Unlike my last article on the poster display, this time I have no intentions of frolicking around with statements that might throw a shadow over the facts. I recall that last time I had congratulated the organizers for taking such an initiative constantly reminding them that there were glitches in the organization which they should try and overcome. Seems like what happened now was quite the contrary.
To start with the date for this competition was no where to be found in the final year projects schedule decided at the beginning of the semester. The minutes which gave a glimpse of the display carried a vague statement saying that the event will be held and something is being chalked out. This was followed by a notice a couple of months down, announcing the event with draft submission deadlines following in a week with hourlies and project presentations lying in the middle.
So far so good. But can anyone tell me what the purpose of a poster display is? In fact what is a poster. The word poster competition sounds like an art poster display. At a place where people have no clue as to what poster displays are about, itâ€™s a good idea to introduce them to an idea before forcing them into it. In fact, it wasnâ€™t a just a poster display at all. The work our students did fell under the category of scientific posters.
I went through various links. Each of them gives an outline on how to go about making a scientific poster. Why one shouldnâ€™t use dark backgrounds and how the elements should be spaced out such that they are visually appealing. By visually appealing, it is usually implied that the poster should be proportioned well and comfortable to the eye. Here’s another link to an award winning poster from NC state which doesn’t feature any fancy artwork.
Keeping these points in mind it should on an average take about 8-10 minutes for a person to go through a poster. I doubt if anyone went through any such references before making their poster. And even if they did, what good would it have done. After all, the evaluators wouldnâ€™t really know what to grade in a poster would they? If an event has been organized, the evaluators should also be selected not only on qualifications but must also briefed about how they are to grade the work.
Hereâ€™s a sample evaluation sheet from the NC state. One might notice the factors that are considered while making a poster are very different from those people generally perceive.Sample poster evaluation sheet.
The idea of having a poster display has been great. The timing and the way it has been conducted has not been so. Several people raised this concern, including myself, but instead of creating issues after voicing our concerns, tried to work things in our own capacity hoping for the best.
The timings and venue without differentiating between a scientific poster and art poster display at an art gallery were contributing factors which further fueled the fire. I understand that this was organized for the best of the institute and students but it doesnâ€™t take long for things to get overturned.
If things at TIP are to improve, itâ€™s imperative that efforts are streamlined.