A poster is a way of communicating information, and can be particularly useful as a way of initiating discussions on results of research. In designing a poster, students need to show they can concisely summarise ideas and decide which aspects to give priority to. Poster design allows students to receive feedback from peers as well as their tutor during a classroom session, and encourages discussion and debate.

Workload guide

Preparation time Low Student workload Low Marking time Low

Literacies and skills exhibited

  • Analysing and reviewing data
  • Working independently and working within a group
  • Visualising, designing, creating and innovating
  • Written communication and presentation skills
  • Researching, investigating, interpreting and organising information


  • Write, script and produce a video
  • Demonstration
  • Practical observation
  • Oral presentation


Posters are best marked using a clear and simple rubric that grades both content and design. Presentation skills can also be assessed and marked if, for example, students are asked to talk to their poster during a lunchtime poster session. All of these activities can also be peer marked, with an academic staff member moderating the responses.


Feedback can be efficiently and effectively delivered to the group: ideally during the same assessed poster session so that examples of practice can be highlighted in relation to real examples.

Case studies

Factors influencing student peer assessment
Primrose Freestone, Department of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, University of Leicester

Primrose used peer assessment with her 3rd year Microbial Biotechnology students. The students created a mini conference format poster and assessed each other's posters. The students engaged very well and the exercise was successful, however students consistently gave higher marks than staff even when trained in using the assessment criteria. The difference was less marked when marking anonymously and feedback showed that students found it hard to mark their peers objectively due to friendship factors.

Poster session assessment, University of Leeds

Further reading

Preparing Posters - a practical guide for students

Manchester Metropolitan University Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching


Guide to time involved in preparation, marking, and student workload:  Low Low  Medium Medium  High High

Share this page: