Quick Response (QR) codes (or box codes) are two-dimensional codes that can be scanned by the camera on a smartphone device. Snapping a photo of a QR code will automatically connect you to text, photos, videos, music, or Web sites associated with that code.
The beauty of using a QR code on a flier, pamphlet, booklet, or anywhere else in higher education is that it creates a bridge between real-world material and online resources. There’s no need for students to memorize the address for your event’s Web page or search around your school’s Web site looking for more information. Just point, snap and connect – instantly.
Although the technology hasn’t quite become mainstream yet, QR code readers are readily available for most smartphone platforms (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc). As more people begin to embrace and utilize these codes, your school should be ahead of the curve and ready to take advantage.
Are they going to take off tomorrow? Probably not. In fact, QR codes may never fully take off for the majority of students. But they’re a low-cost, low-risk way to link students to resources and information, and the people that do use them will be glad you made it convenient for them to access whatever information you linked to the codes.
We recommend that you start a pilot project now. Connect with your IT team to uncover opportunities (see the list below for some starters) and try it out. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that you have strong tracking mechanisms in place.
Here’s a list of ideas for how to use QR codes in higher education: