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Stanford Relies on VR Programming for its Incoming Students

Physical classes are being cancelled across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the world. Yet, Stanford has persisted in continuing creating events for the 2024 incoming class.

The pandemic situation has led to the cancellation of various study abroad programs, in addition to driving out most undergraduate students from campus and halting on-campus construction work. The University, however, has persisted in organizing events to welcome the newest students of the Stanford community, its 2024 enrollments.

Speaking to the Daly, Richard Shaw, the Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid Dean expressed that the University was looking forward to welcoming the new admissions to the community. He acknowledged the unforeseen hurdles created by the current situation in the world, saying that the approach of communicating with and counselling the admitted students has changed dynamically. An inventive approach adopted by the University was sending a virtual reality headset to each of the students. Students can utilise the headset for scanning a QR code that takes them to a video showcasing the Stanford campus virtually. The students can also choose to listen to testimonials given by the current students of the University.

Programming in VR. Image source: pinterest

Camille Luong, an incoming student, expressed how she felt that Stanford University has outdone its educational industry competitors. She elaborated further, saying that she enjoyed the virtual tour of the Stanford campus with the virtual reality headset. According to Luong, although it is obvious that one is not physically present at the campus, the experience was quite exciting for her.

The prospective students were sent flyers and booklets descriving the experience of undergraduates at Stanford University, along with a reusable cup, a branded Stanford hat and a drawstring bag. Additionally, the University also hosted several online events where admits could participate and interact with each other, admission officers and current students.

According to Shaw, the decision for cancelling the conventional Admit Weekend event was not an easy one, as they came to the realisation that the experience could not be made into an online event. He spoke further on the subject, saying that the objective of the University’s team has been to understand the goals of the events and how they would impact the students. This helped them in developing a refined virtual student experience in April. Shaw said that the virtual programming was developed over the course of five weeks by the members of the Admit Weekend team.

The new programming encompasses Zoom meetings with designated admission officers, a program featuring alumni calling the new students, a virtual activity fair, and another programme where undergraduate students of the University are able to call the new students. Students who cannot take part in online events can gain access to recorded versions at their own convenience. Shaw remarked that the sessions over the phone with the alumni and current students can cement connections that are usually established by worldwide admission receptions. According to a student, the new technology offering has made event registration quite more convenient for most people.

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