The first class period should be used to
explain the task to the students, making it clear that each group will
produce a poster and give a presentation based upon the ideas represented
in their posters. After explaining the task and setting a deadline for
completion of the work, ask students to organize themselves into groups
(or assign groups) and hand out a unique challenge
problem to each group. Along with the problem, hand out a copy of
the poster rubric
that will be used to judge their work.
Allow the remainder of the first day for
students to work on the problems. Stress that they might want to divide
some work among themselves to be done as homework that night. During
this day, attempt to spend a few minutes with each group individually,
clarifying any questions and, if necessary, giving suggestions as to
how to proceed (examples of this follow in the section on strategies).
By the end of Day 1, most groups will have
answers to several parts of their challenge problems. However, the groups
will generally not have given much thought to effective ways to convey
their answers to their peers. This is the focus of Day 2.
This should be another work day. Visit
individual groups again to assess progress and make any necessary suggestions
for work. It is desirable to provide some basic poster supplies (large
sheets of paper, markers, scissors, glue, rulers, etc.) but students
can be instructed on Day 1 to bring these themselves. By the end of
the period on Day 2, students should either have completed their poster
or have agreed among their groupmates who will be responsible for constructing
various parts of the poster.
Before students leave class today, clarify
when the posters are to be turned in and set a date for the poster presentations.
Hand out the poster
rubric so that students can plan accordingly.
Note: depending upon the format
for presentations and the size of the class, it may require more than
a single day to complete presentations. Also, we highly recommend that
the scheduled day for presentations does not directly follow the second
in-class work day. Students may need a couple of nights to complete
their posters and prepare their presentations. Therefore, we recommend
following Day 2 with a few days of other course work during class time
and returning to presentations on Day 5 or 6.
We suggest using one of the presentation
formats described below, although many others might be appropriate and
each student group in turn presents its poster and explanations to the
entire class, solicits feedback, and answers questions.
Poster Session: divide
the student groups in half. The students in one half of the groups set
up their posters and stand by them while the remaining students circulate
around the room reading and asking questions about the posters. Those
students standing by their posters explain and defend their ideas to
classmates as they circulate. Allow enough time for all the observer
students to view each poster. Now, the groups should switch so that
"observers" become "presenters" and vice versa.
With this format, it is helpful to assign students specific posters
to critique and provide them with a written critique
form by which to do this.