Digital Hall Passes using QR Codes

This Fall, educators are doing everything they can to provide sanitized materials for our students. But what about those old, laminated bathroom passes or sign-out notebooks? If your students have access to a device that can scan QR codes you may want to consider using digital hall passes. Most all newer model SMARTphones, tablets and laptops are able to scan QR codes.

Why QR Code Hall Passes?

If students have access to a device with a QR code scanner, the codes allow students to quickly scan the code whenever they need to leave the classroom without touching a shared bathroom pass or notebook. This also creates a record system for the teacher by recording student activity using a spreadsheet.   The information may then be sorted and shared with parents, co-teachers or administrators as needed. This blog post also explains how to create a pre-filled link so even our youngest learners can scan a code with their names and destinations already selected for them.

Step 1: Create a Google Form

The first thing to do is create a Google Form. Go to Forms.new and create a question for every QR code category that you would like to create. And, list student names as the answers to each question. Save yourself time by duplication each question and editing the destinations. Do NOT make answering the question a required action.

Example FORM with hall pass categories and student names.

Step 2: View Response Sheet

Once you are finished, click on View Response Sheet above. And select “View responses in Sheets”.

Step 3: Create a New Sheet Tab for Links

Open the Sheet and create a new Sheet tab for the links to the pre-filled responses you are about to create. Creating pre-filled Form responses will allow students to scan codes that already have their name and desired action selected. Use only 2 columns in this tab. One Column will be for the student links. One Column will be for descriptions.

You will want the final Sheet to look like this:

Example Sheet with Links

Step 4: Copy the Pre-Filled Links

Go into Google Forms and create the pre-filled link for each student response. In this example below, I am creating QR Codes for “Bathroom-Out” and “Bathroom-In” for Student 1.

Note: that if you are creating a generic numbering system instead of student names you will only have to do this once and not every new school year. Paste the link in the Sheet and make sure to add the description in Column B. Here’s a link to my Sheet for reference.

Step 5: Optional- Edit the link in Google Sheets to formResponses.

Now that we have the link, we are going to paste it into the Links tab in Google Sheets. But, we are going to edit the link and change it from “viewform” to read “formResponse”. This edit will allow students to Scan the code and automatically log their response. If you do not change from viewform to formResponse, students will see their names and the Form questions. It’s really a personal preference.

Step 6: Add QR Code Generator Add-On

Once you have finished copy, pasting and editing the codes, you will now add the QR Code Generator Add-On for Google Sheets. This allows you to highlight the URL for the Code, along with the student names, and create a printout of all the QR codes for your students. It’s pretty simple to use. Just go to Add-Ons, select “Get Add-ons” and add the QR Code Generator. (Note: The new update for QR Code generator requires you to only use 2 columns)

You will get a printout like this:

Step 7: Test your QR Codes

You now have a QR Code for every student. Try printing and scanning a QR Code and see if it works by logging the information into your form response tab in Google Sheets. When you scan the code it should timestamp the activity and place the student name in the appropriate column.

Example Form

Step 8: Distribute QR Codes

I used Google Slides to copy and paste the codes. Determine how you’d like to distribute codes to students. For example, do you want to laminate them and place them on their desks?

Step 9: Explain routine to students

You did it! Student QR Codes are ready to go and all student activity will be logged into Google Sheets. Now, explain the routine to students and you are ready to go!

Do you have a better system? I’d love to know!