The Benefits of Using Student Video for a Virtual Campus Tour

Student Shooting Video for a Virtual Campus TourPreparing for college is an exciting time for young people, but it can also feel a little overwhelming try this site. With so many colleges and universities to choose from, it can be a challenge to know where to begin. Even after a prospective student has narrowed the list down to a few top choices, figuring out how to physically visit the campuses is difficult, especially if it involves expensive travel. Some colleges offer virtual tours online and that can be very helpful, but many of these are limited in scope, somewhat sterile, and a little too “pitchy” in their efforts to recruit prospective students. The best virtual tours are those that use student video, with real students serving as peer-to-peer tour guides. These presentations are much more authentic and more interesting.

Using real student members of a campus community to serve as virtual tour guides is an impressive, effective, and genuine approach to recruitment. Prospective students can best relate to dynamic, stimulating commentary and testimony by those within their same age and cultural group, and they will be more inclined to trust the validity of the message as a result of this kinship. Being able to witness a compelling video of campus life that shows students actually engaging in student activities can be the deciding factor in whether a student chooses to attend a particular school.  Some of those activities includes:

  • work in a classroom or lab
  • interaction between students and faculty
  • attending special events
  • activities on campus

With a student-based video, prospective students can view the diversity of the campus population.  They can listen to shared information, insights, and personal experience. The tour guides can describe their relationships with faculty members and how they are instrumental in the students’ lives as caring, accessible mentors. The student guides can virtually walk viewers throughout various campus buildings and more of the unique environment that each campus possesses, while giving engaging commentary throughout the video.  There are a many members of campus that the tour guide could engage with through these adventures including:

  • faculty members
  • deans
  • coaches
  • admissions representatives
  • and other staff

All of these campus members interacting with the tour guides give prospective students and their parents a real idea of a school’s community and atmosphere.

Instead of a sterile, stilted, lifeless video of simply a campus and its buildings, a video featuring the believability of real students is much more interesting and conducive to recruitment, without sounding like a typical sales pitch. Giving prospective students the opportunity to feel already “at home” with fellow students at a particular campus, while saving them the expense of having to travel for a real visit, is a wise decision for colleges and universities to make as a recruitment and informational tool. Potential students can listen to current students actively describe their personal viewpoints, define in lively detail what they consider to be the highlights of the campus, and share their experience and knowledge in a genuine personable manner. A student-led virtual tour video provides a truly engaging experience and authentic, informative access for college-bound young people exploring their options before making one of their most important life decisions—choosing the right college or university to attend.

Photo credit:  Shooting video by mbtrama

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