A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in the 1st campus Assessment Showcase. The theme of the showcase was ‘assessing student learning in courses and programs’ and was meant to highlight student learning assessment taking place on campus as campus gears up for re-accreditation.
My colleague and I saw this as a great opportunity to share our work assessing information literacy learning in one of the courses in which we are embedded in the curriculum. We created a poster focusing on the formative assessment that we use in the classroom over the course of the three sessions that we work with these students.
When creating the poster we laid out three design goals:
1. Visually interesting
2. Stimulate conversation
3. Clear and direct
We both agreed that one characteristic of academic posters that we did not like was the tendency to contain a lot of text, leading the reader to either feel overwhelmed and walk away, or to engage only with the poster and not the presenter. We hoped to avoid this in our poster design. Our design goals also helped us to focus the content on what we felt was most important to communicate to our audience.
I am proud to say that we tied for fourth place in the individual category. Not only is that personally rewarding, but gives our poster the opportunity to be viewed by folks beyond the showcase. We’ve been highlighted on the showcase web page and our poster will be included at future accreditation meetings.
While winning fourth prize was exciting, one of the most rewarding experiences that evening was a conversation with one of our poster viewers. After viewing our poster she said, “I just love you poster because it is visually interesting, easy to understand, and to the point.” Wow! Even if we hadn’t won, that comment would have been enough for me.
Participating in this event was a lot of work, but it was work that I feel confident will reap rewards in the future as the library continues to be seen as a contributor to student learning on campus. It is a good example of stepping up and out of the library to be a part of campus conversations.