I was on a great chat today, the Instructional Designers In Offices Drinking Coffee webcast! The topic was starting with virtual classrooms, and Andrew Jacobs asked this question that we didn't get around to answering on the session:
What if 8/10 people are happy to use their camera but 2 refuse to 'join in'?
This was about suggesting attendees to join in on the session via webcam. It can be a good way to "see" people throughout all or most of a session, or just for an introduction. I had commented that it's important for attendees to know ahead of time if this was the case, to ensure that they are presented appropriately.
So what if some refuse to join in - as opposed to a technical failure? As with all adult activities, I think there has to be a certain amount of trusting the people and their decisions. Either at the time, or probably more appropriately in private afterwards, you could ask why the reticence. This can uncover the fundamental issues that you can then try to deal with.
I have found that in sessions where someone/people have not wanted to come on webcam, I've made it ok for them not to. If their colleagues have come on webcam, and it's been a positive experience, this can make them feel ok to do so within a few minutes, that session, or potentially the next session.
If there's an activity that's reliant on the webcam, it's worth pointing this out to people. You could perhaps compromise and suggest they only come on camera for that part, and not the rest of the time.
What does everyone else think?