Poster Project for an Introductory Physical Geology Course
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
This project is modeled after scientific meetings where scientists exchange information via poster presentations. The challenge is to present varied and interesting data accurately, concisely, and attractively in a limited format. For the project, each student prepares a poster showing an analysis of geological data using a spreadsheet. Topics must be approved by the instructor. Students find a data set online, graph some aspect of the data, and summarize the results on a standard poster board (56 x 71 cm or 22 x 28 in). No oral presentation is involved. Posters are graded on their geological content, use of a spreadsheet, use of graphics, and organization.
Every poster must incorporate the following elements: an informative title; a table with at least 50 data points, formatted and printed using Microsoft Excel; a graph of the data, created using Microsoft Excel; a 1-page summary of the overall project; at least one picture; at least one map; and three or more references.
There are intermediate deadlines during the semester for parts of the poster: the topic and data source; the table and graph; the summary; and the references cited. The poster itself is due at the scheduled final exam time, a three-hour period used as the Poster Review Session where students display their posters for the rest of the class to read.
During the Poster Review Session, students read five posters of their choice and answer a series of questions about each one, including a subjective evaluation of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. Reviews affect the grade of the student filling them out but do not affect the grades assigned to the posters themselves; all posters are graded by the instructor.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment: Student Instructions for Poster Project (Acrobat (PDF) 353kB Jun30 19)
- Instructors Notes:
- Student Assignments for Poster Elements (Acrobat (PDF) 382kB Jun30 19)
- Spreadsheet for Scoring Posters (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 43kB Jun30 19)
- Poster Examples (Zip Archive 34.2MB Jun30 19)
Excel for Windows video training: Online resource – Accessed 17 June 2019
Watson, K., 2015, Tackling the poster hall, Eos, 96, doi:10.1o29/2015EO040863. Online resource – Accessed 17 June 2019
Herrstrom, E.A., 2016, Poster Project Final: Student Perceptions and Performance: Online resource – Accessed 17 June 2019