“Are they going to take off tomorrow? Probably not,” she wrote. “In fact, QR codes may never fully take off for the majority of students. But they’re a low-cost … way to link students to resources and information, and the people that do use them will be glad you made it convenient for them to access whatever information you linked to the codes.”

Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., has printed QR codes on the back of faculty and staff members’ business cards, allowing students to scan the code and visit a web page filled with the campus employee’s contact information, bio, and photo.

Some campuses, such as Saint Leo University in Florida and York College in Pennsylvania, have used QR codes in alumni magazines and pamphlets.

York College’s QR code includes a link to a mobile website where alums can submit their own news to share with other alumni in the school’s publication.

Casey Paquet, director of web services at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., said campus IT decision makers should consider QR codes – which can be generated for free – as a way to engage students who are attached to their smart phones.

Colleges and universities experimenting with the technology, Paquet said, doesn’t mean QR codes are recognized and understood by every student who sees the black-and-white boxes.

“There certainly isn’t a drawback to including them on print pieces, but there isn’t a great demand either,” he said. “To some extent I even think you may just end up confusing or unsettling your audience as they try to figure out what the heck these pixel squares are on your pieces.”


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