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(TaxProf)   Should colleges force students to turn their cameras on in online classes?   (taxprof.typepad.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, University, Colleges Force Students, Camera, Josh Blackman, general policy, easter egg, specific point, South Texas  
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2283 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Aug 2020 at 2:15 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-08-12 1:48:46 PM  
Apparently, my boss is telling employees to turn on their cameras on work calls. Whatever, if you want to see my fat ugly face instead of a clean profile picture...have at it.

I'm not really buying the privacy arguments being made. Backgrounds can be controlled. It's an interactive forum that is supposed to replace an in-person experience.

I assume, in the case of my workplace, someone walked away or was heard doing something in another room and got caught. Therefore, we all must now be visible. Okay, whatever.
 
2020-08-12 2:19:03 PM  
I see nothing wrong with this, how else are professors supposed to embarrass students who are unprepared.
 
2020-08-12 2:19:06 PM  
Fine.  But I'm not gonna explain why my hand is rythmically moving under my desk.
 
2020-08-12 2:19:08 PM  
"Should college coeds do a little dance for me?"
 
2020-08-12 2:19:19 PM  
No.
 
2020-08-12 2:19:41 PM  
Yes, and when schools go back to teaching virtually, all classes should be recorded and viewable by parents...

I know of a lot of teachers that are terrified of this possibility.
 
2020-08-12 2:19:52 PM  
No. Next question.
 
2020-08-12 2:20:34 PM  
No
 
2020-08-12 2:23:15 PM  
How else can I 'accidentally' flash my junk when going for a piss break?
 
2020-08-12 2:23:22 PM  
Just give more tests / quizes.

Make them online ones so it grades itself mostly - where you only have to read a couple text based answers per student.

Fail students who can't put the time in - just like you'd do if they weren't coming to classes physically. This is college, they make money regardless of whether a degree is given (or even if the folks learn anything useful).

The hard part here is on the college support systems - where you are trying to help people who are actually trying to learn (rather than just doing it because they are supposed to).
 
2020-08-12 2:23:23 PM  
College professor here. No. I will ask students to turn on their cameras during our first class so that I can associate a face with their name, but there are other better ways to monitor whether they are engaged with the class.
 
2020-08-12 2:23:52 PM  

RussianPotato: Fine.  But I'm not gonna explain why my hand is rythmically moving under my desk.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-12 2:24:32 PM  
No.  It is a waste on bandwidth.  I dont need 20-odd little pictures constantly moving on my screen.  Especially when I've got video running on the other screen myself.  I'm already having to gift the university my data plan for free - they get not one bit more than is absolutely necessary.
 
2020-08-12 2:24:33 PM  
You (or your parents) are paying good money to be there.  If you don't want to bother to pick up the knowledge that's laid before you on an endless buffet, the university should be happy to pocket the dollars and go on its merry way.

/if you're on a merit scholarship, you've got the skills to pay attention anyway.
 
2020-08-12 2:24:45 PM  

dwrash: Yes, and when schools go back to teaching virtually, all classes should be recorded and viewable by parents...

I know of a lot of teachers that are terrified of this possibility.


I know teachers that are terrified of the opposite, that they are accused of something and don't have recorded proof.
 
2020-08-12 2:25:01 PM  
What could go wrong?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-12 2:25:39 PM  

dwrash: I know of a lot of teachers that are terrified of this possibility.


No you don't.
 
2020-08-12 2:26:07 PM  
On one hand, it's college - let them skip if they want to. It's their money they're wasting.
On the other hand, as a teacher, it's really helpful to see faces so I can tell if they understand what I'm saying or not.
 
2020-08-12 2:26:18 PM  
 
2020-08-12 2:26:27 PM  
Yes. Most of the people, including teachers and faculty, who are arguing about this have not actually been teaching online classes.

My spouse has taught two semesters of online college courses now. Initially thought that cameras *should* be optional, but has found that accountability is near impossible without them. Particularly for any classes requiring group work, such as a science lab, where the students themselves were very unhappy because they couldn't tell when one of their team members had walked away, which happened often.

A lot of the online course advice is being prepared by education departments without hands-on experience actually teaching a non-education class online.

If privacy concerns are considered overriding, then there has to be acknowledgment that participation and educational outcomes for online versions of classes will be even worse than they already are, without just blaming the instructors for what most people erroneously assume is an 'easy job.'
 
2020-08-12 2:26:27 PM  

ahasp: College professor here. No. I will ask students to turn on their cameras during our first class so that I can associate a face with their name, but there are other better ways to monitor whether they are engaged with the class.


Does your school not use portraited rosters?  I already know what a my little angellic phosopher-kings and -queens look like.
 
