Designing for Social Connectivity (Not Everyone Likes Webcams)

  • William P Lord
  • eLearn, April 2021, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • DOI: 10.1145/3462445.3457174

Not Everyone Likes Webcams

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

What is it about?

COVID-19 has forced vast numbers of schools to deliver education and communicate using Internet-based technologies. The quality of interaction that occurs between the educator and the student is crucial to the students’ success. While webcams may seem to provide a usable, effective, and satisfying form of online communication, there are a number of reasons and circumstances where the use of webcams can have negative repercussions. This article explores the benefits and challenges of incorporating webcams in teaching and learning in the online learning environment.

Why is it important?

The arrival of COVID-19 has imposed the need for students, employees, and even family members to communicate via Internet-based technologies. The use of webcams in the scholastic, work, and home setting has become common-place. While it is easy to compile a list of benefits that may be derived through the use of communicating via webcam, there are a considerable number of reasons or circumstances where requiring the use of webcams can be counter-productive or psychologically stressful.


Dr. Bill Lord
The Global Z Recording Project

The use of webcams as a means of communication in multi-cultural online learning environments has been a core aspect of my research interests for years. It has been fascinating to witness first hand whether prior related best practices, theory, and experiences have continued to be applicable in a pandemic-induced digital world.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Bill Lord