Yesterday I went on an actual in-person tour of a university: George Mason University. I signed up, attended the information session, and went on the student-guided tour of the campus.
I left feeling irritated. Irritated that my time was wasted. Irritated that my questions went unanswered. Irritated that we didn't see the parts of campus important to me.
So, when I finally returned home I decided to go on GMU's Virtual Campus tour to see what information it could impart that I had missed on my cold stroll. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that GMU's virtual tour was just as anemic as the personal tour. The "virtual" tour was virtually not there: no video, few pictures, lots and lots of text.
What's the point of a virtual tour? To draw in potential students who might too far to visit the camps in person. To answer questions that students might have. To build up excitement in potential students. If your university's virtual tour doesn't do these, then you've failed your viewers.
However, don't fret. There are quite a few companies out there who offer virtual campus tours: ecampustours and Youniversity TV. Only after clicking on Youniversity TV's GMU Virtual Tour did I finally see an actual video with some production quality and content.
Why should I have to search so hard? Why should I have to stray from the university's site to find something resembling content? What does this lack of information say about GMU and other university's who aren't up to speed or up to snuff?
So, if your'e starting your campus search and want to check out virtual tours, be cautious. Some are good. However, some are bad and many are non-existent. I'm not sure which of the two are worse: just not doing it or doing it poorly.
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