Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending and helping out at a poster session at McGill’s School of Information Studies. The poster session was an opportunity for the students to showcase the work they did over the summer at their various practicum sites. There was a fairly good turnout to see the posters, and overall based on what I observed and what I heard from people, the event was a success*.
The one thing that did strike me was how well-done the posters were. In the past it has seemed to me that students didn’t put that much effort into their posters. Copier paper (and sometimes construction paper) cut and glued onto Bristol board, etc. Some prepared and had printed a proper poster, but those were the minority.
This year, all the posters I saw were top-notch, well-designed and properly printed. Some of the students also incorporated presentations on laptops or tablets. All of them presented themselves very well and did a good job of describing their work and interacting with the people that came to see them.
I think it is important for students to realize that posters are an important form of professional communication, and they should make sure they take any opportunity they have to learn and practice creating and presenting posters. I was glad to see this awareness take root in the practicum poster session, and I hope that future students are as attentive and professional as this summer’s group were!
* Disclosure: My spouse is the practicum coordinator for SIS, and I was there helping out taking photos for the School to use in their communications.