Royal Roads launching virtual tours of campus, classes

Colourful brochures and ad campaigns may soon be a thing of the past for prospective Royal Roads University students as the school launches a high-tech program to give those students a first-hand look at life on campus.

As part of its Future View campaign, RRU will next week launch live virtual tours of the campus using Google Glass and GoPro.

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Instead of wondering what lectures are like when in session or how the grounds and gardens show off during a walk-through, would-be students will get to see it as though they were actually there through avatars wearing a pair of Google glasses and using a GoPro camera.

“We wanted to give people a sense of what we actually do here at Royal Roads and it’s really hard to talk about experiential education in a print ad or even to get people to understand how beautiful the campus is,” said Catherine Riggins, RRU’s director of marketing. “We wondered how can we get under the hood and into the classroom in an interesting way? How do we give prospects a glimpse into their future?”

The answer: strap GoPros and Google Glass to school representatives and stream what they see and hear.

It’s RRU through the eyes of a student.

The program, which will run between Nov. 18 and Nov. 21, will include a variety of lectures in a number of disciplines, several walking tours, question-and-answer sessions with professors and panel discussions.

“I hope this will give prospects a glimpse into what we do, and I hope it gives them a sense of how we are different from a traditional university,” said Riggins.

The streaming videos will be broadcast in real time on a microsite set up for the program (yourfutureview.com/future-view). There is also a complete schedule of the broadcasts on that site, and prospective students can tweet to @RoyalRoads about what they would like to see using the hashtag #Futureview.

Riggins said the videos captured during this program will also be uploaded to Royal Roads’ YouTube channel.

She said while the campaign is targeted for the domestic market, there is a chance it will have a broad international reach — given RRU’s appeal to international students — should it go viral after broadcast.

She said similar broadcasts beyond the Future View campaign may also use the technology to show in real time what’s happening on campus.

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