Cameras On Policy for Synchronous Classes

“Cameras On” Policy 

Approved by the Faculty Senate 2/1/2021

Palomar adopts a flexible cameras-on policy to online learning that respects student concerns regarding privacy, access, and equity.
The policy includes:


  • Cameras should be presumptively optional for live synchronous online classes and faculty must:
    • Consider an alternative to video such as audio participation
    • Encourage the use of electronic video backgrounds
    • Allow student flexibility to turn off their cameras or mute audio as needed
    • Encourage the use of the chat feature for attendance and discussion
  • Cameras may be required in specific courses to meet the learning outcomes. If a camera is required, students will be notified of the requirement ahead of time in the Class Notes section as well as on the course syllabus.
    • The camera requirement notification should clearly identify the essential need for live video during class time and consider a student’s privacy or technical objections.
    • Faculty will require cameras only when necessary for learning and assessment.
    • The faculty should also create a confidential opt-out mechanism that allows the student to decline video participation when possible.

This is the process to require cameras on for online classes:

  • Department chairs should contact all faculty during scheduling and gather a list of classes that will require cameras to be on during the semester.
  • Department chairs should resist making all sections of a course require cameras on so students who can’t adhere to the requirements still have course options.
  • Department chairs should encourage faculty training to learn instructional and assessment methods that do not require cameras, especially since many students do not have the technology needed to run proctoring programs.
  • When the list of classes that requires cameras is established, it should be included in the information compiled by ADAS as part of the scheduling process. The cameras on requirements must be included in the Class Notes section of the schedule and on the professor’s syllabus so that students have ample warning about camera requirements.