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jim_small Posted by Jim Farrell

Let’s face it…QR codes are everywhere. They are in magazines, stores and even food boxes.
Last week when I was in a local store, I was able to do product feature and price comparisons right on my smart phone with the QR codes on the price tags. My nine-year-old daughter scans food bar codes to see their nutritional grades. (For those of you who do not know, QR codes — or Quick Response codes — are a type of barcode that can be used to encode a URL, text or other data.)
So now you might be asking how this fits into surveys. Let me back up a bit and explain.
The hardest part of  using surveys or course evaluations is getting people to complete them. For years, people have been  trying to find out how to make others want to fill out surveys. I personally avoid surveys at all cost (ironic I know). Some universities have gone as far as not giving a student credit for a class without filling out a course evaluation survey. But I am not sure that is the best way to collect valid information. At the other extreme, some have just stopped trying to collect the information. I am not sure that is right either.  It’s important to give people a vehicle for sharing their thoughts or feelings – and also to heed what they are telling you.
So how do we make people want to fill out surveys?  I think QR codes could prove to be an effective technique for drawing people in and encouraging them to participate. We know that many people don’t fill out paper forms (which need to be rescanned anyway)  and a lot of them also avoid links. But people are drawn into QR codes.  The mystery of what is behind the code is enough for most people to draw out their phone and give it a scan.
So how might this apply to learning? QR codes could be put onto a class syllabus, a poster board at a conference or on a webpage (yes you can scan a QR code on your computer). By asking the right questions, you can later filter results by the demographic data you collect on your surveys.
So how about giving this idea a whirl? Try out my QR code survey  below and then try and see if QR codes increase traffic on your surveys.