QR codes in Engineering Laboratories –Improving Student Safety Engagement
Engineering is a practical discipline and laboratory work is a fundamental necessity of engineering curricula and majority of engineering modules run by universities have significant elements of practical work embedded in them (Feisel et al 2005 and Rathod et al, 2016). It provides an active learning avenue that provides students with hands-on experience to support and strengthen in-lecture learning by enhancing the student's understanding of theoretical concepts (Nikolic, 2015). Laboratory safety is an important and continuous focus within academic institutions where a lack or lapse could sometime lead to serious or even fatal consequences. Using Quick Response Codes (QR Codes), students can access, on-demand, the necessary training and safety instructions for them to use specialised engineering equipment and/or carry out specially designed procedures, imbuing them with specific knowledge to execute laboratory activities confidently and securely. Mobile devices in teaching have been a topical issue and the use of QR codes aims to create an independent learner through the engagement using personal technology like smartphones and tablets with the intention of improve the level of engagement during active laboratory activities by using a medium that the students are au fait with. This paper outlines the delivery method used in the implementation of QR codes within 1st year engineering laboratories to aid basic safety training for engineering practical activities. It also discusses the potential use of QR codes in engineering laboratories to deliver on demand information and capture training needs at the time and location that is required.