Anthropological Research Methods
Project # 3: Group Poster Presentations
by Brad Huber, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of Charleston
The main goal of this exercise is to develop and present research posters based on the cross-cultural data you collected during Project #2 (see Anthropological Research Methods–Project #2: HRAF Data Recovery). The same pairs of people who worked together on Project #2 should work on Project #3.
What is a “poster”?
A poster is a form of conference presentation. Conferences typically have paper and poster sessions. A poster is a static display of research and findings, and is an alternative to formal oral presentations of papers.
Each poster is given a designated area of wall space/pin board (usually about 4 x 5 feet).
A poster can easily combine text, charts, maps, and photos. It should be arranged to cater to both at-a-glance viewers (so conspicuous headlines and clear diagrams are essential) and can also integrate bodies of text–generally as discrete boxes linked to, and describing, particular aspects of the project.
The best posters are clear and laid out to be attractive, eye-catching, and informative. The worst posters are those where the pages of a research paper have been tacked up to the wall in sequence (eye strain is already a problem in academe). There are a number of posters on prolonged display in the corridors of the Science Building at the College.
The advantage of a poster is that it is typically “up” for several hours and can be reviewed at leisure by people interested in the topic. It is a good way to show work with many photo details or charts–the sort of things that are often simply flashed past one in a talk with slides. The presenter(s) is usually on hand to answer questions and talk. This means that the viewer and presenter can actually exchange ideas–rarely possible in tightly timed formal conference presentations.
The Poster Presentation
Posters must present the results of testing TWO (2) related cross-cultural hypotheses using eHRAF World Cultures. They will be presented in class with 5-10 minute explanations and the presentations will occur during the last two (2) class periods. I recommend that you pre-mount your poster on 1 or 2 large pieces of card or poster board for ease of assembly, and so that I can carry them off for final assessment. Bookstores and office supply stores have poster boards.
As far as I know there is no place on campus at College of Charleston to print things in color. However, if you cut and paste your color SPSS charts and graphs to MS Word, and save your files to disk, you could print in color at Kinkos or Staples. Your posters need not have color graphs and charts because they can be expensive.
Criteria for Evaluation
_______ Presentation of Project Background and Your Research Problem/Question
_______ Presentation of the Research Results
________ Poster Layout
________ Clarity of Presentation