VPS is primarily aimed towards graduate and undergraduate students to improve their research presentation skills. These skills are highly important in both academia and professional workplaces, however scientific conferences to professionally present research are not accessible to everyone. VPS provides the experience of presenting scientific research without the cost and time investment of traveling to an international conference. Read Penn State Brandywine’s Dr. Laura Guertin’s NAGT article highlighting the benefits she saw in participating in VPS from a faculty perspective.
VPS can be incorporated into most earth and space science courses that involve research proposals, literature reviews, research projects, or research presentations. Examples of courses that could utilize VPS in the syllabus are science communication courses, fundamentals of research courses, capstone courses, and core classes that require a research or project component. VPS works best if the course already has a visual poster/presentation assignment or final presentation (in lieu of an exam) so students are not overloaded with additional preparation in an already demanding course.
AGU recently hosted a webinar addressing ways to incorporate VPS into a course. In preparing to use AGU’s Virtual Poster Showcase (VPS) in your curriculum, it is advised to first be involved in VPS as a judge the semester prior to implementing it into your curriculum. Being a judge for the showcase illustrates both the timeline of the showcase and the work the participating students produce. Once you gain an idea of the caliber of work presented and the timeline of the showcase, it will be easier to translate guidelines and expectations of the showcase into your syllabus and grading rubrics. Pranoti Asher, AGU Education and Public Outreach Manager or Nathaniel Janick, Career Services Coordinator, can be contacted to review your syllabus as well as give an introduction of the showcase to students via Skype at the beginning of the semester. The VPS team is happy to work with and help guide you and your students, whether that be through Skype sessions with the class or emailing throughout the process.
For VPS to be implemented into your syllabus, it is important to set due dates for each stage of the showcase on or before the dates listed on our website. There are five stages to the showcase: abstract submission, poster and video upload, peer judging, expert judging, and recognition. The only stages that translate to assignments that would be included in a syllabus are the abstract submission, poster and video upload, and peer judging. The dates provided on the website were decided based on review of a variety of university schedules, therefore the date ranges for each stage should provide flexibility for implementation into different class schedules. The final dates for peer judging are well before final exams begin for most universities, therefore student participation in VPS should be finished prior to preparation for final exams.
The first-place winner for both the graduate and undergraduate showcase will receive free registration and travel grants toward transportation and lodging for the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting. For further information please visit the Virtual Poster Showcase website.