Apr 27, 2011
Prospective students who cannot or have not made it out to Ohio University’s Athens campus will soon have an opportunity to experience OHIO up close.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, in coordination with University Communications and Marketing (UCM), is gathering images and footage to launch a YourCampus360 virtual tour.
“YourCampus360 is a company that Ohio University is in partnership with to help us create an online tour of the Athens campus,” said Jill Bateman, manager of social media and a producer with UCM. “It will provide prospective students an opportunity to partially experience the beauty of Ohio University while learning about what sets us apart as a remarkable place to live and learn.”
The tour, which is expected to go live in July, will be much more than pretty pictures of campus. It will have information that covers all aspects of life on the Athens campus.
“The online tour will allow potential students to learn about the great resources available, and we hope that it will encourage prospective students and families to come to Athens to experience the campus for themselves,” said Candace Boeninger, interim director of undergraduate admissions. “In addition, the technological tools through YourCampus360 allows student to explore further than a traditional one-hour walking tour could.”
Sources at the University will help translate the virtual tour from English into Spanish, Chinese and Arabic, enabling the tour to reflect OHIO’s diversity.
The tour also includes a strong social media component, giving OHIO a more direct connection to potential Bobcats.
“My favorite aspect of this project is the Facebook component,” said Bateman. “The tour will live on a website, but you will be able to access it without leaving Ohio University’s Facebook page, and that has great implications for spreading the word about how great it is to live and study at Ohio University.”
The tour will consist of a walk through campus with 30 optional stops for the viewer.
“I never get tired of how beautiful this place is, and I’m very excited that so many people will be able to experience that from home,” explained Bateman. “It’s not the same as being here, but I have the feeling it will go a long way toward helping students make that step to see it for themselves. YourCampus360 also has a powerful tracking feature, so we will have a clearer picture of the extent to which this tool helps to increase interest in applications.”
The tour is not intended to replace the campus visit, but to enhance it, and to open options for online visitors.
“There’s always something to be said for stepping foot on the beautiful, historic College Green. But, we know that the campus visit plays an important role in the college decision process for serious students—especially at a place like OHIO, where academic life spills outside the classroom into our residence halls, performing arts facilities, campus greens—to every area of our 1,800-acre campus,” said Boeninger. “Students need to be able to see the excellent opportunities that are available for their personal, academic, professional and social growth here at OHIO, and they need to be able to envision themselves here.”
Ohio University is preparing to launch a virtual tour through YourCampus360. A photography crew from YourCampus360 will be shooting 30 hotspots and many 360-degree photographs for the online tour for prospective students and their families.
“If you see a small group of people with a camera on May 5, 6 or 7 either photographing as we walk or spinning in a circle, be aware that you might become part of the virtual tour," said Jill Bateman, manager of social media and a producer with UCM. “We are primarily making wide shots, so people will probably not be recognizable. Those would be great days to show your Bobcat pride and wear Ohio University clothing.”