2020-08-12 2:27:38 PM  
The students are paying customers, right?

Why are the instructors so anxious to exert arbitrary authority?
 
2020-08-12 2:29:05 PM  
Virtual version of this:

soundstudies.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-12 2:30:27 PM  
No.  Unlike high school, colleges and universities are there to provide further education, not provide custodial services to the public at large.  That's why most (sane) classes don't (or didn't) take attendance to be sure that students showed up.  Students are paying for the pursuit of knowledge, not a babysitter / middle manager.  If they can get fulfillment either by not going to class or not being on camera, what's the difference?
 
2020-08-12 2:30:43 PM  

dwrash: Yes, and when schools go back to teaching virtually, all classes should be recorded and viewable by parents...

I know of a lot of teachers that are terrified of this possibility.


Nah, we're not.  Faculty got used to it instantly in the Spring, and if parents want to watch who cares?  Honestly, it might help those folks out there like you who think our classes are Marxist propaganda sessions.

I'm much more worried about students objecting to being recorded/streamed from a classroom for students who can't be there.  I'm trying to get folks to put a disclaimer in their syllabus about it.
 
2020-08-12 2:31:33 PM  
Depends on the class. If it's just a basic lecture, then no, there is nothing gained by having students on camera.

If the student is giving a presentation, then yes.

If it's a lab/discussion group, then maybe. Sometimes the visual aspect helps a conversation. If everyone is engaged in a voice-only format, then that's obviously enough.
 
2020-08-12 2:31:57 PM  

JesseL: The students are paying customers, right?

Why are the instructors so anxious to exert arbitrary authority?


You do realize that instructors have essentially no say in university procedures, right?

Also, students are most definitely the anti-arguement for "the customer is always right" - otherwise my median grade would be much higher.
 
2020-08-12 2:32:43 PM  
It's college, not grade school.  I'm paying for access to resources and to receive a mark showing my degree of mastery of the subjects.  If I choose not to take advantage of your resource (lecture) maybe it's because your lectures suck.

Professors that care about attendance are the professors you don't want to have.

Professors that want to force you to video yourself are profs you don't want to have as well as a bit creepy.
 
2020-08-12 2:32:58 PM  
No, and trying to make distance learning the same as in class learning but with video conferencing is stupid.
 
2020-08-12 2:33:14 PM  
If i was in college I'd say ok. All they would see is me sitting there smoking a joint and drinking some keystone light.
 
2020-08-12 2:34:13 PM  
I find it amusing that my work profile picture has a clean-cut professional-looking gentleman.

Meanwhile I'm working from my sofa shirtless and barefoot in shorts, having grown my hair and beard out like a castaway.
 
2020-08-12 2:34:20 PM  
... no?

Look, I don't want to question the professional ethics or academic credentials of someone who's such a failure at their real job that they started a blog instead or anything... but actual useful college courses don't even give a shiat about attendance in person.

If you can learn the material without paying attention in class or even without attending class on a regular basis, and pass all the tests... good for you.  If anything, distance learning means that as an instructor I'd be less obligated to give a shiat about what you're doing while listening to the lecture, since you physically cannot distract or annoy the other students.
 
2020-08-12 2:35:21 PM  
Why should colleges require anything from students other than academic things like homework, labs, etc. and payment for tuition?
 
2020-08-12 2:36:15 PM  
I know a guy who is working from home that has a recorded a few selfie videos that he plays when he's in a Zoom meeting when he needs a snack or pee break, no one has noticed yet. (or called him out on it, at least)
 
2020-08-12 2:36:42 PM  
Although, I admit it would be challenging to see how drastically you could change your appearance from class to class.  "Show up" portrayed as a hippie one day, the next time as a businessman who's had a serious auto accident.  Happy clown one day, sad clown the next.
 
2020-08-12 2:38:28 PM  
I found college to be about as boring as accounting.  Go to class, take notes, read the assigned chapters, do the homework, take a test, get an A.  I don't see what having a camera on or off would have to do with that.  Granted I graduated Engineering.
 
2020-08-12 2:38:36 PM  

Khanmots: Professors that care about attendance are the professors you don't want to have.


That theory might work in large lecture halls, but small-room Major specific classes this is completely wrong. The professors teaching the upper-level courses absolutely should care about attendance.
 
2020-08-12 2:38:43 PM  
Second, a professor is better able to gauge a student's understanding by looking at his or her face.

I spent quite a few years in college, and I honestly can't remember seeing a professor looking over the students to see if anyone looked puzzled.
 
2020-08-12 2:39:04 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-12 2:47:16 PM  

phalamir: 20-odd little pictures


I remeber taking my first economics class in college in an auditorium wth 600 students.
 
