Tour Answers: What is
The Wall Street Journal recently noted that
70 percent of all college-bound high school students begin their college search on
the Web, and that “virtual tours come in second only to actual campus visits
in luring students.”
||The Smith College virtual tour utilizes
music, narration, photos and text to highlight different aspects of the campus.
A new feature—an online
tour of Smith—now debuting on the college’s Web site utilizes music,
narration, photos and text to answer the question, “What is Smith like?”
The Smith tour was designed to provide a vibrant, interactive
experience for prospective students who may be interested in Smith; a virtual “visit” for
students who may not otherwise be able to come to campus in person; and a showcase
for the college’s scenic and architectural features. More than just galleries
of building images, the tour gives visitors a self-guided way of learning about the
aspects of Smith that interest them the most.
Following an overview of images, audio and music, visitors
can choose from four “tours,” each highlighting a different aspect of
the campus. Each tour begins with a slide show featuring student quotes, and leads
to a number of thematic categories. “A Sense of Place” gives an overview
of the campus, Northampton and the Five Colleges, while “The Learning Environment” details
the college’s academic facilities. “Living at Smith” features the
house system, and “Community Life” highlights the college’s facilities
for student activities, athletics, and religious and cultural life. The tours feature
images, text and 360-degree panoramas of the campus.
A highlight of the tour is a new interactive map, which
serves as a way-finding tool but also contains details about campus buildings and
a search tool. Each building description includes photographs and, as appropriate,
direct links to Web sites of interest to visitors—for example, museum hours.
A regional and local map were added in response to requests from prospective students
who were unfamiliar with the area.
The tour was designed to be extendable, and will continue
to grow and change as content is added. An overview video, based on the recruiting
video produced for admission, will be added this fall, along with additional panoramas.
Take the tour at