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Evaluation & Grading
The poster session is 15% - 35%; 50%
less amount allocated to journal. The object of the poster session is to
communicate something of importance and interest to an audience which may
include your classmates, other GSLIS students, site supervisors, GSLIS faculty members, and area
librarians. A typical poster session communicates in two or three ways. We will allot about ten minutes at the beginning of the session for each member of the class to give a brief introduction to her or his PFE. Following the introductions, you will stand by your display to discuss your PFE with participants. If
you’ve attended exhibits at library conferences, the following will sound familiar for the poster session part:
- A visual display clearly explains the project or content. (This is
usually a poster, but variations are possible.) Your poster should include
your name, site location, site supervisor’s name and title, project title,
and a one-paragraph abstract. In crowded venues, the posters are usually
mounted on easels around a room; where there’s more space, each presenter
may have a small table. The viewers circulate, passing some displays and
lingering at others.
- The presenter stands beside the display and gives a very short
“talk” about it to individuals who stop and are interested in the subject.
- The presenter may also provide a handout—a summary page that
will remind the audience both of content and of the presenter’s talents.
Your poster should
not cover your whole PFE; it should be selective. For instance, you could
choose to highlight one of your objectives and how you met it; or one activity
and what it contributed to your educational objective and to the host library’s
mission; or one challenge you faced in your PFE. Best practice: identify
and explore a question with significant implications for professional practice
– not just how to do things, but what things should be done and why they
should be done. Organize your presentation around the question. Example:
Donna Kafel asked where the reference librarians were – they weren’t
behind the desk at Lamar Soutter, the U Mass Med School library. She found them
going clinical rounds with the medical staff, and that has dynamic
implications: today’s special librarians are active members of research teams,
not just passive responders waiting for questions.
If you are doing a
product-oriented PFE, you may want to show-case the project. This is a chance
to demonstrate what you have created (a database? a website?), how it supports
the service provided by your host site, and how it fits in the broader professional
context (for instance, does it confirm or disprove the CW in professional
- If you are doing a
process-oriented PFE, you will probably take a different approach – how
can you display the hours you spent interacting with children at the desk, or
helping genealogists locate the resources they needed?
- Whether your PFE is
product-oriented or process-oriented, you may choose this assignment as one in
which you address the professional ethics outcome.
- Tip: Make your
presentation visual. Pie charts? Flow charts? Bar graphs? Photographs? Think
about how you can get a clear, interesting idea across with a minimum of words
Elements that can
add dimension to your presentation:
- Literature review – Review several
current articles related to your topic. For each article include full
citation and one paragraph on article perspectives specific to
your topic – thus, not an abstract of the whole article.
- Research – use observation, interviews, discussion, anecdotal evidence,
data collection (statistics, policies, other pertinent documents),
comparison to other similar sites that you have experienced and draw
on your literature review.
- Critical analysis – this demonstrates your ability to analyze and think about what you are
doing and thus you go beyond the descriptive to discussion that
shows how you think about and have evaluated your work environment and
- Illustration – can
you clarify your meaning with a photo, drawing, or other related graphic?
Several sites give good advice about how to
construct a research poster; see for instance http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/speaking/poster/ and http://cte.umdnj.edu/career_development/career_posters.cfm.
Your poster session presentation will be included in your portfolio. Portfolios will be
submitted online to TrueOutcomes and may include separate files (but limit the
number: try to combine all Word files, all PowerPoints, etc.). You may want to
use a combination of handout, transcript, and photos to document the poster
session. Adapt your material with a view to preserving content, clarity, and convenient
Alternative: Online Presentation (15% - 35%; 50% less amount allocated to journal): It is hoped that
almost all of you will be able to participate in the public poster session
– but obviously, if you’re spending the semester in Africa, that will not
If it is necessary for you to do a remote
presentation, the major objectives are still the same: to identify and reflect
on a question of genuine professional significance in your PFE practice, and to
present it meaningfully to GSLIS students and a wider audience. Online presentations
can be done using PowerPoint (moderately clunky) or web design or simple Word
documents, but they should include aspects parallel to what your classmates
will be doing in the poster session:
- Your front page should include your name, site location, site
supervisor’s name and title, project title, and a one-paragraph abstract.
- Brevity, clarity, and good graphic design help get your point across
quickly. Instead of crowds of viewers around your poster, imagine
invisible viewers flitting by your website or looking at your PowerPoint
online. (If a PowerPoint presenttion is used, it is expected that it will be interactive.) Your job is the same: capture attention, and reward it quickly
with some interesting ideas & information.
- In a real-life poster session, the presenter stands beside the
display and gives a very short “talk” about it to individuals who stop and
are interested in the subject. The front page or main part of your online
poster session should be clear, well organized, and brief.
- In a real-life poster session, there are handouts. Your online
poster session can have extra pages with additional information, designed
for easy printing or reference.
As with the poster session, what matters most
in the online presentation is content: not only information, but thoughtful and
original handling of it.
Due: A date during the last week of the semester will be selected.