Universities Have Faced Increasing Lawsuits Regarding Digital Accessibility
In recent years, universities have faced increasing lawsuits regarding the accessibility of their websites. While virtual tours have been a primary focus, it is essential to address the overall accessibility of the entire website. Although conducting an audit may seem daunting, universities must view it as an opportunity to better serve individuals with disabilities.
The Benefits of Website Audits
Website audits not only ensure compliance with accessibility standards but also provide valuable information and context to virtual tours. This additional information benefits prospective students and the university’s overall online presence, including social media and recruiting efforts.
By implementing accessible features and providing inclusive content, universities can create an inclusive and welcoming environment for individuals with disabilities. This demonstrates a commitment to diversity and equality and helps the university stay ahead in an increasingly competitive educational landscape.
Enhancing Virtual Tours for Prospective Students
Virtual tours have become famous for showcasing university facilities to prospective students. Virtual tours have become a standard practice regardless of the institution’s size, from small junior colleges to major universities like the University of Alabama.
These virtual tours offer an immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore campus facilities and better understand their size and layout. This is particularly beneficial for universities with limited physical tour rooms due to the high demand for campus housing.
Prospective students can now gain a realistic impression of the campus environment, helping them make informed decisions about their higher education options. Virtual tours not only serve as a substitute for physical tours but also provide a convenient way for students to explore different possibilities and compare facilities.
Marketing and Recruiting Benefits
Aside from attracting prospective students, virtual tours can also be leveraged for marketing and recruiting purposes. Universities can use these tours to showcase newly renovated facilities or highlight unique features to entice students and staff.
For example, if a university has recently renovated a residence hall, they can use the virtual tour to promote the updated space. This is an effective marketing tool, allowing individuals to see the changes and upgrades firsthand. By incorporating virtual tours into their marketing strategies, universities can effectively engage with their target audience and generate excitement about campus life.
Additionally, virtual tours can be shared on social media platforms, increasing their reach and visibility. This helps universities connect with prospective students and allows them to showcase their commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.
How Universities are Utilizing Virtual Tours
One example of a university utilizing virtual tours is UC, which has experienced significant growth in student population size. Due to the high demand for housing, physical tour rooms have become scarce. Virtual tours have proven to be a valuable substitute, providing a comprehensive view of available spaces.
UC has found that virtual tours allow potential students to get a genuine sense of the campus environment and make informed decisions about their housing preferences. By virtually walking through the spaces, students can explore different room options and gauge the overall size of the facilities.
In addition to serving prospective students, virtual tours have also served marketing purposes for UC. For instance, when UC renovated one of their older residence halls, they utilized the virtual tour to showcase the updated space. By sharing the virtual tour, they effectively marketed the renovations and generated interest among prospective students and staff.
Overall, virtual tours have become essential for universities to enhance accessibility, engage with prospective students, and showcase their campus facilities. By conducting website audits and implementing accessibility features, universities can ensure that their virtual tours are inclusive and compliant with accessibility standards. Embracing virtual tours benefits the university and provides a positive experience for individuals with disabilities who visit their websites.