All students enrolled in ATCM 4398 (Capstone Project) and ATCM 4399 (Honors Capstone) are expected to participate in Capstone Celebration. Students enrolled in ATCM 4397 (Senior Seminar) have the option whether to participate in Capstone Celebration, unless participation is required by their Senior Seminar professor.
ATCM 4398 and 4399 students participate by presenting their Capstone project as either a table display or poster presentation for Capstone Celebration.
ATCM 4397 (Senior Seminar) students who choose to participate may do so with a poster presentation. This newer option was first offered for the Fall 2019 Capstone Celebration. Posters must be printed no later than the day before Capstone Celebration and will be displayed in the first floor of the ATC Building through ATEC’s Commencement Ceremony. See below for further details and example guidelines for creating a poster.
Check out past successful Capstone examples here.
- Students are responsible for providing and bringing all materials for their presentations, including:
- A 10-foot extension cord if you require any access to power
- Students will be provided a tented title card for table display at Capstone Celebration Check-in.
- Students will receive detailed information at Capstone Celebration Check-in regarding their assigned presentation location in the lobby of the ATC building.
- All materials brought in for table presentations must be removed at 10:00pm at the end of the Capstone Celebration event.
Table Display Specifications:
- Each six foot table will be assigned two students for a total of three feet of presentation space per student. The width of each table is approximately 30 inches.
- No food incorporated as part of your table display unless it is pre-packaged
- No hot plates
- No flames
- Bring headphones if your project incorporates sound. All projects are located in the ATEC lobby, so it can get a bit loud with all the visitors for the event.
- If you are planning to incorporate technology into your table display, you will need to provide your own technology, as well as bring your own 10-foot extension cord (not a power strip).
- Acceptable technology: Computers, Laptops, Tablets, Monitors, Speakers, Mouse/Keyboard
- Not Acceptable: subwoofer, PlayStation, gaming devices
- If you are unsure whether your tech qualifies, please check with Liz Boyd and Pamela Kitchens.
- A limited number of Mac/PC laptops will be available to check-out from ATEC at the Capstone Celebration Check-in Table on the day of the event. If you would like to borrow an ATEC laptop, arrive EARLY for check-in. You are not guaranteed a laptop from ATEC. Check-in begins at 5:30pm.
- Posters must be digitally produced and printed.
- Individual poster specifications
- Landscape orientation
- Size: Width 36 inches x Height 24 inches
- Finish: Semi-gloss
- Weight: heavy
- Students are responsible for printing their own posters.
- UTD Copy Center will print this size poster for $30. Please allow 1 week to print your poster.
- You may use other printing companies as long as the specifications are the same.
- Detailed instructions for turning in your poster will be posted here closer to the event date.
- If you want to keep your poster after Capstone Celebration has concluded, you may take down the poster as early as 10:00pm the night of Capstone Celebration up until 8:00am the day after the School of ATEC Commencement Ceremony. Any posters remaining after that time will be removed by the department.
Planning a Poster Presentation
- Create an outline. A poster should not be a research paper tacked on a board. It should be a concise, visually pleasing, illustration of your work.
- Avoid visual clutter. Use a logical structure that guides the reader along the main points from beginning to end.
- Include citations on a poster when paraphrasing other’s work, just like you would in a paper. Use an appropriate style (e.g., APA) when citing.
Poster Formatting Guidelines
- Don’t overwhelm the reader with too much information.
- Use phrases instead of sentences as much as possible.
- Use bullet points.
- Use appropriate grammar and spelling.
- Avoid visual chaos that distracts the reader (e.g., numerous jagged edges, various-sized boxes and font sizes, gratuitous images).
- Provide visual cues to guide readers through your poster.
- In Western culture, readers will normally start at the top and move to the right.
- Make it aesthetically pleasing (because it enhances a person’s desire to read it).
- Use figures, diagrams, graphics, or easy-to-read tables to explain/illustrate ideas or findings.
- Note: Using graphics downloaded from the Internet will often look terrible when printed, especially if you make the image bigger. Be sure the graphic is .eps so it won’t look bad when printed.
