Requiring Webcams

When considering the use of webcams in courses offered through remote learning technologies, there are three main factors to consider and balance:

  • Academic integrity/integrity of assessment
  • Student privacy
  • Student access to technology/resources

To balance these factors, the following guidance has been developed.

Class Meetings

Faculty should adopt a camera-optional practice for teaching through Zoom. A camera-optional approach respects student issues such as access and equity (e.g., some may not have cameras on their devices), safety and security (e.g., some may be deployed military or in need of safety or privacy), and religious strictures. Faculty members who previously did not take attendance in their in-person classrooms should continue to respect that their students will attend remotely. Faculty who took attendance previously should explore manual and automatic options for taking attendance through Zoom. Get help with these options.

If a faculty member chooses to record a Zoom session, recorded student participation during the session should not be required. Other forms of participation, e.g., private chat, can be required and assessed. Students should be provided the choice to opt-out from identification in the recording by muting their audio, disabling video, and not typing public chats. See policy and guidance on class recording below.

Using webcams can play an important part in student engagement. Review the Webcams and Engagement Guidance (DOC) for more details.

Exams and Assessments

To protect the integrity of exams and other assessments, instructors may require students to turn on their webcams in order to monitor the assessment, however instructors must notify all students in the class of their intent to record the assessment via a written announcement at least 5 days in advance. Instructors must remind students that the assessment will be recorded before any recording takes place. Students should find a location in which they can access a webcam. If that is not possible, students should request an adjustment within 48 hours of the change announced by the instructor to monitor assessment. Instructors should take into consideration the facts and circumstances surrounding a student’s request and determine whether it is appropriate to grant the request. In such cases, instructors should work with the student to provide an alternate assessment. Screen sharing can also be an option to monitor student work if students are in separate Zoom rooms.

Guiding References

Syllabus Statement for Courses Requiring Cameras for Assessment

This content can be copied into your syllabus. Note: requiring webcams for class sessions should only be done for particular courses that require visual evidence of particular skills.

This course may require you to have a webcam for class sessions and assessments. Classes and assessments may be conducted using Zoom or other technology selected by your instructor which may use your computer’s webcam or other technologies to communicate, monitor, and/or record classes, class activities, and assessments. Assessments may also be conducted using proctoring software, which may listen to you, monitor your computer screen, view you and your surroundings, and record (including visual and audio recordings) all activity during the proctoring process. Please contact your instructor if you are unable to comply or have any questions or concerns.