Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Posters/infographics

The design and creation of a poster or infographic is a way of communicating information in a graphic way. In designing a poster or infographic, students have to summarise information and ideas and make decisions about what and how to communicate selected information. The process of presenting information in a visual way requires a level of understanding and interpretation. The design of posters and infographics as an individual or group assessment task can also involve significant discussion and allow for peer feedback.

As poster presentations are regularly presented at academic conferences, the design of posters can be viewed as an authentic academic task.

A poster or infographic can be delivered in the following ways during the COVID-19 situation as an alternative to a paper-based final examination:

  1. Non-time limited final assessment—often known as a ‘take-home’, the task is not performed under ‘exam-like’ time constraints and is provided to students at least several days before the due date. A common platform for submission of such a task is EASTS.

Pros and cons of posters/infographics as an assessment task

Some advantages:

  • Can be undertaken individually or with peers as an online assessment.
  • Allows students to demonstrate their understanding in a meaningful way.
  • Gives students with an opportunity to develop and improve their skills in analysing data and information.
  • Material can be presented visually in a range of forums.
  • Helps students develop skills in research, communication and design.
  • Has the potential to be combined with other assessment formats such as presentation, literature review, dissertation proposal.
  • Offers the chance to share assessment within peers.
  • Is a format relevant to most disciplines.
  • Can be a skill relevant to future employment.
  • Requires decision making and analysis.
  • Provides an opportunity to express ideas in innovative ways

Some limitations:

  • May require extra preparation time to support technical skills and visual literacies required.
  • Students may be unfamiliar with the format and require additional support.
  • Requires a different approach to marking with a focus on content, presentation and layout.
  • Requires some investigation of appropriate technologies and support available.
  • Limits the amount of information students can use to express their knowledge

When to use a poster

Poster presentation can be used as an alternative form of assessment platform to enable students to develop and apply their knowledge along with their ability to locate, evaluate and synthesise information in a systematic manner (Kinikin, & Hench, 2012).

Posters or infographics can be used individually or as part of a larger assessment task. For example, a poster can be developed to support a presentation.

Some considerations when developing a poster

  • Align the focus and requirements of the poster/infographic with learning outcomes.
  • Ensure the focus aligns with a topic/ subject content and that focus is clear.
  • Make the purpose of the poster/infographic clear and align it with an audience.
  • Provide examples of posters/infographics and discuss or annotate the successful elements.
  • Consider the provision of templates and/or guides to assist students to understand effective poster presentation and to assist them with structure.
  • Limit the amount of content to be presented in the poster/infographic.
  • Consider an opportunity for students to discuss or present their poster so that they can explain decisions or elaborate. This could be a video or audio presentation.

Additional resources

Different types of assessment - University of Hong Kong

Academic posters - University of Melbourne

Designing the poster - Monash University