Can faculty require students to turn on their webcam during remote learning?

To protect the integrity of exams and other assessments, instructors may require students to turn on their webcams in order to monitor the assessment. Visit the Use of Webcams page on Penn State’s Keep Teaching (faculty) and Keep Learning (students) websites for more information about webcam usage during exams and assessments.

Outside of exams and assessments, faculty should adopt a camera-optional practice for teaching through Zoom. A camera-optional approach respects student issues such as access and equity (some may not have cameras on their devices), safety and security (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. For help with these options, visit Penn State’s Keep Teaching website. 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.