The connection between Zoom cameras and grades


Among the many differences between online and in-person learning, online learning allows students to not be seen. How does this feature affect student learning? Graphic by: Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez

Students have been asked to turn their cameras on, but does it impact students’ grades?

Online school has been the only available option for education at Ventura High School for over a year. This has changed due to the hybrid model, however Group C will continue with distance learning. One of the many consequences of having to attend school from home is that students won’t be in the classroom with other students and their teachers. To combat this, many teachers have asked and even expected students to have their cameras on during distance learning. Many students have chosen to keep their cameras off and it has caused controversy among the school.

Through a student poll taken on Mrach 24, 2021, a majority of VHS students responded that they do not turn on their cameras. Infographic by: Alex Hernandez

According to a recent Cougar Press poll, out of 138 students, 81% said that they do not turn their cameras on during their Zooms. According to VHS teacher Sebastien DeClerck, this number is even lower. DeClerck said, “I would approximate that about 15% of students in my classes turn their cameras on. This varies greatly from class to class. In my freshman classes, I would put the estimate at about 10% and in my class with seniors, closer to 20%.”  

On The Cougar Press’s Instagram poll, students were asked their reasoning for why they do or do not turn their cameras on. Freshman Isaiah Escamilla said, “I don’t turn my camera on because I’m asleep.” Freshman Bella Long said, “I turn my camera on so I can pay attention and not use my phone. I turn my camera on in fun and informative classes but in some classes I’m too tired or intimated so I keep my camera off.”

A student poll taken on March 28, 2021, shows that there are a variety of reasons as to why students do not turn their cameras on. Infographic by: Alex Hernandez

In DeClerck’s class, students who turn their cameras on have an average of 30% higher grades than those who leave their cameras off. According to a Cougar Press poll, the most common reason that students don’t turn their cameras is shyness. 

One option that wasn’t included in the poll was that of socioeconomic status. DeClerck commented, “Many may be embarrassed to share the conditions in which they live. Many may rightfully be concerned that they could be ridiculed.”