The university recently sent print material to prospective students that included a QR code they could scan with their smart phone and watch a YouTube video of a typical “day in the life of one of our students,” Roberts said.

“We’re using them as a way to make our print pieces interactive and to drive audiences to video content that further elaborates on what they’re reading,” he said.

Widespread use of QR codes on campus could end the days of students jotting down web addresses on a scrap piece of paper, only to lose the paper or write an incorrect number or letter in the address.

QR codes aren’t universally recognized yet, but college students are sure to gravitate toward the black-and-white boxes once they’ve snapped a few pictures and experienced the technology’s convenience, said Stephanie Geyer, director of web development for Noel-Levitz, an Iowa-based higher-education consulting company.

“The beauty of using a QR code on a flier, pamphlet, booklet, or anywhere else in higher education is that it creates a bridge between real-world material and online resources,” Geyer wrote in a blog post. “There’s no need for students to memorize the address for your event’s web page or search around your school’s web site looking for more information. Just point, snap and connect instantly.”

Making QR codes commonplace on campus promotional materials, signs, and class syllabi won’t require an enormous IT investment, Geyer said, making the codes a “low risk” option.


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