Cameras usage in online teaching: reflections on the experience of the 2020-2021 academic year

Kerin, Lughaidh and Cullen, Anthony ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Cameras usage in online teaching: reflections on the experience of the 2020-2021 academic year. In: 2nd Teaching and Learning Conference: New Frontiers in Higher Education Teaching and Learning: Strategy and Planning for the Digital Learning Age, 16 Jun 2021, Middlesex University, Dubai - Via Microsoft Teams. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


‘I request my students to have videos on. … I have had no pushback and it definitely diminishes one of the most alienating features of zoom — talking to black screens.’ - Joseph Weiler, Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of International Law

The above quotation is taken from an editorial titled ‘A Modest Proposal on Zoom Teaching’ in the European Journal of International Law. The editorial was published on the EJIL Talk website on 15 October 2020, the start of the academic year for many institutions of higher education. As we approach the end of the academic year, the authors of this paper return to discuss the use of cameras in online teaching. In contrast to the position expressed by Joseph Weiler, the institutional policy of Middlesex University, London is taken as a point of departure for this discussion. At the start the 2020-2021 academic year, a document titled ‘Principles of Online Classroom Conduct: Seven Steps For Making the Most of Online Learning’ was issued outlining the approach adopted by the institution. Under the heading ‘Follow the online etiquette’, the document states ‘it is suggested that cameras can be turned on at the start for you to see each other and for introductions of those present. Then, it is recommended that you turn off your cameras in order to lower bandwidth usage. However, please note that camera usage is optional at all times’.

The paper reflects on some of the consequences of this policy after a year of teaching online. This includes the default position of students in large group teaching to keep their cameras switched off. In doing so, we will touch upon the differing views as articulated by students in teaching reviews conducted mid-year and concerns expressed by academic staff. Mindful of possibility that all large group teaching may again be conducted online in 2021-2022, this paper explores the advantages and disadvantages of the current policy and best practice for large group teaching online.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Presentation)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 33406
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Depositing User: Anthony Cullen
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2021 09:47
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2021 09:36

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