And though many higher education institutions offer guided tours that showcase good-to-know buildings and other campus staples, providing a self-guided option increases access — enabling students to easily explore campus, resources, and other opportunities whenever their schedule permits.
But the benefits of self-guided tours can and should extend far beyond enhanced convenience. This is something Full Measure’s Campus Visit Experience does well. Besides helping institutions create impactful virtual tours, the solution also enables institutions to maximize self-guided visits through augmented reality (AR), turn-by-turn navigation, true personalization, and more.
Whether you currently offer a self-guided option or are looking to add one to your lineup, here are three strategies to help optimize the experience and set your institution apart:
1. Make campus easily discoverable and navigable
Students and families who explore campus on their own still need directions and access to pertinent information they would have received with a tour guide. That’s why it’s important to ensure your campus is easily discoverable and navigable for all visitors. And while 3D and virtual maps can be helpful tools, they can fall short in delivering an impactful tour experience when used in isolation. Our Campus Visit Experience generates a logical tour route complete with turn-by-turn navigation so no one gets lost along the way. It also uses the interactive power of AR to bring campus to life. Students can dive deeper during their tour by simply pointing their phones at a point of interest they want to learn more about.
2. Allow for a truly personalized experience
Customization is at the heart of self-guided visits and a big draw for prospective students. Campus tours that enable visitors to choose what they see, how they see it, and when, deliver a more attractive and engaging experience. While our solution also allows students to choose from self-guided tours curated by the institution, students can create a more personalized tour by selecting relevant tags (set by the institution), such as academics, financial aid, and student life. In addition, students can further customize their visit by selecting the length of their tour to go at their own pace.
3. Elevate more student voices
Visitors taking part in a guided tour usually only hear one student's experience (maybe a couple more if they stop random students on campus). But what if a prospective student doesn't find their guide relatable or wants to hear more from those with similar interests or studies? Amplifying student voices helps illustrate your institution's diversity, build a sense of community, and increase engagement. With the Campus Visit Experience, institutions can collect, organize, and manage a vast array of student-generated content. This content — including photos, videos, etc. — can then be added to relevant tour stops. The result? An authentic self-guided tour that tells the story of your institution from a multitude of perspectives.
Rohan Thakkar (he/him/his) is a data empowered advocate who aims to develop tools that increase access and opportunity for students globally. During his 10-year career in higher education and education technology, Thakkar served in an array of higher education programs that have yielded expertise in institutional strategic planning, learning outcomes assessment, student services practice, and data analysis. He received his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University – New Brunswick and has his master’s degree in college student personnel administration from Seton Hall University. He currently serves as the Director of Campus Visit Experiences at Full Measure.