Virtual tours have become quite popular in the past few years. While a lot of it can be attributed to advancements in technology and the current generation being extremely tech-savvy, the recent pandemic has acted as a catalyst as well. These tours are not only interesting, information-rich and realistic, but they also eliminate a potential applicant’s need to visit your college or university. This helps them save money, effort, time, and keeps them safe from the virus too.
So, what are the main benefits of a virtual tour in the education sector? Why are they likely to become indispensable? Read on to know all about it.
1. Meet the Huge Demand for Virtual Tours
When the pandemic hit, everything suddenly stopped. People were confined to their homes, public transport became a complete NO, and social gatherings effectively became a crime. While the world was doing everything to prevent the virus from spreading, more and more people moved to the digital ecosystem and online traffic skyrocketed. Businesses found newer ways to continue working, while colleges found newer ways to keep the classes going.
At present, with classes continuing normally, there’s no shortage of students applying for different colleges. In fact, the pandemic and WFH culture has resulted in an increase in the number of working professionals finally finding the time to prepare and apply for colleges. And since in-person visits are still not back to their pre-pandemic levels, virtual college tours have become very popular among students. There’s a sharp increase in prospective students shortlisting their favorite colleges by taking a virtual tour of its premises while sitting at home. So, one of the top virtual tour benefits is that your college or university can attract talented students even if they can’t arrange for campus visits.
2. Increase Diversity and Extend the Student Base
One of the main benefits of virtual tours in education is that they are an excellent way to reach out to students from different states and countries. Being able to get a 360-degree view of the entire university campus, its classrooms, laboratories, hostels, and other amenities while sitting at home is something that attracts every student. Whether the student lives just a block away or is in a far-off country, they can explore your institution.
Even before the pandemic, international students always had this fear of not knowing where they would be staying, what their surrounding environment, dorm rooms, and lecture halls would be like. They had no idea about the state of laboratories. Hence, one of the biggest advantages of having a virtual tour is that students can make themselves accustomed to your college without being anywhere near the campus.
3. Improve Connection with Digital Natives
In recent years, the popularity of distance courses has increased by leaps and bounds. It’s no longer seen as a part-time degree, with some of the most prestigious colleges in the world providing their best courses online in the hopes of expanding their base and reaching a wider audience. While distance learning allows students to study, learn, and grasp everything being taught in the class without going to the class physically, it doesn’t mean that the students have no interest in knowing what their college looks like.
This brings us to one of the chief benefits of 360 virtual tours for the higher education sector. A virtual tour isn’t just handy for students who have opted for distance learning courses, but also for connecting with those students who are pursuing a full-time degree but are unable to visit your university due to travel restrictions, lockdowns, or anything else.
4. Create a Lasting Impression on Students
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about gathering more information about a college? Usually, the answer would be the college website or the college brochure. While effective in their own way, websites and brochures can provide only a certain amount of information and are not enough to convince a student. Virtual tours, on the other hand, can leave a lasting impression on them.
That’s one of the top virtual tour benefits. Students can not only see what your college looks like from the outside, but also get a feel of what it looks like on the inside. Detailed views of hallways, cafeterias, lecture halls, dorm rooms, recreational areas, and more, can be accessed just with the touch of a button. Immersive tours provide an unforgettable experience to students, something that a brochure or a website can never achieve.
5. Provide Important Information More Effectively and Efficiently
Virtual tours don’t just enable students to roam around your college virtually and see what everything looks like. It can be an interactive session through which not only students, but their parents, guardians, as well as fellow teachers, can resolve their queries and gather more information about your institution. There can be a list of frequently asked questions after the end of every tour to answer some of their doubts. Another one of the virtual college tour benefits is that, stories and achievements of your college can be embedded in it for everyone to see.
Apart from general information, a virtual tour can provide specific information like the number of seats available, different courses, their curriculum, placement records, credentials of the faculty, and more. Since users will receive this information while interacting with the tour, they will be able to process and retain it more efficiently.
6. Extend the Persona of In-Person Tours
Virtual tours can act as a great platform for complementing your in-person college tours as well. Students can familiarize themselves with your college and everything around it even before sending the application. Choosing a college is an important decision that often involves the whole family. Parents need to know that their kids will be safe and in a learning environment, no matter which college they want to go to, and a virtual tour is one of the best ways of giving some peace of mind to parents.
Once they are accustomed to your college and have gathered the information they needed, students, along with their parents, can opt for an in-person tour. This way, they can corroborate everything they saw on the tour and would have that little bit of extra confidence necessary when heading to a completely new place. So, one of the benefits of a virtual tour in college is that you can make sure that students don’t feel overwhelmed on their very first day.
7. Ensure Crowd Control
One more advantage of having a virtual tour is crowd control. There are only a limited number of seats in your college but the number of people applying for those seats is quite high. Imagine if everyone wanted to see what your college looks like and the only option was to physically visit the college. The number of people coming from around the world on any given day would be too much to handle efficiently.
However, with the help of a virtual tour, you can restrict the number of visitors by giving them an option to explore the college virtually while sitting at home or even on the go. This can help prevent people from travelling long distances just to see the college.
So, now you know about some of the best virtual tour benefits and the reasons why many colleges have either already incorporated virtual tours in the admission process or are in the middle of ideating, creating, and posting a virtual tour of their own. One of the big advantages of virtual tours is that a student can access them from anywhere, be it on their phone, laptop, or tablet.
If you want to exploit the benefits of a virtual tour for your college and create an exceptional tour that is specific to your needs and requirements, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team of experts will create the best virtual tour possible for your college or university.