Virtual Tours for Travel & Tourism

Case Study at East Sussex College Group

Virtual Tours for Travel & Tourism Click the image to launch example content

ESCG approached their Travel and Tourism department to use Google Expeditions as a tool to take Travel and Tourism students on a virtual guided tour of somewhere they might have been learning about as part of their course.

Whilst preparing for the trial, they also identified some promising content from YouTube shot in 360 that could accompany the planned Expedition. They focused efforts on the Great Barrier Reef for the most “wow” factor and found a suitable Expedition and YouTube video of the reef to use with students.

In the first session, students had a variety of smartphone sizes. The college decided to purchase two different types of VR headset. The first was a small zip-up able to accommodate phones up to 6” in size. The second was able to take phones up to 8” in size with a strap holding the device in place. They decided not to use interactive remotes with the headsets as their setup was forecast to take up too much lesson time.

“What am I meant to be doing?” This was a quote from a student after looking around inside Google Expeditions for about 10 seconds. This was a common confusion among the students who, while they expressed an interest in the content, lamented in one case “I like that I can see all this (in Expeditions), but it’s sad it’s just images rather than video.” When the team decided to show them instead one by one the video content, the response was almost immediate: “Wow!” The student who said this is the same we interviewed afterwards

Following this session, the lecturer invited us to launch the YouTube video with her new incoming students on their taster day. For this session the college did not use Google Expeditions, and instead gave students the choice of two videos to watch, and then asked them to reflect in pairs the impression of the location they got from the footage.

“It’s really different to what I’ve done before.” This student explained that at their secondary school nothing like this had been done with them, and it was “exciting” to do something more “out there”.

“I enjoyed it, but it was complicated to get working.” For a few of the students getting the resource to display was tricky even after a walkthrough at the front of the class. We also found that several students either didn’t have or weren’t aware they had the YouTube app downloaded, which was an assumption the team had erroneously made going into the session.