When you have a large percentage of prospective students overseas, showing them ‘A Day in the Life at UNSW’ can pose some challenges. To attract overseas students and encourage enrolment, the faculty needed to showcase the cutting edge teaching environment offered at the university, especially after the opening of The PLACE (Peer Learning and Collaborative Exchange).
The PLACE hosts a new generation of Flipped Classrooms along with formal and informal study areas and study pods. The Flipped Classrooms utilise the latest technology, so our solution also needed to employ the latest technologies to demonstrate the point of difference between UNSW Business School and other Universities.
To showcase the technologically advanced flipped classroom to prospective students and drive recruitment, we developed a virtual reality app that allows prospective students to discover the features of the flipped classrooms by virtually exploring them. The app allows users to virtually walk through the classroom, interact with elements of the room to play videos and slideshows, all through the use of eye tracking. We opted for a virtual reality tour using the emerging technology of Google Cardboard, a platform that uses a cardboard fold out and your mobile phone as a viewer.
We recreated a learning environment that truly reflects the flipped classrooms to scale, all the minor details are beautifully realised. Built using the Unity gaming platform, the entire piece was exported to the Google Cardboard framework, available for prospective students to download and view on compatible Android and iPhone devices.
The app is used at open days and at overseas recruitment events. It is also available to download on both Google Play and Apple Store.
Unlike other so called VR apps only using flat 360 degree fly around images, the UNSW Business School is actually providing users with a truly immersive virtual reality tour which gives them an understanding of “a day in the life” of a student at a truly future-focused business school.
The app was launched at the University Open Day in September 2015 to great acclaim, encouraging students to take a closer look at studying in the flipped classroom and courses offered. The VR app showed students the school was progressive and serious about staying ahead of technology and reinforced the university’s core objective, to build a future-focused business school.
The app has been downloaded independently 1000’s of times from the app stores and has been showcased to 1,000’s of students at the UNSW open day and at education trade shows in the Asia Pacific region. It has generated enormous interest amongst other faculties who are now keen to develop more VR apps to showcase the University’s benchmark facilities.
Through technologies like Google cardboard, we are able to offer prospective students from anywhere in the world the ability to experience the learning environment in ways that will resonate far more than simply looking at pictures of a lecture.