The research poster

A research poster is a simple yet engaging way to present research findings in a format that is easy to digest. Using the format of the journal article, the poster allows the researcher to present their findings in a way that can be browsed by colleagues. The poster can also be a reference tool for the researcher to use during a presentation to a small group of colleagues. I have used research posters as a marketplace of ideas during a presentation of research. In the marketplace, the research posters are mounted on easels around the room so that staff can wander amongst them and discuss their content.

I ran a research project with a group of middle leaders across ten primary schools. The final stage of the project was to share the research findings and the researchers gave a two-minute presentation to the delegates from their schools. This was followed with a marketplace of the ten research projects where the research posters were used as a talking point for each researcher as delegates wandered freely around the hall. The casual atmosphere of the marketplace allowed staff to pose questions to the researchers about their research posters and gain a deeper perspective about the research undertaken.

Here are some tips for creating an effective research poster, adapted from NYU
Libraries (2020):


• Think about your audience and design your poster with them in mind.
• Make your font size readable from a comfortable distance away from
your poster.
• Grab your readers with a clear title/research question.
• Limit your words to keep your reader engaged and to be precise in what
you are communicating Use bullets, numbering, and headlines to make it easy to read.
• Think about your graphics and colours to enhance your poster rather
than distract the reader.
• Include logos from your organisation.
• Remember to put your name on the piece.
• Include references used in step 3 of the Research Cycle.
• Share your poster with a colleague/coach to make sure it is easy to interpret.

Here is an example of a research poster produced by two teaching assistants
whose research question was, ‘Can a nurture approach support pupils with
complex needs to improve their behaviours?’:

While this poster does not share the detail of the research undertaken, it allowed the researchers to share the key steps in the Research Cycle. In displaying this in a research poster, the researchers were able to talk through each step with colleagues. While this poster is not a perfect example of a research poster, I have included it to give you an idea of the form a research poster could take. My advice is to be playful and use the Research Cycle to help structure your poster.

Staff often enjoy creating research posters as it allows for creative flair. The posters can be produced digitally using programs such as Microsoft Publisher or PowerPoint or by a simple cut-and-paste onto A1 card backing.

Reference:

NYU Libraries. (2020, July). NYU Libraries. Retrieved from How to create a research
poster: http://www.bit.ly/3eGuG5N Accessed: March 2021

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