QR Codes or Quick Response Codes and Training

QR Codes or Quick Response Codes bring technology content into the physical world.  Yet how can you use them for training?

Having worked in a strict governance environment for years, finding ways of reminding people of governance was always challenging. Navigating through piles of documentation to find the one relevant paragraph in a timely fashion is even harder.

QR Codes provide an easy access bridge between the real world and the content world of technology.  By content world I mean thousands of web pages and millions of pages of documentation.

How can you benefit from them in training? In short, put the training manual ON the device or IN the paperwork.


How you might ask? Put a code on the device which links to the training material.

What if just 1 icon on a device led you to the exact training and safe operation of that device AND be version specific?

Moreover, you could start your Easter Egg hunt by planning it from the start of the year?


Brief introduction to QR Codes

A QR Code is a square bar code. Unlike vertical line bar code parts of it can become damaged and the code can still work.

A vertical bar code is just numbers. A QR code stores numbers and letters, so it can be used to store a web address.

Introduced in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso Wave. They were designed originally for the automotive industry.

After that and over 20 years on and they can be used for anything. According to WikiPedia “Applications include product tracking, item identification, time tracking, document management, and general marketing”


Marketing eh???  How do they help marketing?

To clarify as an example, in Dave Ulrich’s “The Leadership Capital Index: Realizing the Market Value of Leadership” (2015) he writes

“Driscoll’s the berry company, uses QR codes on its packaging so customers can scan the code on their smartphones, find information about the farm the berries came from, get information on the growing process, and provide feedback.”


Having the time to tech

So most people think that a QR code is a challenge. It does look techy… surprisingly the answer is that the engine is available for free…

For example, you can make your own here with a link to anything.

On the other hand if you’re techy, you can integrate one into your services using code available here.


On WhereWeLearn, the platform provides an icon on the Lesson, KeyRing and other useful links pages, which links through to an automatically generate QR Code which would take the user straight to that content.

As an example, we start with a link to training on “How engines work”:

Subsequently, the QR Code for it is here.

Furthermore you can take that image, print it on label stickers and stick it to whatever you like.


Breaking a QR code on purpose

QR codes have error correction in them, so even if they become damaged up to a certain point, they still work.

In marketing you can use to your advantage by putting a logo onto the code.

Yes it obscures some of the data but doesn’t stop the whole QR code working as in the example on the right.


There’s a great in-depth discussion on QR Codes available on Wikipedia. 

In order to scan a code you need a free reader.  Furthermore here are some links to help you.  Above all remember this technology is free.


QR and Education

As educators we should be able to engage in mediums our students are comfortable with.

QR Codes aren’t ideal for everyone but can make it easier for different demographics of students.

  • Firstly people with poor memories, visual automated codes make access quicker and easier
  • Also those who might forget codes and references do not need to go hunting
  • Furthermore if dexterity is an issue, making technology use simpler rather than a lot of typing is just considerate
  • Next visual difficulties can be eased over whilst respecting people’s dignity
  • For those on the move with a set of headphones, engaging mobile learning can make the train or plane, a classroom.

QR Codes encourage smart phone use to concentrate on useful things and draw attention in favor of where the educator wants to bring it.

Solutions like WhereWeLearn allow you to build training in an order and way that you feel best. Whilst a simple QR code inspires interest and intrigue.

If there’s anything in this article you’d like to chat to me about you can contact me here or on social media.

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