2020-08-12 2:51:10 PM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Second, a professor is better able to gauge a student's understanding by looking at his or her face.

I spent quite a few years in college, and I honestly can't remember seeing a professor looking over the students to see if anyone looked puzzled.


I teach college students and I absolutely use non-verbal feedback to help me figure out if they're processing what I'm saying. The problem is that I don't think you can do that in a Zoom meeting with 50 students unless your office is set up like the Architect in the Matrix. Holding synchronous online courses for 30+ people and requiring they all be logged in and using cameras is madness.
 
2020-08-12 2:52:53 PM  

phalamir: JesseL: The students are paying customers, right?

Why are the instructors so anxious to exert arbitrary authority?

You do realize that instructors have essentially no say in university procedures, right?

Also, students are most definitely the anti-arguement for "the customer is always right" - otherwise my median grade would be much higher.


College I work for has "shared governance" w/ a faculty and A&P filled Senate that drives a lot of decisions, so yes, at the school I work for instructors have some say.

That said...

We've been doing online classes for 22 years.  The "camera required" has only kicked in with proctored testing services, and in the ASL class.

We're doing designated-time-but-remote-via-technol​ogy classes this fall too and there hasn't been any mention of camera requirements.  Which is good, 'cause I don't have one, and I don't have the bandwidth to support it and still do things like my remote desktop to my developer job (also at the college).
 
2020-08-12 2:53:24 PM  

Destructor: Virtual version of this:

[soundstudies.files.wordpress.com image 300x169]


And I see we are done. Furthermore:

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-12 2:56:56 PM  
The technology can turn itself off at random, too.  I'd hate to think a cable internet provider might charge extra to guarantee an internet line would work at a certain hour.
 
2020-08-12 2:57:31 PM  

i.r.id10t: phalamir: JesseL: The students are paying customers, right?

Why are the instructors so anxious to exert arbitrary authority?

You do realize that instructors have essentially no say in university procedures, right?

Also, students are most definitely the anti-arguement for "the customer is always right" - otherwise my median grade would be much higher.

College I work for has "shared governance" w/ a faculty and A&P filled Senate that drives a lot of decisions, so yes, at the school I work for instructors have some say.

That said...

We've been doing online classes for 22 years.  The "camera required" has only kicked in with proctored testing services, and in the ASL class.

We're doing designated-time-but-remote-via-technol​ogy classes this fall too and there hasn't been any mention of camera requirements.  Which is good, 'cause I don't have one, and I don't have the bandwidth to support it and still do things like my remote desktop to my developer job (also at the college).


We have a faculty Senate.  But it is both stacked with administration stooges, and the administration also merrily ignores it if it does buck the yoke, citing budgetary constraints.
 
2020-08-12 2:59:50 PM  

edmo: phalamir: 20-odd little pictures

I remeber taking my first economics class in college in an auditorium wth 600 students.


I work at a small 4year.  600 students would be almost 20% of our undergrads.

Of course, I went to a giant state school, where 150 was not out of the ordinary.
 
2020-08-12 3:01:36 PM  

PirateKing: I find it amusing that my work profile picture has a clean-cut professional-looking gentleman.

Meanwhile I'm working from my sofa shirtless and barefoot in shorts, having grown my hair and beard out like a castaway.


As another 100% telecommuter, I wish I had more than one smart and funny to give.

I haven't had a haircut since February. Incidentally, i lopped off my hanging down to shoulders, thinning, curly mass of 'starting to look like Doc Brown', wife and kids complaining it looked awful of hair last November. I had it for a good 2 years before that.

Its coming back. Probably will have mrs.4335 cut it all down soon.
 
2020-08-12 3:02:32 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-12 3:06:22 PM  

Oreminer: Khanmots: Professors that care about attendance are the professors you don't want to have.

That theory might work in large lecture halls, but small-room Major specific classes this is completely wrong. The professors teaching the upper-level courses absolutely should care about attendance.


Why?  If I have the knowledge it doesn't matter how I obtained it.

My time is a valuable resource.  I spend it efficiently.  If a professor is good and helps me understand the material quicker and easier than reading the book, I religiously attend their class.  Mediocre profs I'd show up to every now and again.  Bad profs I showed up for tests to show I knew the material and spent my time learning instead of sitting listening to someone read the book to me in a slow monotone.  Class size or level didn't change that.

Attendance policies may get me to sit in the class; but I'd sit in the back and tune the prof out while I got about the process of actually learning.
 
2020-08-12 3:10:23 PM  
No, it's a college not a damn daycare.  My worst profs were always the super anal about attendance.
 
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