Description of the assessment
You will research and select a topic that you are interested in and is related to your MSc programme title and agree it with the tutor as being a suitable topic. (This is called a negotiated topic).
You will then assemble an academic poster that details what you are you researching, an appropriate methodology for exploring this topic, and what results can be expected from exploring this project.
While you write and research your academic poster, you will keep a development log that starts in Week 7. Each week, you will be responsible for writing a reflection of the process that you are going through with each element of the academic poster: introduction and abstract, literature review, methodology, analysis, future work & bibliography. These development logs are not required to turn in weekly, but they will act as the formative feedback for this course.
Part 1: Academic Poster
The academic poster will consist of component parts based on Weeks 7-12. Each poster will be expected to have: 1) an Abstract and Introduction, 2) a Literature Review, 3) a Methodology, 4) an Analysis, and 5) a Future Work and Conclusion. We will discuss each of these sections in more depth during their week, and we will learn about the most popular different types of methodologies throughout the semester. This poster will act as a way for you, in preparation for your dissertation, to start researching an area that interests you and put together a preliminary study around a topic or topics that you might be interested in.
The poster`s marking scheme is as follows:
Presentation of Research
-Is your poster engaging with current research, current problems, and current considerations within the topic you are researching?
-Are you presenting links between research that contours a full picture of the research being presented?
-Are you proposing a novel approach/approaches to solving the problem or topic area you`re researching?
-Is your overall poster presentation appealing and uncluttered? Did you follow standard poster presentation formats and make use of font, color, and pattern to enhance readability?
-Are you using graphics that are pertinent to the information you are presenting? Are those graphics enhancing the readability and useability of the poster?
-Is your poster presenting a deep understanding and application of scholarship that is important to the topics at hand? Are you presenting novels ways and means of expanding that scholarship?
-Are all the components of your poster presented well and robustly engaged with?
-Is your poster readable? Is it uncluttered? Are you using colors that promote readability? How are your graphics being presented?
Part 2: Development Log
This assignment is also where formative feedback will be available. In Weeks 7-12, there will be a turn-in point on Blackboard that students can either submit a Word document or just write out that week`s reflection in the text submission section. The formative feedback opportunities during these weeks will not be graded and are not required to be turned in. They are there so that I can see if there is a common theme that people are struggling with and I can provide class-wide guidance. The recommended structure for these weekly reflections is as follows:
-No more than 500 words,
-A paragraph on what you are working on in general in terms of your poster presentation that week (this is not locked to the week`s material and you may write about any part of the process you are in),
-A few paragraphs on, pertinent to the current week`s lecture material, what you have been working through. What are you reading (academic articles, popular culture articles, white papers, design documents, etc.), what are you thinking through ("How do I make my methodology more clear", "How do I condense my literature review into something readable", etc.), what you are struggling with or excelling on, any interesting connected work you are encountering that may be out of the scope of this project/week, but that you are still interested in talking about, so on and so forth.
-Finally, a paragraph with any questions, comments, or concerns for that week.
The final submission of your development log should be equivalent to 5 weeks` worth of reflective writing, or no more than 2500 words. In that final submission, please:
-Summarize what you have been working through on each part of the poster (introduction/abstract, literature review, methodology, analysis, conclusion/future work),
-Discuss how you have been collecting, reading, applying, and thinking through sources (e.g. what journals did you find more useful than others, what authors did you seem to connect with the most, what subconcepts within the work you are analayzing could you apply to future work in this area, etc.).
-Review other examples of poster presentations/conference presentations within your area of scholarship and assess what is good, bad, interesting, applicable, etc. about them and what you can learn from them, and
-Make sure that your reflective work displays a coherent line of development from the start of this project (gathering resources, figuring out what topic you would like to research, etc.) to the end of the project (a research poster with potential for future work) that highlights what you learned along the way.