Using Posters in Content Courses
Introduction and Rationale for Using Posters
Together with group presentations, posters made by students to help explain a given research topic are among the most effective teaching tools available to those of us who teach classes in which content is a major component. A poster, by our definition, should include graphics and text in about equal proportions, and should be large, colorful and simple. Basically we use posters in our content classes because ...
- they are fun to make and interesting to look at
- they are a user friendly way to ease students into using the study skills that will be neccessary if the are to make the most of a content-based course or unit.
- they reduce what can be a quite heavy linguistic burden and encourage students to find and (more importantly) learn how to use, maps, photos, cartoons, graphs etc, to illustrate their topic.
- students are forced by the limitation of size and space, to identify the key points that they must make
- they lend themselves to cooperative group work and suit students with a visual learning style
- they provide a comfortable environment for students to practice some of the skills needed in making a class presentation
- they involve the joint creation of a physical product, made by the students' own efforts-both intellectual and artisitic
Brief Summary of Guidelines for Making a Content Poster
- Students choose roles. These are
- Main Researcher-responsible for locating and photocopying information;
- Poster Designer- responsible for overall design of the poster and
- Poster-Presentation Organizer- responsible for assigning speaking roles.
Detailed Instructions are Given to Students
- All members of your poster group should speak during your presentation. However you should divide the work as follows:
- Student A: Main Researcher
You are responsible for summarizing the information in the textbook and looking for information that is not in the textbook. (You may use books or magazines written in your native language)
- Students B (or B and C) : Poster Designer
You are responsible for designing and making the poster. This might include maps, charts and graphs, pictures, dates etc and a summary of your presentation. You should also include 3-4 matching or True/False quiz questions for the class to answer while listening to your presentation. You should translate any important or difficult vocabulary words into your native language to help your classmates.
- Student C (or D): Presentation Organizer
You are responsible for the poster-presentation itself. He or she decides who says what and makes sure that the presentation lasts about 8-10 minutes.