QR codes were first created by Toyota to track vehicles in manufacturing, offering a small barcode that can be quickly decoded. That was 1994, and now, almost 20 years later, QR code technology is experiencing a revival — but not in the automotive industry. The small, square codes are ubiquitous, showing up on everything from flyers to beer bottles, allowing anyone with a smart phone to quickly scan and find out more information with the code. The possibilities for their use are endless, and many translate into the college classroom, offering a fun and exciting way for students to use technology for learning. Read on, and we’ll share a wealth of ideas for implementing QR codes in college.
With QR codes, you can make it even easier to get in touch.
- VcardsOn your syllabus and any other documents that need (or could benefit from) your contact information, add a QR code so students and colleagues can quickly upload your information to their contact list.
- Office availabilityPut a QR code on your office name plate to link to your online calendar for availability and contact information.
- Connect on social mediaAdd a QR code to your contact information, and you can make it easy for people to automatically connect with you on social networks.
- Mobile class newslettersKeep students updated on what’s happening in class with a QR linked mobile class newsletter.
- Polls and feedbackUsing QR codes, you can ask students to vote on choices or give feedback.
Information & Enhancement
QR codes are great for sharing information, and we’ll explore some of their uses here, as well as ways they can enhance learning.
- Link to supplemental materials in your own textbookMake sure your valuable resources don’t get lost in a forgotten folder: slap a QR code right on your textbook so it’s handy for you to find later.
- Generate interest on the goPut QR codes on t-shirts or stickers for your class, and direct them to your website so they can see what you’re working on.
- Classroom calendarOn your syllabus and handouts, link to your classroom’s calendar with a QR code.
- Mobile remindersMake it easy for students to remember assignments by creating QR codes to automatically add events to their calendar.
- Advertise new classesIf you’re teaching a new course next semester, share a QR code that advertises the full course details for students to check out.
- Sell enhanced adsIf your classroom offers the opportunity for publication, such as a student newspaper, small QR codes can be placed in the paper for big money.
- Create buzz for eventsGenerate buzz and awareness for upcoming events with QR code posters that will tempt students to scan and find out what’s going on.
- Interactive periodic tableBy putting QR codes on posters like the periodic table, you can share more information about what you’re displaying, like details about the elements.
- Share maps or coordinatesGive directions to events or interesting locations in a snap with QR codes on handouts, your class blog, and more.
- List sourcesUse a QR code to organize and list all of your sources for a presentation to create an easy way for people to find the information.
- Post assignments for the weekKeep students updated on the weekly schedule with a QR code that will take them to a website with the assignments for each week.
- Link to book reviewsAny time you assign a book or a reading, set up a QR code linking to book reviews.
- Share exam detailsIf you’ve prepared a review for students to use, link it with a QR code for easy access.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had all the time in the world to share YouTube videos, readings, and other relevant information right in your lecture? With QR codes, you can share all of these resources and more.
- Link to an audio copy of your lectureAt the end of your presentation, share a QR code that students can scan for a link to your lecture available online.
- Highlight videosIf you’ve got a YouTube video you want students to watch, but don’t want to use valuable lecture time to show it, link it through a QR code in your slides.
- Get answers to questions in classWith hundreds of students, asking for answers may be a bit daunting, but with a QR code, all of the students in your class can submit answers at once, and you can highlight interesting ones in your lecture immediately.
- Link to an end of class assignmentDiscourage skipping out or leaving early by placing a QR code on your last slide for a quick poll or quiz to be completed in class.
- Pre-teachingBefore class starts, students will be waiting in the classroom. Why not post a QR code of a video, website, or reading you’d like for them to check out before you get started?
- Following along during lecturesShare websites you’d like students to access on their mobile devices during lecture time by sharing a QR code.
QR codes aren’t just great for enhancing assignments: you can make entire assignments out of the codes themselves.
- Creating a QR appTechnology courses can task their students with creating an app for QR reading, creation, or other use for the code.
- Digital discoveries in the librarySend students on an assignment in the library, asking them to go on a treasure hunt for QR codes hidden in the library, following clues through wikis and webpages.
- Digital portfoliosAsk students to organize their work into a digital portfolio, linking it to the world with a QR code they can add to resumes, business cards, and more.
- Take learning outside the classroomPost QR codes around campus, not just in your classroom. Architecture professors could tag campus buildings with QR codes, sharing their history and design with students.
- Put math problems on campusShare problems and answers through QR codes, posting them on campus for other students to find.
- Sharing assignmentsIf students have projects displayed in a public space like the library, add QR codes that link to information about their project, and even a video clip from the student.
- Field assignmentsIf you take your students out into the field, such as in a geology course, you can tag certain locations for quizzes and assignments to complete on the spot.
Books & Reading Material
With QR codes, books can really come alive. Read on to find out about the possibilities.
- Highlight similar booksWhen sharing books in your classroom, slap a QR code on it to share similar books students might enjoy reading.
- Peer review commentaryAdd a QR code to writing assignments that are up for peer review, and students can add their comments to a form.
- Get feedbackPut QR codes in the front of your exercise books, and ask students to provide ongoing feedback at that location, creating a living document for improving your assignments.
- Enhance reading material with relevant resourcesAdd QR code stickers to books at relevant locations, taking students to related material like videos, web pages, and journals.
Check out these ideas for making your college classroom better with QR codes.
- QR code the human bodyFor science and anatomy courses, you can QR code different parts of the body for videos and more in depth information about that body part.
- Link to presentationsIf you have projects students have created, or even essays on display, add a QR code to the bottom so you can keep their presentation handy.
- Automatic wifi credentialsMake it easy to sign on to wifi in your classroom with a QR code that provides all the information needed.
- Lab directionsSet up your science lab with QR codes to share directions and related information for completing assignments.
Enhance handouts, homework, and more with these QR code ideas.
- Share video tutorialsAdd even more information to handouts like math worksheets with video tutorials for solving problems.
- Mystery picture worksheetsCreate a math mystery worksheet that students can solve with QR codes.
- Share important formsIf you need students to fill out important forms, make it easy for them to download by linking them with a QR code.
- Instant access to online quizzesAt the end of each handout, place a QR code that direct student to a quick online quiz.
- Connect to writing resourcesWhen handing out writing assignments, share QR codes that connect students to sources and ideas.
- Avoid having to print something outIf you don’t have the time or resources to print something off, share it with your students using a QR code.
- Create a graphShare data with a QR code linking students to a graphing tool to put it all together.
- Link to presentationsIf you want students to follow along with lectures while reading handouts, just add a QR code to your document.
- Link to video tutorialsPut QR codes on math worksheets to link students to video tutorials that can help them solve problems.
- Music sheetsAttach QR codes to music sheets, and students can get connected to information about the piece or even a recording to listen to.
- Check your answersAdd QR codes to assignments, allowing students to check their answers as they go.