- Group size: Unlimited (open access)
- Teaching type: Self-study
- Division: Academic Administration
- Subject: 'Know your Oxford’ virtual tour
- Tools: Cabinet, Google Street View, Soundcloud, photographs
The restrictions put in place to counter Covid-19 make it very difficult for prospective students to come to Oxford. The answer is to take Oxford to them. The ‘Know Your Oxford’ tour takes place completely online and mixes different media to give students an immersive view of the city accessed through a mobile device. Google Street View is coupled with recorded audio commentary of a tour guide from the admissions department to show students around specified sites of the city. Students also get the chance to meet key members of the university on the tour in their recorded commentary. The interactive Google footage is complimented by photos taken by admissions staff. Prospective students also get to see inside some of the buildings.
The tour includes practical advice on being a student, with information about the Students’ Union, university services and where to find shops, supermarkets, and places to eat and drink. You can also interact with 3D artefacts at the Ashmolean museum and Bodleian Libraries, experience the bustling May Morning celebrations at Magdalen Bridge and take a selfie with a virtual mortar board.
Anyone can access the tour at any time: perfect for students in different time zones. The materials are also highly accessible with visual and audio working in tandem to describe locations and objects. And the good news is that the sun always shines during the virtual tour!
To take advantage of all the features of the tour, you need hardware that is up-to-date (produced within the last four years). Similarly, the tour works best with reliable internet access. Lack of a discussion forum means prospective students don’t get the chance to network. This could be remedied by housing the materials in a platform such as Canvas.
Maps, museum artefacts and mortar boards - some of the highlights of the virtual ‘Know your Oxford’ tour