necessitating risk-taking to help students achieve deeper understanding and realize personal growth. Consistent with the School’s community values, all community members 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., through 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.

Capturing Classroom Activities

Except as set forth in this policy, students, staff, faculty, and class visitors are not permitted to capture content, images, or conversations during class sessions in any form, whether through photography, audio, video, live streaming, or other formats. Recording class sessions is generally considered to be a violation of Community Values. Students are required to inform their class guests that recording class sessions is prohibited and that violations by guests will be the responsibility of the host student.

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, 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, allowing 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 be considered only 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, 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.

Classroom Recordings

In general, HBS MBA class sessions are not recorded, although authorization for class recordings may be made by the HBS Disability Coordinator to support necessary accommodations for a documented disability (for questions about such accommodations, students should contact the Disability Coordinator, within the MBA Student & Academic Services Office). With proper advance notice, classes also may be recorded without additional notification to students for the following reasons:

  • A student is missing class due to the observance of religious beliefs, or for an extended excused absence from class, generally thought of as lasting more than 2 days, due to injury, illness, or other extenuating circumstance.
  • 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.

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

Class recordings are not available for students with unexcused absences. Class recordings are intended for the sole use of the individual for whom they were created and may not be viewed by, offered, or distributed to any other individuals without approval from the MBA Program. Class recordings are never permitted to be shared with individuals outside the HBS Community.

Class recordings may take up to 48 hours to process and will be available to the student in Panopto. Technical difficulties may disrupt or prevent a recording from being made or shared. Student access to class recordings expires 30 days following the class session.

Students who attend course sessions and access course recordings are acknowledging that they may not post, publish, sell or otherwise distribute course materials, including without limitation: video or audio recordings, assignments, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys. Students who sell, post, publish or distribute course materials for any reason may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including mandatory withdrawal from HBS.

All classroom recordings and the copyright in these recordings belong to HBS and President and Fellows of Harvard College.