University of Missouri to limit lecture recording

“If we want to innovate, we need to break down barriers to information and conversation, not erect new ones,” he said.

The debate in Missouri raises broader questions about the use and ownership of what are known as “captured lectures,” said Kenneth Green, who directs The Campus Computing Project, a southern California-based research group that studies the role of information technology in American higher education.

A 2009 national survey by the group found that just 56 percent of campuses had “formal policies regarding the ownership of web-based curriculum resources and intellectual property developed by faculty.”

Though universities have not restricted recording, he said, a modern “gotcha” culture attuned to circulating everyday missteps and misstatements increases the impact of the practice.

“The technology to do it has gotten much better,” Green said. “And the stakes have gotten much higher.”

For Ancel, the proposed policy doesn’t go far enough. She cited a classroom conversation in which one student who appeared in the Big Government video worried that her liberal views would create problems at the workplace with a conservative boss.

“I don’t want to have to think about what I said in class because my boss might see it,” the student told Ancel.

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