VR campus tours come to Texas A&M

Dive Brief:

  • With a new virtual reality tour powered by the Xplorer Virtual Tour software from concept3D, Texas A&M University is letting prospective students worldwide get a taste of what campus life is like with no travel required.
  • Users can choose between a 360 degree-enabled tour for use with a VR headset, letting them use an in-window map to explore locations — and the university can add or update the content as it needs to, eCampus News reports.
  • Along with existing facilities, users can also tour those yet to be completed, and on-screen text provides location information as users explore.

Dive Insight:

With college recruitment only becoming more competitive between institutions, many colleges and universities are working to recruit more out-of-state students. When it comes to expanding access to underserved populations on this front, it's worth considering that many may not have the means to visit a campus. Reaching them where they already are will only become more important.

With virtual reality technology improving and becoming more cost-effective, many schools will likely embrace virtual tours — and the experience that comes with those tours will only improve. While Texas A&M's tour basically gives prospective students a static 360-degree view of specific locations, future VR tours could eventually allow a user to actually travel through these areas like they're physically there.

Another way colleges can reach these students: Connecting them with peer mentors via video technology. Doing so can provide glimpses of campus life through the eyes of someone who can potentially provide a "virtual tour" of sorts from their own perspective.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology