Monday, June 8, 2015

Creating Scavenger Hunts Using QR Codes

With the sunny weather here in Oregon, I have been looking for ways to get students outdoors. Scavenger hunts have long been popular activities for language learning and getting students up and moving. Using QR Codes is a more technological spin on this favorite language learning activity. In this post I explain how I used QR codes to create a vocabulary-based scavenger hunt. 

In my beginner level vocabulary course, we had recently been focusing on synonyms, definitions and collocations so I wanted to create a scavenger hunt where students reviewed these aspects of word knowledge for particular vocabulary words. 

Set Up
To set up my QR Code scavenger hunt, I used an online QR Treasure Hunt Generator from The interface is rather simple to use, requiring a question/prompt to be entered followed by the *symbol for the answer. It seems this latter requirement of the * symbol is only here for the purpose of telling the program that the question is completed. There are also instructions for teachers on the implementation of this activity and even a sample treasure hunt on the site. 

I created the questions using MS Word so that I had an answer key. I made the questions in a multiple choice format. Here is an example: The definition "to cause (someone) to become afraid" is for the word __________ (dangerous, frightening, or polluted). *frightening

Next I pasted 10 questions in the above format into the QR Treasure Hunt Generator and submitted it. 10 corresponding QR Codes were generated, which I printed out. The first QR Code I pasted up on the wall of the classroom. It provides the instructions for the activity and requires that students scan it to get started. I then taped the other 10 QR Codes around our program's building and other places on campus. On the bottom of each QR Code I wrote a clue to where students could find the next QR Code. The final QR Code I put next to the classroom. 

  1. Place students into groups of 3-4 students. 
  2. Provide a list of QR Code Readers that students can use on the board (I one student in the group download "Bar Code Scanner" on his/her phone. There are numerous QR Code readers for Android and Iphone. I tried a few of them and found this one to be the most straight forward. 
  3. Modeling: Using the QR Code I had taped to the board, I showed students how I could use my phone's bar code scanner app to scan the QR Code. I the students from their groups come up to the board and scan the code one-by-one and then show me on their phone. 
  4. I then showed students the 1st clue that I had written on the QR Code and told them to fill out their answers on the scavenger hunt worksheet I created. And return to the class when they were done to check their answer. 
  5. I walked around to the different places where the QR Codes were posted to ensure students were on task before returning to the classroom to wait for the first finishers. 
  6. After checking students answers, I provided students with a reward. 

If anyone has further ideas on how to set up QR Code scavenger hunts, please feel free to leave your comments below!

Further Links for Using QR Codes:

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