In Spring 2021 I taught a special topics math course on cryptography. A major assessment of the course required students to research a topic pertinent to the course and present their research to the class. Since many academic conferences utilize poster presentations as a means to disseminate research, I chose this model for the class. In requiring an electronic poster, students developed and communicated their research digitally.
ADVANTAGES & BENEFITS
No need for large print outs that students have to pay for. Digital posters can be created with free software
Instead of the artifacts being stored in the Professor’s office at the end of the term, students maintain a digital copy that they can edit and showcase
Support & Feedback
When student’s share their file, faculty can quickly give feedback for student to immediately incorporate into the poster
Student’s gain the experience of having completed a common dissemination tool for academic research
Students used a template I developed to model their posters, but many chose to work with different software they were more comfortable in (Powerpoint, Google Slides, Photoshop). I provided students with feedback on several occasions about considerations in poster design and guidance on their research topic. Students found it helpful that they could quickly make edits and send me an updated file for further review. Working with my digital fellow cohort helped me plan and anticipate possible student questions and scaffold the project appropriately.
CHALLENGES & FUTURE PLANS
A challenge encountered in creating this assignment was how to balance the need for guidelines with the freedom to explore and create. Now that I have over a dozen unique examples of student work, I can carefully consider the guidelines which need more specificity (balance between visuals, words, mathematical equations) and which need more flexibility (incorporating more visual media, hyperlinks, interactive mathematical content)