Privacy and consent for synchronous classroom tools
Conestoga faculty may use either Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) or a Conestoga licensed Zoom to provide remote learning to students. MS Teams is more securely managed than Zoom and is the preferred tool when meeting and sharing personal and sensitive information.
Consent to participate in and be recorded in course activities
Personally identifiable information about students (including their names, images, personal opinions, etc.) is recorded during MS Teams and Zoom delivered course activities. It is not necessary to obtain explicit consent from each student to participate in remote learning via MS Teams or Zoom. If the student participates in the session, they are providing implied consent. If the student or faculty use any related product with MS Teams, i.e. chats, all recorded information is requestable under FIPPA.
We recommend transparency of process by notifying students explicitly at the beginning of every course activity that the meeting will be recorded only by the faculty, and/or any student who has a documented accommodation for recording. In both cases, the recording will be used only for this particular course delivery and will be later destroyed along with the course lead chats in MS Teams. This information could be posted within the course shell on eConestoga.
The following collection notice is recommended for faculty to use both in the syllabus and in every course activity:
Course activities delivered via MS Teams or Zoom may be recorded by faculty. You must not record or share course content without faculty permission. Your personal information, including name, image, voice, and opinions, may be collected as part of the course activity. Your personal information is protected and managed in accordance with the requirements of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. If you have any questions about the protection of your privacy, please contact
Faculty should remind students that they may not record or distribute course activity content, nor meetings with other students, breakout room meetings, or meetings with faculty without permission.
Log in instructions
- Students must log in to MS Teams or Zoom with their Conestoga account.
- When using Zoom, faculty should only allow authenticated users to partipate.
- Students are not required to display their full legal name, nor must they have a photo of themselves showing if their camera is turned off.
- Faculty and students are not required to turn on their cameras. However, it may be beneficial for students and faculty to turn on their cameras to see non-verbal cues during course activities and discussions.
Retention and storage of recordings
- Faculty retain recordings for the term if the transitory recordings are needed by students for accessibility purposes.
- Any recorded course activities must be stored on approved Conestoga College networks, limited to those students and faculty who were scheduled to attend the course activity.
- Faculty must not retain a copy of any course activity on personal devices, nor in any personal storage accounts (e.g. DropBox), nor share it with anyone who was not scheduled to participate in the course activity.
- Recordings will be automatically deleted after 1 year if faculty does not delete them at the end of the term.
- Should faculty decide to refer to recordings when assessing student performance and have made it clear to students that the recordings are being used as part of the assessment (including exams), the recordings must be retained for at least one year to provide students with their statutory entitlement to reasonably obtain access.
Cameras and virtual background during testing
- During tests or exams, faculty can require a student to turn on their camera and microphone, and turn off their virtual background for the entirety of the test or exam. Students can also be required to be visible in a recording made for the purpose of assessment.
- Students should be reminded in advance that anything in the background will be seen by the faculty.
- Faculty should be cognizant and sensitive to the fact that a test-taker may not have access to a private room depending on their living situation, i.e. pets or family members may be visible in the background, and the student may even be taking the test from their workplace.
Additional resources and support
Faculty concerned about confirming a student’s identity for testing purposes can meet the student in a breakout room and request to see their One Card as the student briefly turns on their camera.
For more information about Conestoga College's intellectual property and copyright, refer to Copyright for Faculty & Staff.
If students have specific questions or concerns, they are encouraged to ask their faculty or email the college's Manager, Privacy & Information Management at email@example.com.
IT would like to caution faculty that students may not have access to reliable internet. Reliable internet is dependent on many factors and can be easily impacted by:
- download/upload speeds
- multiple individuals in the house accessing the internet at the same time
- age of the router (if there is Wi-Fi in the home)
- Wi-Fi access points within the home
Student and program handbooks have been updated with online learning information. They include disclaimer information for course outlines and a template for eConestoga course information. More for faculty can be found in the eConestoga Remote Delivery Toolkit.
Specific questions can be directed to the college's Manager, Privacy & Information Management, firstname.lastname@example.org.