University Business October 2017 - 16

SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST

Innovating the Campus
Tour with Mobile Apps
Using technology to recruit prospective students
A University Business Web Seminar Digest * Originally presented on August 10, 2017

Approximately 75 percent of high school seniors say they visit a college campus without ever contacting the
admissions department. Not all prospective students want or are able to take a guided tour of campus, but
without an alternative, many students visit on their own, and are walking away with unanswered questions
and no communication from the college or university.
In this web seminar, attendees learned how the University of Washington tackled this issue by leveraging
mobile technology to bring the campus tour straight to prospective students' smartphones, providing a selfguided campus tour app that allows students to tour campus on their own time, and at their own pace.
Chris Trudell: What challenges was your department
facing as you came to decide on using Guidebook?
Tonya Namura: We're a lean and mean team, pretty
small in terms of general recruitment for an institution of our size. We were looking for something we
could do without a giant budget and without a lot of
people to implement it. We needed something that
could meet the resources that we have but still create
a larger impact.The University of Washington is a big
research institution. That is a fantastic thing, but can
also be intimidating to the prospective students.
We wanted to create an experience where they
could picture themselves here. We're big on authenticity-we're not trying to put forward a face of something that we're not, but we're also trying to show
that we can be different things to different people.
Somebody can come here and do amazing physics
research, but we also have a great dance program,
and an undergraduate social work program. We want
to be real about what students can do here, but we
also want them to see how that could work for them.
Chris Trudell: How did mobile technology come to be
part of the conversation?

Tonya Namura: One of our challenges is that we can't
always offer tours for people who are actually standing on campus. Mobile technology seemed to be the
most obvious solution for that part of the problem.
The bonus is that prospective students can also interact with mobile technology off campus. We encourage them to take the mobile tour from their living
room and get a feel for what it might be like here. The
combination of the two was important to us.
Chris Trudell: The Guidebook platform is meeting students where they are. They are attached to their devices. We need to focus on the way students engage
with an institution for the first time, and that may
not be through the traditional desktop experience.
They may not just type in an institution's website to
learn more. They might find out about an institution
through social media, or going to their device and
seeing photos on a simple Google search. Creating a
mobile-first strategy pulls those pieces together.
Tonya Namura: We've definitely seen an uptick in the
use of mobile when it comes to accessing information. When people are on campus and they're asking questions, they might be holding their phone
and saying, "Wait, I don't see it on your website."

View, comment, share this story online at UBmag.me/guide


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business October 2017

University Business October 2017 - Cover1
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University Business October 2017 - 1
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