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The rise of QR codes – Is now the time to utilise these in our learning experiences?

Life has certainly changed over the last 12+ months and with it there have been changes to the way we undertake certain tasks. One such change (in Australia at least) has been the much wider adoption of QR codes within restaurants and venues to identify visitors to these locations. With any digital learning project, asking a learner to utilise technology they are already familiar with increases the chance of adoption and engagement with the learning materials. So, the question is, if QR codes are becoming more commonplace, how can we utilise these in our learning experiences?

What is a QR code?

A QR is a type of barcode, which can be read by your smartphone camera. If you scan a QR code, you will then be provided access to the information attached to that particular code. The information in each code is different, but some examples include:

  • display simple text information
  • open a website
  • connect you to a WIFI network

QR codes and learning experiences

But why would you use QR codes when designing digital learning? QR codes open up a world of opportunities for just in time learning. 

Imagine working in a factory and having a QR code next to key pieces of equipment that on scanning provided you with video walkthroughs and resources to help you work safely. Or an induction program, allowing your new team members to do a self-guided walk through your site, scanning QR codes as they go to learn key facts, processes and procedures about different areas of the organisation as they went. In both these examples, QR codes could be created, linked to learning content and added to posters placed in key positions around your sites.

There are so many possibilities of how this technology could be utilised in your learning programs, you just have to think outside the box.

Creating a QR code

To create a QR code is quite easy. Searching for a “QR code generator” will provide you with a list of freely available tools to generate your own QR code. 

You’ll need to have pre-developed your learning materials; you will then be able to link to these when you are creating your QR code. The resulting barcode will present the learner with your learning content when the code is scanned with a smartphone camera.

Once you have created a new QR code, you will be able to download your code as an image and use it in your learning materials and resources to bring a new level of engagement and interaction to your digital learning programs.

Catherine Duncan

Catherine Duncan

Catherine is a learning technologies and digital education practitioner with over twelve years experience across a variety of industries. She enjoys using her technical, educational and creative knowledge to assist organisations in determining their technical and/or training requirements and assisting them in finding the optimum solution.

One thought on “The rise of QR codes – Is now the time to utilise these in our learning experiences?

  • That’s a great overview of QR codes 🙂
    I agree they are very easy to make these days too !
    Certainly here in New Zealand we’ve been scanning QR codes everywhere we go for a year now, to use with the NZ COVID-19 tracer app.
    I’m sure many other countries are the same, not just Australia and New Zealand.
    So now many of us are familiar with scanning QR codes, perhaps as you say they can be integrated in more learning environments and situation – which is an extra dynamic to e-learning.


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