QR codes seem to be popping up everywhere. They can be found on concert posters taped to boards at sandwich shops. They can be found on billboards advertising pizza. Currently, they can be also be found on posters advertising Blackboard Learn.
The Quick Response (QR) code image embedded to the left is an example of how TLP is connecting users to web resources loaded with information about Bb Learn. The example here contains a link to the web page where users can access information and connect to links about the Bb Learn learning management system (LMS), software that is currently being implemented by a pilot group of faculty here at CSU Chico. (If you have a QR code reader on your phone, scan the image and it will take you to the Bb Learn website.)
So what are these codes? Simply put, a QR code is a more sophisticated version of product barcodes that get scanned at the checkout of any retail outlet. Because QR codes can contain up to 4000 characters of information, quite a lot of information can be embedded in just one. For example, it can be something as simple as a web address, or it can contain contact information such as email addresses and telephone numbers, or even instructions for doing an assignment.
QR codes are designed to be accessed by a smartphone decoding app by scanning the code with the phone’s camera. The app then uses the information embedded in the QR code to take users directly to the website, video link, text message, phone number, or other information. Using QR codes to deliver information encoded in a graphic form saves users the time of having to write down or type out urls in order to access the information embedded in the code. It also allows text information to be stored and then read at a user’s convenience. (To obtain a QR decoder app that is compatible with your phone’s operating system, search your phone’s app store or use Google to search for the app. Most are free.)
Links to articles and blogs about the use of QR codes in higher education
Links for QR decoder apps
Links for download of QR reader for iPhone:
Shop Savvy Barcode Scanner & QR Reader for iPhone
Link for download QR reader for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android:
Download i-nigma Reader
~ article by student staff Carey Wilson