QR codes have found plenty of educational use cases: learning materials sharing, attendance tracking, video-aided studies, and many more. These small black-and-white squares are enough to revolutionize learning and teaching.

If you want to ride this wave of change and use QR codes for education, keep reading this post. We’ll tell you about the top seven applications, real-world examples, viable ideas, and the numerous benefits that make QR codes an indispensable part of learning.

What Is Education?

Education is a multifaceted sector comprising formal institutions, informal learning environments, and various instructional methods that help individuals accumulate knowledge and skills. This niche extends from schools and universities to online courses and workshops.

Given the versatility of education, QR codes are a valuable addition that bridges traditional learning methods with innovation. This integration is particularly significant considering the EdTech market’s growth, which is set to expand from $142 billion in 2023 to $348.41 billion in 2030 (Grand View Research, 2022). In this scenario, QR codes are the solutions that will facilitate accessibility, interactivity, and engagement for students and teachers alike.

Use Cases: How QR Codes Are Used in Education

Distributing learning materials, sharing video tutorials, and handling online quizzes are just several use cases of QR codes in education. But there are more. Let’s go through them one by one.

1. Learning Materials Distribution in Education

QR codes let educators effortlessly share learning materials with their students. The materials they can embed may include PDFs, word docs, presentations, spreadsheets, and other digital files.

Students, in turn, can scan the QR codes to access textbooks, lecture notes, and other learning resources within a matter of seconds. This use case becomes especially relevant in the context of global environmental protection campaigns, which propel the ebook market to expand from $17 billion in 2024 to almost $22 billion by 2029 (Mordor Intelligence, 2024).

2. Class Attendance Tracking in Education

Creating a QR code for attendance tracking is another prominent use case, which allows educators to streamline the whole process. The students confirm their presence by scanning the code upon entering the classroom.

This automated process lets teachers save class time and record attendance accurately. Students receive the added convenience of accessing the online attendance system right through their phones — the prevalent devices used by over 83 million people in the United States for QR code scanning (eMarketer, 2022).

3. Video Tutorials Sharing in Education

Educators may share video tutorials with their students through QR codes. They can place those on printed materials, lecture notes, or presentations so learners can swiftly access additional visual content.

Using QR codes with embedded videos is especially vital, given that 83% of people prefer watching videos over reading or listening to access information (TechSmith, 2021).

4. Website or Learning Management System Access in Education

QR codes can be used as instant gateways to educational platforms like websites, learning management systems, or specific online resources. Through a simple scan, students and educators will access digital tools necessary for comprehensive learning.

Besides accessing course materials, assignments, and other resources, QR codes simplify the login process. They make the transition between traditional and digital learning environments smoother.

5. Online Quizzes and Exams in Education

QR codes allow educators to handle surveys, quizzes, exams, and other online assessments. Students can access the necessary task after scanning the code.

Not only does this approach ensure a controlled testing environment, but it also enables automated grading, in-depth analytics, and informational feedback — a student engagement practice used by 72% to 82% of teachers (GoGuardian, 2022). It’s also a simple way to introduce technology in examination practices.

6. Interactive Bulletin Boards in Education

Traditional bulletin boards hung on the classroom walls come alive with QR codes, turning static displays into interactive learning corners. Students can scan these codes to access additional information, multimedia content, or quizzes related to the displayed materials.

This use case is helpful as it captures students’ attention and encourages exploration, a sentiment backed by at least 96% of students who say that tech makes their lessons more exciting and enjoyable (Promethean, 2022). It also creates an interactive learning atmosphere in the classroom. 

7. Online Enrollment in Education

QR codes simplify onboarding for students by allowing them to enroll in specific courses or educational institutions through a single scan. Schools and colleges can embed such codes in promotional materials, various locations within the school, or social media.

This use case accomplishes two goals simultaneously. First – it makes enrollment more convenient and efficient for students. And besides, it draws more learners to the educational institution.

Benefits of QR Codes for Education

Easy access to educational resources, engaging learning, and cost-effectiveness are the most significant benefits of QR codes for education. Let’s explore these and more in detail:

  • Improved accessibility: QR codes let students access digital resources like PDF files or videos quickly.
  • Engaging learning: QR codes enhance studies with interactive elements like videos, quizzes, and surveys.
  • Cost-effectiveness: QR codes reduce the need for printed materials and are affordable to implement at schools.
  • Saved time: QR codes speed up and automate attendance tracking, enrollment, and materials distribution.

Besides the above benefits, QR codes are valuable data collection and analysis tools. By enabling educators to study student engagement, performance, and preferences, codes contribute to the broader trend in personalized learning, with the global market expected to exceed $2 billion by the end of 2024 (IndustryARC, 2018).

QR Code Ideas for Education

Virtual campus tours or collaborative assignments are just two ideas for using QR codes in education. Discover a few more:

  1. Encourage your students to create QR codes that link to learning resources and share those with their peers,
  2. Use QR codes to connect to students’ digital portfolios,
  3. Enable interactive science experiments using QR codes that link to virtual simulations, videos, or detailed instructions.

You may also want to create educational scavenger hunts. For example, you can place QR codes at historical sites, linking to relevant content on the spots.

QR Code Examples in Education

QR codes can be found on educational materials and other objects in educational institutions, in particular, simplifying access to educational materials and admission materials. Here are two vivid examples:

  • Japanese elementary school textbooks: Starting in 2024, QR codes will be mandatory for all elementary school textbooks in Japan. This initiative aims to facilitate active learning through embedded audio and video content.
  • Simplified admission in the Municipality of Delhi (MCD): The MCD introduced QR codes to streamline enrollment of new school students. Learners simply have to scan the code and fill out the admission form.

QR Code Generator for the Education Sector

Educators can use our QR code generator to create QR codes for sharing learning materials in PDF format. This process takes several steps:

  1. Open MyQRCode and click Create my QR code,
  2. Select your QR code type as PDF,
  3. Attach a PDF file and add details about it,
  4. Design your QR code pattern, background, and color,
  5. Click Finish to generate a QR code.

On top of PDF QR codes, MyQRCode lets users create codes that link to images, videos, and websites. Educators can leverage any of these options to offer an interactive learning experience to their students.