User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

QR Coded Student Videos: Classifying Activity

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This is part of my continuing series of blogs about how I am integrating mobile learning into my undergraduate course on interpersonal relations.  There are a dozen students in the class.  Ten of them are in the 17 to 21 year old age range.  The other two are over 35 years old.  All of them own mobile devices – four of them being Smart Devices (iPhone, Android).  Three of them bring their personal laptops to class.

The following activity was part of a three-hour class on nonverbal behaviors.  Even though the example describes how this activity was used with the different types of nonverbal behaviors, it can be used with any topic that has categories or classifications.  For example, it could be used for writing genres, biomes, art types, historical eras, etc.

Goals of the Activity:

  • To use videos and QR codes to explore and learn about a class topic.
  • To build community by working on a common project.

Needed Materials/Functions:

  • One mobile device per group to create videos that can be uploaded directly to YouTube
  • One mobile device per group with a QR reader.  I recommend i-nigma.  The same device can be used for recording video, scanning QR codes, and viewing videos on the mobile device.
  • One computer per group that has internet access.
  • A printer that computers are connected to.
  • A YouTube Account


  • Form students/members into smaller groups – 3 to 5 members per group.
  • Ask students to create short videos using their mobile devices that demonstrate smaller concepts within a larger topic.   Have students videotape 4 to 6 separate short videos (a minute or less) from the list of categories or classifications provided to them about the topic selected.   In this example, for my interpersonal relations class, students were asked to create videos to demonstrate different nonverbal behaviors from the following list: glance, eye contact (gaze), volume, vocal nuance, proximity, gestures, facial expression, pause (silence), intonation, dress, posture, word choice and syntax, sounds (paralanguage)
  • Encourage them to provide enough information to showcase the topic but not too much that the answer/category is too obvious.

  • Ask students to upload each of their videos to YouTube.  If they don’t have their own accounts, you can provide them with an email address to send their videos directly to your YouTube account.  This information can be found under account settings.

Thanks, Hall Davidson for this tip.

  • Print the QR codes and distribute them to each of the groups.  So if there are 5 groups, print four sets for the four other groups.  Develop a coding system or have groups develop a coding system that identifies their group, a unique symbol for each of the sets, and the number of the video.  This permits an easy identification code of which group and which video for the next part.  A coding system can include giving each group a set of numbers to identify which groups have their QR codes.  Going back to the example of five groups, group one can be given 1-4, group two 5-9, group three 10-13 and so on.  Groups can then be instructed to label their videos A through E (given they made five videos).

  • Groups receive the QR codes for videos completed by the other groups. Ask group members view the videos via the QR codes and identify which of the concepts the video is depicting.


  • For this example, the different types of nonverbal behaviors were printed and taped on the classroom wall. When a group identified which behavior, they taped their QR code under that category.  Once completed, groups “graded” one another’s correct categories referring to the codes they developed and by writing a “yes” or “no” on the QR code.


  • Alternative One:  to posting the QR codes on the wall is to have students identify which concept by writing it directly on the printed QR codes they received.  The need for groups coding their QR codes would be eliminated.  Correctness of their responses would be determined during the next step when the videos are shown to the entire class.
  • Alternative Two:  If there is access to a computer lab/1:1 mobile lab, the QR Codes could be displayed on the monitors.  There would need to be enough computers to show on the videos/QR Codes created.  Videos could be accessed via these monitor displays through their mobile devices using their QR readers.  Then students could write their guess down for each of the videos.  The need for groups coding their QR codes would be eliminated.  Correctness of their responses would be determined during the next step when the videos are shown to the entire class.
  • Show the videos using a projector, interactive whiteboard.  Facilitate a discussion about the concepts and how well they were depicted in the student videos.

Give it a try.  Use your QR reader to access and view the following videos created by students about nonverbal behaviors.  See if you can guess which behavior they depicted using the nonverbal behavior list provide above.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

February 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

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