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Immersive Tours Pilot

What is the Immersive Tours Pilot?

The Immersive Tours Pilot offers students the opportunity to tell stories about real places using 360º imagery and informative, interactive annotations.

This new pilot offering leverages the (University Courseware-approved) ThingLink platform, allowing creators to easily upload their 360º content into its cloud-based editing space. Students are then able to create individual scenes from their spherical recordings, adding details like text descriptions, audio guidance, photo or video embeds and more. Scenes can be linked together to create “walking’ tours of larger or more complex spaces.

How have immersive tours been used?

Learn how Dr Margaret Crowley Hoffman used 360º content and ThingLink in her Landscape Contracting courses.

How does an immersive tour differ from a 360º video?

Immersive tours can be inclusive of 360º video but offer additional features for both the creator and the viewer. 360º imagery (both video and still) provide a base layer on which to build interactive scenes. Using tags, storytellers are able to impart additional context and information anywhere in a recorded space via ThingLink’s drag and drop interface.

Once tours are published, the viewer becomes the director of their own experience, selecting tagged hot spots and moving between scenes at their own pace in their desktop browser, mobile phone or Virtual Reality (VR) headset.

What assistance is available as a pilot participant?

From faculty consultation to in-class training to student support, the Immersive Tours Pilot connects you with the right tools and storytelling expertise to make your projects and assignments classroom favorites.

Our consultants will work with you to evaluate learning goals and create an assignment description, match instruction with project deliverables, train students on 360º imagery recording and storytelling via ThingLink, provision enterprise accounts to students and maximize access to mentorship and support for your class(es) no matter the activity.

Is my project a good fit for the Immersive Tours Pilot?

Immersive tour projects are particularly compelling when students will be:


  • working in the field or on-location and recording place-based 360º images
  • researching and storytelling around places that have previously been imaged
  • building tours individually or in small groups 
  • mixing reality with digital content to provide additional information
Immersive tour projects are not the best option when:


  • projects require access to 360º imagery that cannot be recorded or otherwise accessed *
  • projects require immediate, simultaneous collaboration
* in many cases, a rougher deliverable or mock up is sufficient for the learning objectives of the project
To ensure you have a successful experience, IMEX Lab recommends:


  • letting students know early-on that they will be using 360º imagery and creating interactive tours for their projects
  • scheduling training sessions for students around 360º storytelling and ThingLink

Assignment Ideas

HORT 269

For the Hort 269 project, you will create a tour of the client design. The tour will have a minimum of two scenes, with each containing a minimum of two points of interest. These points of interest will be used by you to 1) ID something the client identified as a problem or issue 2) highlight a special feature.

MKTG 330

Based on research and applicable course concepts, you will translate the knowledge of the industry and consumer segment to create a video clip using 360º camera. This 360º video, targeted to your selected consumer segment, will serve as a promotional or communication tool intended to a) enhance consumer engagement with the brand; b) develop unique consumer journey; c) increase brand awareness and exposure; and d) eventually to induce trial and purchase.

Teaching Resources

360º Storytelling

General Tutorials

Faculty Tutorials

Specialized Tutorials

Contact Us

We’re here to help! If you have questions about one of our Immersive Tours Pilot cameras or accounts while working on an assignment, shoot us an email at mediacommons@psu.edu or call us at 866-266-7496.

About Tour Technologies


360º Camera Tutorials360º camera technology is relatively new, having arrived on the consumer market around 2017. As such, IMEX Lab is exploring a variety of recording platforms and making various cameras available through the Media Commons loaner pool across the Commonwealth, as well as at the lab at University Park.

Students, faculty and staff can borrow camera equipment to use for creating immersive tour content and tutorials are available for all models currently provided and supported by IMEX Lab.

IMEX Lab is also looking to develop its camera lending pool to meet faculty needs. Let us know if there is camera gear you would like to try.


ThingLink LogoThingLink is an award-winning education technology platform that makes it easy to augment images, videos, and virtual tours with additional information and links.

Virtual walk-throughs and tours give students access to real-world environments and situations that would otherwise be out of their reach. Interactive 360° images and videos help develop contextual understanding, academic vocabulary and skills in remote locations, cultures, work environments, or social situations.

Over 4 million teachers and students use ThingLink for creating accessible, visual learning experiences in the cloud.

Accepting Summer + Fall 2024 Submissions

The Immersive Tours Pilot is accepting applications to join its cohort of faculty participants. We would love to hear your ideas for ways to engage your students with immersive content through our cameras and ThingLink. Please take a few moments to complete the Form for Submissions where you can let us know the details of what you’d like to accomplish. We’ll get back in touch to help clarify the specifics and determine if our pilot is a good fit for your goals. We look forward to seeing your application.

Share Your Pilot Activity Idea