Open days are important events for student recruitment and admissions departments at universities. Structured around activities like ‘taster’ lectures, campus tours, and talks from faculty members and current students, an open day can help prospective students connect with the institution and get a sense of what life on campus might be like.

But what if your campus is in a remote location that may be challenging for interested students to get to? Or alternatively, what if your institution is trying to reach international students (or their parents), for whom making the trip to attend a physical open day is simply not possible?

Some institutions have found that their lecture capture and video management platform can provide a solution to both of these problems. By using video in three key ways, universities can offer an even wider audience of prospective students the chance to gain insights into what they could expect if they attended the institution.

Live webcasting key presentations from the open day on campus

One of the most common ways in which video is being used to create virtual open days is simply for institutions to live stream the presentations and lectures taking place during the physical open day. Whereas at a physical open day the university is restricted as to the number of students who can attend by their room capacities, with a live broadcast, the open day can reach thousands, or even tens of thousands of participants. For both viewers and staff at the university, this approach offers a number of advantages.

From a viewer’s perspective, live streaming makes it possible to get a real sense of “being in the room” despite their distance. Providing support for live Q&A functionality also ensures that viewers get the chance to pose their questions to key university figures, just as they would if they were there.

And from the institution’s point of view, all this can typically be done with their existing lecture capture solution. Panopto customers need only to click the ‘webcast’ box to make their content available to a whole range of prospective students, wherever they are in the world.

Sharing lecturers, micro-lectures, or flipped learning content to give a sample of course content

At a face-to-face open day, it is common to have ‘taster’ lecture presentations to give prospective students a sense of what their teaching would be like. The same kind of experience can be provided to virtual attendees of an open day by sharing select recorded lectures, pieces of flipped learning content, or microlectures that would give viewers an insight into how course materials might be taught.

Often this type of material includes both a slide deck along with a ‘talking head’ video of the lecturer, humanising the content and virtually ‘introducing’ prospective students to the teaching staff who will lead their modules.

Best of all, universities already have this type of content stored in their video content management systems, meaning that they don’t have to create lots of new recordings.

Filming campus walk-throughs and staff and student testimonials

Just as an on-location open day will likely include campus tours and more informal Q&A sessions with staff and students, a virtual open day can share these elements too. By including video footage of the institution and staff and student views on campus life, it is possible to give interested students the chance to get a much more immersive experience of the institution than they would get from simply reading a prospectus.

These video walk-throughs also enable the institution to bring its culture to the forefront. Some institutions will choose to make these tours and interviews quite formal, while others will instead simply ask current students to film campus walk-throughs using their mobile devices, commenting on key campus landmarks as they go. For those unable to physically get to the campus who are accessing content at a distance, any resources that give a sense of the physical environment they would experience if they studied at the university is particularly powerful.

Along with introducing students to the campus, video can also be used to share even more information. More formal messages, like a welcome from the Vice Chancellor, are easy to create and share, as are overviews of more procedural content, such as outlining the next steps for those who have decided to apply.

By using video to support virtual open days in these three key ways, universities are opening up new possibilities to connect with prospective students – whether they are prevented from attending a physical open day by the remoteness of the campus location or by the fact they are based abroad.

Try Panopto For Yourself

There’s a reason 21 of the top 25 universities in the world use Panopto. Try our industry-leading video platform for education today to see how easy it is to start recording and live broadcasting video content to power virtual open days. Contact our team to request a free 30-day trial today.