- Make sure images you use are public domain. Just because it is on the internet does not make it public domain.
- Images should only be used when they complement/explain the subject matter.
- Avoid background graphics that make the text difficult to read.
- Use plenty of white space.
- Maintain logical column alignments.
- Use figures, diagrams, graphics, or easy-to-read tables to explain/illustrate ideas or findings.
- Color is encouraged, but keep the number of colors limited to create an overall theme for the poster.
- Use a light-colored background with black or dark-colored text printed.
- Avoid dark backgrounds with white letters because it uses a tremendous amount of ink.
- Use large enough print, graphs, charts, or designs to be read easily from a distance of at least 5 feet.
- Try to consolidate as much information as possible.
- Do not use ALL CAPS.
- Don’t mix a large number of fonts. Instead, make the headings/title a sans serif font (e.g., Arial, Calibri) and the body text a serif font (e.g., Cambria, Times New Roman).
- Use common fonts (e.g., Cambria, Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri) because you may not know which fonts will be on the computer that is used to print your poster.
- All type should be a minimum font size of 18 – preferably bigger.
- Font at the same level (e.g., heading, first level bullet) should be the same size and type throughout the poster.
- For example, if you make a slide heading 42-point, Arial Black font, then all slide headings should be the same. Similarly, if you make the text for a first-level bullet 32-point, Times New Roman, then all the other first-level bullets should be the same.
- General font sizes are: 40-48 for main headers, 30-32 point for main bullets, and 26-28 point for second-level bullets.
Example Sections of a Poster Presentation
- Title of the project
- Name of student(s) involved in the project
- Abstract – A concise overview of your research
- Justification/Rationale – Why did you do this project?
- Purpose – Exactly what did you do for this project?
- Project Overview
- Procedures – How did you complete the project?
- Analyses – briefly provide the rationale for the analyses conducted
- Findings –provide the findings in easy-to-read table(s) or concise bullets
- Discussion – identify the most interesting findings and provide an explanation/rationale.
- What did you learn from this project?
- How is this project different than other similar projects?
- Why did this study get the results? Is it similar to past research? Can theory explain the findings? Is there something about this data collection that made the results different?
- Future Directions
- What changes are you interested in making to this project in the future? Are you continuing to work on this project?
- Were there any limitations to the project?
- Implications for practice – How can the findings help others (e.g., practitioners, educators, policy makers)?
- Implications for research – Based on the results and/or limitations of this study, what should future studies in this area do?
- Briefly and succinctly acknowledge individuals who assisted with the project/poster (e.g., additional group members, critique of poster, etc.).
- Additional Poster basics: https://guides.nyu.edu/posters
- These are simply examples to help you create your poster. You are not required to follow the structuring and information included in these examples. Be creative!
Purpose of a Visual Presentation
- To connect with the viewers
- To direct and hold the attention of the viewers
- To enhance the viewers’ understanding and memory by providing easily digestible information
- Presentations should accentuate the most important information (i.e., the “take away message”).
- An appealing visual presentation can interest people who walk by who might not be in your specific field.
Planning Your Presentation
- Identify the “so what?” (i.e., the message you want to convey).
- Develop your presentation plan ahead of time so you have plenty of time to critique and revise.
- Work with your faculty supervisor to fine-tune your presentation.
- Viewers slow down or stop at presentations that catch their attention, so style and design matter!
- Do you want the audience to be able to find your project at a later time? Consider handouts, business cards, or even including a QR code so participants can have something to look back on for your Capstone project.
- Dress professionally when presenting – you never know who might stop by to see your project and to meet you!
- Wear comfortable shoes – you will be standing for quite a while.
- Stay close to your presentation space during the event so you are available for discussion.
- Smile and make eye contact with people who pass by your project.
- Greet viewers and offer to answer any questions they may have about your project.
- Don’t get too involved with one person and ignore others who might want to discuss your project.
- Don’t try to force handouts on people who are not interested.
- Don’t take criticism personally. Professionals who attend the event may want to provide constructive criticism as a way to help enhance your professional development.