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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

A resource guide for faculty interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).


Posters enable researchers to highlight interesting findings or aspects of their studies and/or fieldwork. 

Text & Content

Think of your poster as a kind of abstract. Use your poster to share the purpose of your research, provide an overview of your research design/ process, and identify key or interesting findings. 

  • Keep text to a minimum (stick to a max word count of 800-1000 word total)
  • Use bullets throughout rather than large blocks of text
  • Title should be short, attention-grabbing, and relevant to your content
  • Stick to a maximum of three kinds of font 

Stick to the following font sizes:

  • Title: 72-120 pt
  • Headers: 36-72 pt
  • Body text: 24-48 pt ‚Äč

Visual Appeal 

Graphics like images and visual representations of data attract interest from attendees and communicate data and findings concisely. Consider the following questions when designing your poster and reviewing content:

  • Communicate dry data or processes in interesting visual ways (i.e. charts, graphs, images)
  • Ensure there's plenty of white or negative space between boxes, separating sections, and surrounding text
  • Use color schemes with limited bright colors that might otherwise overpower your message
  • Balance images and graphics on your poster

The "Elevator Pitch" 

Poster authors are expected to present their posters at poster sessions, giving you the opportunity to put your work in context and draw interest in your research. 

  • Summarize your research in a 1-2 minute "elevator pitch"
  • Prepare talking points to share with visitors to your poster
  • Handouts and/or business cards can be distributed to provide more information and opportunities for attendees to follow-up 

Sources: University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences, Collin Purrington

Example SoTL Poster


Design a Poster Using PowerPoint

There are many software programs that can be used to create digital posters. Below is an example that was put together using Microsoft PowerPoint 2013. The template default is a 36"x48" poster which is the standard scientific/ academic poster size.

1. Open PowerPoint and start a New project. Search for "poster" and chose the template "Science project poster." 

PowerPoint poster template

2. Once opened, it is ready to be edited. Click into the different parts of the slide to edit the content

3. From the "Design" tab, you can edit the design. From the "Design" tab, look for "Variants" section for option like color scheme and sizing.

To resize the poster and content: Click on the button "Slide Size" to the right of the "Variants" section shown below. Then choose "Custom Slide Size" -> type in the desired Width and Height (perhaps 24"x36") -> click "OK" -> then click "Ensure Fit."