CIP: QR Code-Based Instruction in Engineering and Biology Laboratories

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CIP: QR Code-Based Instruction in Engineering and Biology Laboratories

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Author :
Sunil Kishore Chakrapani and Jenifer Saldanha
CIP: QR Code-Based Instruction in Engineering and Biology Laboratories

SS Contact profile image
Author :
Sunil Kishore Chakrapani and Jenifer Saldanha
Project Title: Opening New Windows

Project Leads: Sunil Kishore Chakrapani and Jenifer Saldanha

College/ Unit:
Department of ECE, College of Engineering and Biological Science Program, College of Natural Sciences
Elevator Pitch:
Quick response or QR codes are machine readable (typically by smart phone/tablet cameras) systems similar to bar-codes that can contain information within the image. They are used to provide an easy, fast and concise way to connect to information via the internet. QR codes are used in stores as payment options, and to display information, especially becoming commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project explores the use of QR codes in improving the delivery of instructional content in engineering and biology laboratories. The specific objective of this project is to implement QR code-based instruction strategies for laboratories, which will help to make “lab-manuals” more accessible and engaging. Standard laboratory manuals can be overwhelming due to clutter and overloading of information. Students can find it unengaging, and accessing specific information can be challenging. This project will utilize sequentially programmed QR codes placed at different locations in the lab to “walk” students through experimental procedures. The QR codes will be linked to interactive web pages which will display the course content in an engaging manner. When students want to find information regarding a specific instrument or experimental protocol, they can simply scan the associated QR code which will lead them to the information along with a video of how it works. This project also employs this QR code concept to design interactive assessments. Students will answer questions by identifying and scanning the correct QR codes.

Team Bios:
Dr. Sunil Kishore Chakrapani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in both departments in the topics of computer aided manufacturing, and mechanics. His research interests include use of ultrasonics for nondestructive evaluation.

Dr. Jenifer Saldanha is an Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences program in the College of Natural Science. She is the Curriculum Coordinator for introductory molecular and cellular biology labs. Her broad research interests include student success and retention in STEM disciplines, life science education research, and stress biology.

What are some of the successes?
QR coded links for videos and initial course content were embedded in HTML pages and these work well. The use of sequential QR codes for activities was tested and we found that these work well and smoothly. QR coded assignments were developed for the lab and they work as expected.

What are some of the challenges that you have experienced on this project?
The QR coded assignments work for the engineering lab, but will require more time and effort to adapt for the biology lab. Web design requires a lot of effort. Using the tools from this project requires a smooth web interface. In the future, it’ll be great if the project resources can be used for web design and development in the form of undergrad hours. Supply chain issues delayed our ability to order tablets for the courses.

Image attribution:
QR Code for Object Tagging
by preetamrai is licensed under CC-BY-2.0
Posted by:
Rashad Muhammad Catalyst Innovation Program