Carnegie Mellon University

Guidelines for Using YouTube for Teaching and Learning

YouTube is available through Google for Education. As a non-core app, YouTube is governed by Google's consumer licensing structure which has privacy implications. This document provides information about the terms and conditions of use, along with guidance on privacy settings and more. The Computing Services Help Center does not provide support for non-core apps.

Intended Use at CMU

YouTube is Google's video content authoring and publishing platform. The intended use case for YouTube at CMU is for the purpose of creating and delivering instructional videos for teaching and learning. YouTube videos can be embedded into an authenticated system like Canvas for students to access.

Privacy Concerns

It is important that instructors and students be aware of Google’s terms and conditions for using YouTube at CMU, as it is a non-core service and is NOT covered by the university's Google for Education licensing agreement. Non-core apps are subject to Google’s consumer app terms and conditions. Therefore, YouTube may NOT be used to share or store any sensitive university information or files considered Private or Restricted. Videos uploaded should be considered as Public, which means the information is intended for public access. For more information see the ISO's Guidelines for Data Classification.

Guidance for Privacy and Accessibility

YouTube is not protected by CMU's core Google for Education agreement. For that reason, we recommend you take the steps below to ensure additional privacy measures are in place.

  1. Create your own channel. 
  2. Adjust the video settings to Private and share with only relevant Andrew userIDs. If sharing privately is not an option, set the video to Unlisted to ensure only those who have the direct link can view it.
  3. Disable comments.
  4. Make sure ads do not display.
  5. For instructional videos that are created or curated for student use, instructors can embed YouTube videos into Canvas, or play the video through screen sharing on Zoom.
  6. Make sure your videos are digitally accessible. Leverage YouTube’s automatic captioning functionality, then manually correct any captions that are rendered incorrectly. Captions should accurately reflect the video content.
Note: Uploaded videos should be considered Public information.

Additional Support

Eberly Center for Teaching

Contact the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation for help designing or creating instructional learning videos, as well as technical how-to strategies like embedding YouTube videos into Canvas and creating digitally-accessible content.

Office of Disability Resources

The Office of Disability Resources can provide additional guidance on accommodating students.