Discussing with our Registrar Office different issues, they came up with some incidents they’ve had along years. They had received emails or phone calls from organizations asking about people who had presented transcripts or diplomas from our University wanting to validate these documents. Surprisingly quite a few of these documents were fake. These people had never studied in our University and in some cases, the program of study stated on the document had never been offered by us. Different ideas came up about how to minimize these events: watermarking the documents, using special ink, stamps, etc., but nothing seemed enough to avoid the receiving organization having to establish some sort of communication with us (and probably not knowing whom to contact to start with). Thanks to good old brainstorming, the idea of inserting a QR code on the document came up. First reaction: eyebrows raising. Previous ideas using QR codes had failed so we’ve lost a little faith in them. But evolving the idea, the QR code would be a link type code with a personalized id number that will uncover the identity of a student and a program of study. As simple as that. If the document is real, the student’s name and program will match. No other information will be shown. If it’s fake, there will be no match and the receiving organization should have enough information to reject the document in a matters of seconds (or the time it takes the user to open a QR code reader on her/his phone).
Investigating a little we found Smartforms handle QR code generation, great news! We’re already looking into testing how it works.
Next step, we designed some mockups of what will be finally developed/generated. Following are some pictures of these mockups.
The webpage shown after scanning the QR code:
We expect to have a pilot ready in a couple of weeks. Hope to be back soon with good news about the pilot.
And I guess this may trigger some other uses 🙂 .