I’d be willing to bet that most professors would frown at the idea of a student pulling out a smartphone in the middle of a lecture to text.
Despite the reputation that many cellphones have of interrupting important meetings with (largely annoying) ringtones, a team of students and faculty are setting out to embrace new mobile technologies on campus.
It’s called the QR Quest, and it’s the first of its kind to hit the campus of the University of North Dakota.
The concept is quite simple: collect the most points by “checking in” at various locations around campus. Collect enough points and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win great prizes like an iPad2.
“Our goal was to create an exciting technology-based game that students can play on campus,” UND Communication Professor Tim Pasch said. “Partnering with UND Aerospace/Computer Science student Nick Zaccardi, we were able to make a game where students can discover new locations and online services around campus.”
How to play
To start, you simply register your smartphone by logging into UND.edu/qrquest. No new information is needed and you sign on using your UND IDM (the same username/password combination as Umail.)
After scanning a barcode using your smartphone, you are free to explore campus and earn points.
Of course, no smartphone is necessary to play QR quest. A 4-digit number combination underneath every QR code is all you need to gain points by manually imputing the code onto the website.
Sign up now because the competition only runs through Monday, Aug. 29.
Providing “targets” for students to explore encourages movement around campus. “We give students an ‘excuse’ to get up and discover things that they might not have found until their junior or senior year,” Pasch said.
The top players will be automatically entered into a drawing at the UND Bookstore on September 2 (1:30 p.m.). Up for grabs are an iPad 2, two iPod touches and 5 UND Bookstore gift cards valued at $50 each, in addition to other participation prizes.
Safe, fun way to roam around campus
Naturally, privacy was a concern for the developers of the Quest. “We were very transparent when we created the game,” said Pasch. “Everything was done to protect student privacy.” Any questions about security, or the structure of the game itself, can be directed to Tim Pasch or Nick Zaccardi.
Future of QR?
“I lived in Japan where QR codes were quite prevalent,” said Pasch. “You could buy things like bus tickets with them, they were a part of the lifestyle. I’m excited that we could bring (QR) to North Dakota, and enthusiastic that students may discover new opportunities on campus early in their undergraduate experience.