Instrumenting your campus with QR codes is a key part of a successful strategy for safe reopening. Having a plan and knowing how to do this is key to your success. Here are strategies to help you.
Identify important locations to tag with QR codes
The more QR codes you employ on campus, the more precisely you are able to record student movements. For example, if you have only a handful of QR codes on campus, your ability to do contact tracing will be limited because you are not able to see details about how students move and interact.
Ready Education recommends placing QR codes at the entrances to each buildings on campus. You want every person entering the building to see a QR code and be reminded to scan in. If a building has more than one entrance, print more than one copy of the QR code. If you are using check-in and check-out, but sure to also put copies of the QR code at each exit to the building.
Within each building, put QR codes at the entrances to rooms and offices. Remember to include venues such as study halls, auditoriums, and labs. You want to be able to trace students back to individual rooms in case of exposure to the virus.
Also place QR codes at non-building locations such as bus stops. The more QR codes you place, the more detail is available to you in case you need to do contact tracing.
Plan how to name QR codes
As you implement your safe reopening plan and instrument your campus for use with QR codes, you can easily create tens or hundreds of codes. Each one identifies a unique location. Having a consistent naming convention will pay dividends when you are trying to add locations in the future. A naming convention will also help you sort and view results.
Ready Education recommends naming QR codes from most general to most specific. For example, each QR codes gets a name composed of the building name, the floor or level, and room or office number. You can use non-alphabetic characters to separate different parts of the name. For example, you can create a series of QR codes with names like:
- Rutherford Library - 1st floor - North Study Hall
- Rutherford Library - 1st floor - South Study Hall
- Rutherford Library - 2nd floor - Computer Lab
A list like this is easy to read, easy to maintain, and can be sorted alphabetically. Consistency is key when naming QR codes. Remember to include non-building locations in your naming convention.
Print and Laminate QR codes if possible
After printing your QR codes, consider laminating them to make them waterproof, tearproof and durable.
Post codes at eye level and ensure they are visible. For high traffic areas, print more than one copy of a location’s QR code to reduce congestion and maintain social distancing.
Allocate time for posting QR codes around campus
Make sure to give yourself enough time for this process. Remember, the task has a number of different steps including planning, creating the QR codes, and printing and laminating the codes. These steps all take time.
When your QR codes are printed and ready to go, one or more people must take them codes to the precise locations around campus and post them. Estimate at least one minute per code to clear a spot for a QR code and properly affix it to the wall. You may want to allocate more than that. Whatever you estimate, multiply that out the number of QR codes in your safe reopening plan to get the total time needed for this part of the plan. Remember that it takes time to walk from building to building.
Onboard students with built-in app onboarding
When students open the campus app, they are shown a series of onboarding screens that introduce them to Health Pass, QR codes and forms. This happens automatically to ensure students know how to use the campus app to be part of your safe reopening plan.
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We're all in this together. If you have questions about Contact Trace Plus, or if you want to help others by sharing how you're using the Ready platform to safely reopen campus, please leave a message in the comments below.