Thursday, July 14, 2011

QR Code Scavenger Hunt

Student scanning a QR Code
This time of year one of my favorite activities occurs, New Student Orientation (NSO).  Our incoming Freshman are so excited to be here; they are excited and eager - all in all the best audience you could ask for. Every summer I do a little introduction to technology at the college along with others on a panel, but this year I wanted to do something different. You see, we pride ourselves on being "Not your Momma's college of education," but how can we say that if we lecture to them for an hour or me? So went back and thought about what the goals from the session were, and really it came down to three things:
  1. Introduce them to people in the college
  2. Introduce them to the facilities available to them in the college
  3. Introduce them to the ideals and mission of the college
We started to brainstorm about the ways students could get that information, and we had an epiphany. What about a QR Code Scavenger Hunt!  I've used QR codes for about a year, and based on my last post you can probably tell that I am a fan, but how can we put these QR codes to work in a scavenger hunt context?  We came up with a list of stops in the building and what type of information we wanted/needed at each stop. We decided on having QR Codes link to videos (have to use youtube to play on iOS). Each stop had a video (30 sec or less - well we tried for 30 sec or less) by a diffirent staff/faculty member related to the topic. This way students got to see and "meet" various staff people, with the addded benefit of actually seeing the facilties, or departments they were talking about.

So where does the "scavenger hunt" part come in? Well we gave a clue at the end of each video about what their task would be.  Since they all would be using iPod Touch devices from the Media Center, we knew they would have the ability to take reqular pictures as well. So each task included them taking a picture of a particular obvject. The first group to get back to the main auditorium, with all the correct pictures would win our scavenger hunt.

I was amazed at how well it went over. Students were running around the building, getting to know their group members and seeing parts of our building (like the media center) that they may never have discovered. Now I know that some students cheated and fast forwarded to the end of the video, and were only in it to win. But I feel that we would have lost them in a long lecture anyways.

In the end it was a resounding success, and really only possible with technology. I am so thankful that the NSO group was open to try something like this and I think we might keep the QR Codes up so that our students can find out more information about the college!


_ said...

Great idea Bethany! What a fun way for students to be active participants in orientation!

Jamie said...

Technology such as Internet can definitely enhance kids learning program and teaching. What a great post.