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Campus Virtual Tour Available Online

Viewing Cal State Fullerton From Home or by Phone

March 8, 2013

It used to be that if you couldn't physically visit the Cal State Fullerton campus, you were stuck trying to figure out which buildings were where by simply studying a campus map.

More recently, members of Student Affairs and the Strategic Communications Department began working together to develop a "virtual tour" of the campus. The result can be viewed anywhere any time, from a laptop, ipad or a smartphone simply by going online.

"Ten years ago, we created a self-guided tour brochure," said Larry Martin, associate dean of students in New Student and Parent Programs. "That way students, if they weren't able to make it to one of our scheduled tours, could still learn about the layout of the campus."

Then several years ago, campuses started offering Web-based tours. Often these involved videotaping student guides while they presented a tour.

"One of the challenges with these tours is that they only provided a snapshot of the campus at one moment in time — without much flexibility for adding updates based on the ever-evolving campus community," said Martin. "It also was hard to edit because it was on a continuous feed. In our case, when we were filing the tour, we were building Steven G. Mihaylo Hall. It would have been difficult, once the video was finished, to insert this new facility, as well as the others that have been built in recent years, into the film."

So with the help of the strategic communications Web team and photographers, Martin and his team began working on a new version of the virtual campus tour.

By providing an interactive map and legend, students and others get an overview of the campus buildings, as well as by theme, such as academics, campus life, housing. By clicking on photo and video links embedded in the tour, visitors can find out even more specific information about programs and services.

"Even while we were building the tour, the technology was changing," said Martin. "As a result, we had to adjust our approach to the project along the way."

"This provides students with a better sense of what they can expect at Cal State Fullerton and a very visual way of accessing information on the campus, based on the programs and resources in which they are most interested," said Ryan Alcantara, associate vice president for student affairs. "We also know that students prefer to receive information in quick bites at their convenience. This also allows students to return to information they may have received on an in-person tour. With the virtual tour, they can focus on the areas they care about most, whenever they feel like it."

"We also have the ability to update this version of the virtual tour more easily," Martin explained. "At some point, we may want to include information about off-site locations, such as the Irvine Campus or Grand Central Art Center."

And if students, parents and others can come to campus, physical tours are still available. To make arrangements for a tour, go to the New Student Programs website.

By: Valerie Orleans, 657-278-4540

Tags:  Campus UpdatesCommunity