The recently released CSU Chancellor’s Office (CO) Memo directs CSU campuses to consider ways to ensure that financial constraints, lack of resources, housing insecurity and/or crowded living conditions do not impact a student’s academic performance. The privacy of a student’s home life and living arrangements must be protected (privacy considerations) and cannot be a barrier (equity considerations) to a student’s participation and assessment in a particular course.
Pursuant to the CO memo on use of remote proctoring for online assessment, CSULB Academic Affairs offers these additional guidelines in support of students’ privacy rights and equity issues.
Instruction: Faculty may emphasize the concrete educational benefits of real-time video discussion with students. Faculty should think carefully about students’ privacy rights and confer with students who have privacy concerns about audio, video, and chat capabilities of Zoom. However, if a student expresses concerns related to privacy or equity, they must be allowed to turn off their cameras during online synchronous meetings. Instructors may ask students to add their photo to their CSULB Zoom account profile to show a photo when their cameras are turned off.
When offering synchronous instruction using Zoom and other comparable platforms, recording the session may be an option. Faculty are advised to share with students the purpose of recording the session, and how the recording will be used. Zoom requires all participants to acknowledge and accept the condition that recording will occur. Faculty should be flexible in accommodating students with privacy concerns.
Assessment: Following the memo from the Chancellor’s Office, alternative assessments are strongly encouraged. If instructors choose to use online/remote proctoring software (e.g., Respondus Monitor), instructors must also provide alternative assessments for students who prefer not to share their screens (privacy concerns) or cannot share their screens (equity issues). Academic Technology Services has posted suggestions for alternative assessments and for the appropriate use of online/remote proctoring services and similar programs.
If there is a high-stakes exam such as a Master’s comprehensive exam or placement exam that cannot transition to an alternative assessment format, then the student may request an accommodation to take the exam in a quiet room on campus, but only with my prior approval or approval from the Dean.
Brian Jersky, Ph.D
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs