This paper investigates and illustrates the potential of using panorama virtual reality to enhance Web‐based library instruction. It describes a project in Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M University that emulates a physical tour and renders it into an attention‐getting virtual tour with 360‐degree realistic views. The paper outlines three progressive developments in the use of tour as an instructional medium: the “physical tour”, the “Web virtual tour”, and the “virtual reality tour”. The project illustrates that panorama VR could be a powerful tool to combine the “physical tour” and the “Web‐based virtual tour” into one, making it a more useful medium that allows navigating, viewing, reading, hearing and remote access. The issues of design, hardware, software, and cost are addressed. The discussion also includes an overview of the Internet‐based VR technologies, a literature review of using VR technologies for learning and some considerations on future applications of panorama‐based virtual reality.
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