Conference-style poster presentation


When did you first introduce the innovation?

More than 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

Designing high quality posters (and accompanying texts, similar to abstracts for acceptance) for academic/professional conferences. This initiative started off totally on line, with no off-line interaction between the students and me. I first introduced this on the core foundation course of our masters degree (sexual health pathway).

This was usually the first time for these post graduate students to do such professional / academic posters. They actively shared ideas and their draft posters on line, for a shared learning experience. The outcome of the posters was so praiseworthy in our Faculty, that I now teach this session, both on-line and in classrooms of up to 200 people, from first year students of nursing and midwifery to EdD & PhD students.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

When I did the professional doctorate in education (EdD) I was disappointed at the level of poster production some peers (not in health) were accustomed to. So when I developed the core masters degree course (Contemporary Issues in Sexual Health), I believed these people were learning to be ‘masters’ of their subject, so they should have skills of disseminating their learning. Doing a poster, and getting it accepted at a conference, was therefore a masters-level achievement. The poster, with an accompanying text (which doubles up as an abstract for a conference) is the formal assessment of this course. Again, in this University and faculty, that was quite a novel thing to do.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

A lot of things:

  • The high quality of the production
  • The ‘fun’ and shared learning opportunities
  • The ‘excitement’ of enjoying doing an academic assignment
  • The amazing potential these posters have led to, from conference presentations, article writing, new IT skills development, capacity to share learning with academic and professional peers at prestigious events.

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

Most of the students use PowerPoint or Publisher to design their posters in. For many, this is a relatively new experience (especially with Publisher). For my totally on-line students, the skills of facilitating this learning and enabling great productions without any face-to-face contact is a credit to us all, in being able to learn new schools and produce such high impact effects.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

From implementing this initiative on one very small post graduate course in sexual health, I now teach this session (which, for many courses, is now the formal assignment), across nursing, midwifery, social work, public health, SCPHN, doctoral programmes etc. The change means that poster design and development is now given credence as a worthy academic assignment. I teach it to groups (online or in class) from 10 participants up to around 200 at a time.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

Many of my own sexual health students (and other post grads) actually get accepted to disseminate their posters at academic and professional conferences.

One student, Vicky Papworth, did one of the very early posters. She did it on the theme of the silencing of male voices in topics of abortion. The stark image of her poster won her acclaim. She published an article (based on the poster and adapting her ‘abstract’ assignment). She was ‘spotted’ because of this, and was invited to be THE key note speaker at a conference of the Association of PsychoSexualNursing. From this, she, and many of my other students, routinely disseminate their learning at conferences, based on their posters and/or subsequent articles. Doing this exercise, I believe, has empowered these learners in ways they had hitherto not experienced.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

Many of the sexual health students first showed their posters at the 2 university of Greenwich ‘Sexual health research and practice’ conferences.

Many others have done likewise, and I can provide more evidence if required, but too much to post here. But in brief:

  • Gregory King – poster at Uni of Warwick, Foucault and the body conference
  • Vicky Papworth – poster at Association of PsychoSexualNursing Conference and article Abortion services: the need to include men in care provision: Papworth, Vicky. Nursing Standard 25.40 (Jun 8-Jun 14, 2011): 35-7
  • Hazel Ridgers – poster on HIV and old people, at National HIV Nursing Association Conference
  • Helen Elliot – Domestic Violence and Abuse, Uni of Warwick conference

… to many more to list, but lots of evidence

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

Many of the 1st year nursing and midwifery posters were seen recently by Prof Viv Bennett and Joanne Bosanquet, QN, the Director and Deputy Director of Nursing (PHE). They encouraged us to share these works much wider afield, to encourage students at pre-registration and post graduate levels to disseminate.