Let’s talk about webcams, and a pedagogy of kindness





webcams, wellbeing, pedagogy of kindness, online learning, inclusion


With the move to online and blended learning, there has been much focus amongst educators on webcam use in online classes. Mandatory webcam policies and privileging use of webcams as the preferred form of engagement disregard the COVID-19 context – in which students have had limited choice about learning in blended or online modes – and significantly undermine trust. This piece argues for the adoption of a pedagogy of kindness, through teaching and learning practices that are sensitive to the material experience of diverse groups of students, and considers some of the complex reasons why insisting on webcam use may exacerbate inequalities.

Author Biography

Alison Gilmour, University of Greenwich

Dr Alison Gilmour is a Lecturer in HE Learning and Teaching at the University of Greenwich with specific expertise on enhancing teaching practice in online and blended contexts and supporting student engagement at a distance and in dispersed learning communities. Based in Greenwich Learning and Teaching, Alison works with staff across the university to enhance teaching practice, teaches on a PGCert in HE Learning and Teaching, and leads a cross-institutional project: Embedding Wellbeing in the Curriculum. Alison’s expertise as a blended educator was developed as an Associate Lecturer with The Open University, where she has taught since 2009.


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