5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom

You’re probably used to seeing one-dimensional, traditional bar codes printed on clothes or groceries. Today, Quick Response (or QR) codes are coming into fashion. These 2-dimensional codes consist of a collection of small blocks, similar to dots, instead of the iconic bars.

Traditional bar code (1-D)

QR Code of www.wiziq.com (2-D) created using Kaywa’s QR Code Generator

QR codes were first created in 1994, to track vehicles during the manufacturing process at high speed. In 2002, when Japanese handset makers and others wanted to turn everyone’s phone camera into a barcode scanner for marketing purposes, QR codes made perfect sense. With two dimensions to work within, QR codes can store several hundred times the amount of information carried by ordinary bar codes. They can contain anything that can fit into a maximum of around 4k (roughly one page of text).

Nowadays QR codes are everywhere. Trucks, posters, menus, buildings, business cards, t-shirts, stores, and even food items sport the box of blocks. ScanLife’s mobile bar-code trend report 2011 says: “in the time you read this blog post, 60 unique scans were processed through the ScanLife system … we are now processing more than one scan per second and a year ago it was 10 per minute.”  The report also cites that there are 45 million people in the US using QR codes today, a 300% increase in QR code generation compared to last year.

Looking at the increasing scope of QR codes, and the amount of information they can store, we’ve come up with a few observations on how they can be used in online classes. The efficacy of QR codes in learning can also be seen in Bath University’s Head of E-Learning, Andy Ramsden’s, working paper: The use of QR codes in Education: A getting started guide for academics.

The only hitch in the QR codes use is that they can also be used to distribute malware. Teachers who share QR codes from foreign sources (codes they didn’t create) should:

  • Check the embedded link before displaying the code to students, to make sure the link points where it should
  • Include a warning that this code was not generated by the instructor.

Here are five ways that teachers can use QR codes in the classroom:

1.  Extra information in presentations and course content

QR code for course content

If you have online courses, classes, tutorials, tests or other  resources relevant to the syllabus, that you want students to access, you can create a QR code for each resource. Teachers can embed QR codes into PowerPoint slides, course material, handouts, syllabus documents, webinars, class downloads, and onto whiteboards. Students will easily be able to access the resource by scanning the QR code. Here’s an example QR code of a WizIQ public class. If you scan this code with a QR code scanning app on your mobile device, it will open the class URL:

2.  Obtain session feedback

QR Codes can also be used for obtaining instant student feedback. When students scan the YES or NO code, a pre-written SMS goes to an SMS service which can be accessed by the presenter via a web page. Check this image as an example.

Students can also follow up and answer the open ended questions, if any, by SMS text messages. This saves a lot of time, quantifies the results, and maintains anonymity.

3.  RSS news feed subscriptions

Allow students to easily and instantly subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed updates. Just generate a QR code using your feed URL, and display it in your virtual class. Students can scan to subscribe. As an example, you can subscribe to our blog feed using the QR code below. Simply scan the code with a QR code reading app on your mobile device:

4.  Homework and remarks

Teachers can embed their homework assignments into QR codes. Just paste the code onto the virtual classroom whiteboard, and let students scan it. Students can even send you their completed work in the form of their own QR code.

5. QR codes for notes

Class notes can be encrypted in QR codes so students can pay more attention during the lecture. QR codes can also be used for tour notes to make students familiar with new facilities on campuses. (A similar on-campus use is shown in the study success of QR codes in libraries.) Here’s an example of a QR code containing notes. Again, you can scan and read the notes contained in this code:

What other ways might we be able to use QR codes in our virtual schools? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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Comments

  1. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom You’re probably used to seeing one-dimensional, traditional bar codes printed on clothes or groceries. Today, Quick Response (or QR) codes are coming into fashion. These 2-dimensional codes consist of a collection of small blocks, similar to dots, instead of the iconic bars. […]

  2. #2 is probably the worst use of QR codes as possible. In the times of socractive,i<clicker, understoodit, ect. There are so much better ways to get student feedback

  3. matthew feldman Says: November 17, 2012 at 12:44 am

    #2 is probably the worst use of QR codes as possible. In the times of socractive,i<clicker, understoodit, ect. There are so much better ways to get student feedback

  4. Val Stilwell Says: November 16, 2012 at 12:25 am

    we’re using QR codes at Cognitopia for individuals with cognitive disabilities. By quickly scanning a code, a person can be connected to video modeling instructional materials.

  5. Val Stilwell Says: November 16, 2012 at 12:25 am

    we’re using QR codes at Cognitopia for individuals with cognitive disabilities. By quickly scanning a code, a person can be connected to video modeling instructional materials.

  6. Hi Shilpy. Can we replace traditional RF ID card scanners used for attendance with QR codes?

  7. Hi Shilpy. Can we replace traditional RF ID card scanners used for attendance with QR codes?

  8. […] others have figured this out a lot sooner than I. For example, Dr. Shilpy Pattar’s blog “5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom” discusses how QR codes help teachers and students focus on what’s important — […]

  9. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

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  12. […] not sure how you could use them in your classroom, then let me share some good sites with you. WIZIQ gives you a no nonsense explanation and some example of QR codes to try. Cool Cat Teacher Blog has […]

  13. […] […]

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  16. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

  17. Hey I am browsing your article on my Blackberry and I was imagining how cool it will be on my soon to be purchased ipad. Fleeting thought. Anyway thanks!

  18. HarmanSingh Says: November 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Shilpi, this is really an eye opener as to how QR codes can be used! We will we using some of these in WizIQ itself.

  19. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog QR codes were first created in 1994, to track vehicles during the manufacturing process at high speed. In 2002, when Japanese handset makers and others wanted to turn everyone's phone camera into a barcode scanner for … Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

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  23. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog RT @tomshepp: 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom http://t.co/T8VUqtlV #elearning #mlearning #edapps #edapp… Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

  24. Hey Shilpy, thanks for this interesting read! I have never thought of using QR codes in a classroom. I am gonna suggest this to my marketing professor. She always prints out tons of paper for syllabus, content and blogs to hand it out to students. Instead, she can just issue QR codes for these and life will be so much simpler! 🙂

    Welcome to the Livefyre community you guys! Please don’t hesitate to ping us or even reach out to us on Twitter (@livefyre) if you’ve any questions/feedback. We’ll be happy to help! 🙂

    • Hi Dhara, Thanks for liking my post so much. Your marketing professor can surely use QR codes to enhance ease and efficiency while teaching. I am glad that my post can bring about some innovative and desired changes in learning. Keep coming back for more such creative stuff on this blog.

  25. […] 5 Uses of #QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

  26. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog RT @tomshepp: 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom http://t.co/T8VUqtlV #elearning #mlearning #edapps #edapp… Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

  27. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

  28. […] 5 Uses of QR Codes in the Classroom « WizIQ Blog Source: http://www.wiziq.com […]

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