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This year we’re embracing QR codes “linked” to videos to help our incoming students better grasp our new curriculum as well as the transition from quarters to semesters.

“Q2S,” as it’s referred to here at OU, involves not only creating a new semesters-based curriculum (which we’ve done), but explaining that new curriculum to students who will be transitioning from the one academic calendar (quarters) to the other (semesters). Most important is this “bottom line” question: Will students graduate on time when they start on one calendar and finish on the other?

I’m happy to report that yes, journalism students starting under quarters and ending on semesters will graduate on time, provided they pay attention to their advisers. Of course, that’s always been the case. In fact, the average time-to-degree for journalism students at OU has been about 4.05 years, and that includes transfer students and double-majors. Not bad.

OK, back to the topic of this post.

Prof. Cary Frith and I worked together to create explanatory videos, posted to YouTube on the /scrippsjschool channel, which explain key parts of our new curriculum. Most important, the videos explain how students starting out this fall will follow our new semesters-based curriculum, even though semesters don’t begin for two more years. By doing so, students will easily transition to semesters in the fall of 2012, while also enjoying the benefits of our new (and improved, we think) curriculum.

Here’s where the QR codes come in. By creating a QR code linked to each video for each part of our advising process, we can make it easy for a student (or parent, for that matter) to review — at their convenience — any topic related to our academic advising process.

Here’s how it works.

1. Print out the newest advising checksheet from our website (or, you can simply display it on your computer screen).

2. Point the camera on your smart phone (e.g., iPhone) at one of the QR codes on the checksheet (or at an image of a QR code below). NOTE: your smart phone needs to have an installed QR code reader app* for this to work.

3. Assuming you have ’net access via wireless or a cell tower, your phone should then “register” the QR code and start pulling up the video that we’ve “linked” to that particular code. (Caution: make sure your data plan can support downloading videos without adding a substantial cost!)

For example, the QR code at the top of the advising checksheet provides an overview of the advising process.

It’s linked to this video, featuring Prof. Frith providing an introduction to advising at OU and the JSchool.

By the way, don’t worry if you don’t have a smart phone. You can get to the videos on your computer by going to, a special part of our website focused on the Q2S process.

The following QR codes, which also are on the printed checksheet, likewise are “linked” to videos that explain the various parts of our new curriculum.

QR code for the journalism core requirements

QR code for general requirements and gen eds

QR code for specialization requirement

*If you can’t locate a QR code app for your phone, check out this site: i-nigma

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