University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Our graphic designer was curious about QR codes and student's interaction so she created one, printed it out and hung it in the student center to see if anyone would actually scan it. Because of her curiosity we've decided to look into putting QR codes into our workflow. Doing some research I found some great info on demographics, ways of creating/reading QR codes, and some basic ideas such as:


» Freshman scavenger hunt with special prize at last code

» business card integration w/ website

» link to directions/maps/contact info

» linking to video from print piece to further the campaign


Some awesome ideas I got from blogs and other forum posts include including a "what is this?" with custom page explaining qr codes, UNL's custom URL shortener that creates a QR code, and amazing info on how WVU integrated QR codes into their Big East tournament and beyond.


Now, I'd love to hear other great ideas on how you are using QR codes. Thanks in advance.


- Kevin

Tags: barcode, code, mobile, qr, qr barcodes, qr codes

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We have an Art Gallery on campus and have been doing online audio tours with the visiting artists for a few year now. During our Spring show, I posted a QR code by each piece that linked to it's corresponding auto clip from the tour.

That was the first time we have used QR codes on campus so it generated a bit of a buzz which was nice. We're going to try it again during the Fall show.


We've also been running them in our Alumni magazine as links to our Facebook and online bookstore.


Our library has plans to use them for a scavenger hunt in the fall and they are pretty excited about it.

Full disclosure - I don't currently work at a school, but having worked at colleges/universities for several years AND finding this a really interesting topic I thought I'd throw out a couple of ideas:


- QR codes could be integrated to the signage of key buildings or other sites on campus and correspond to a webpage (that might or might not be part of an on-line campus map) for more details or video about that location

- Posters, web pages or other marketing efforts for on-campus plays or musical or athletic events could link to the e-commerce site to purchase tickets, see a seating chart of the arena, etc.

- From my time as a Director of Financial Aid - posters or other print material advertising scholarships could incorporate a QR code to take user to more info on the website or maybe even an on-line form/application


Not having a lot of experience with them, these ideas may be a little simplistic, but thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. :)



Wouldn't a QR code scavenger hunt put you at risk of a lawsuit by students who don't have a device that can read QR codes?


Always make it an additional way to consume information - not the sole conveyor of the information.

We've used QR codes to promote features or sites. In our spring edition of the Virginia Tech magazine, we used a QR code to drive users to a mobile-friendly page that told the story of the chimes on Burruss Hall. In addition to the story, users could download a ringtone of the chimes to their mobile device. We're also using QR codes to promote a mobile-friendly version of our campus map that has key spots preloaded if users want to take a self guided tour.

We are using QR codes on a bookmark that gives students access to additional information during orientation. The bookmark also displays the URL so the content is still accessible from a computer or other phone w/out a QR code reader. We have been surprised by the number of students who are not familiar with QR codes. The larger university system is also using QR codes here, so hopefully that will help pick up some momentum.


We are also adding QR codes to some of our door name plates. Right now it's made so that you slip in a 6.25x6.25 inch piece of paper with the persons name and title. We're adding a QR code that will be a link to a vcard that will add contact information, email, phone, office hours etc. to the address book of a smart phone.

Last fall we ran a student survey asking about mobile/social use. As part of the publicity mix we put a QR code on a sandwich board that stood outside; it linked them directly to the survey. (To Bradley's point, we also included the URL, which was a shortened/trackable


We only got a couple of clicks from it. If I repeat the survey this fall I expect I'd see more clicks because it has become more common.


Two ideas we discussed just this morning for a building celebration:


- Put a QR code on the sign that will go next to the construction site, so someone going by could scan that and be taken to an information page about the building.

- Put a QR code on the building celebration invitation that takes them to a page with videos and other content about the building's programs and its importance in campus development.


Love the other ideas here--I plan to CASE the joint (Copy And Steal Everything).


Has anyone looked at Microsoft Tags as a possible option? 


Because they allow you to use color and embed custom images, you could put the school logo into the image. The blog post I link to above makes the point that consumers may then not actually recognize it as a readable tag. I'm thinking about using them but perhaps I'd use both.


One of my questions is whether a QR reader app can read a Tag or whether the user needs both apps. I'm guessing it's 2 apps but that specific point isn't covered in the things I've read so far.



Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Washington State University Spokane



Follow-up info: I checked with Mark Sprague, who wrote the Search Engine Land item I linked to in my previous comment. You do need separate readers for Tags and QR codes.



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