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Student engagement

My experience of this year’s Student Champion Poster Exhibition 

27 June 2023
Students in a group smiling
Student Champions 2022/23 at the Student Champions Poster Exhibition 2023

Emyr Kreishan, one of our Student Champions shares his own experience on the successful Student Champion Poster Exhibition on 19 April.

The Student Champion Poster Exhibition saw Student Champions presenting posters on a range of topics in the Centre for Student Life. It was a great day which brought the Student Champions together and had us engage with staff, faculty and other stakeholders from across the university.

Once I arrived, I put on my Student Champions hoodie (an absolute must), helped to set up (this had mostly been done already) and collected my pre-packed lunch (another Student Champions perk).

Planning the poster design

Together with two of my colleagues (Mya & Alydia) from the Community of Inquiry Toolkit Project we produced a poster on effective collaboration.

According to the poster sages, a well-designed poster should be; aesthetically appealing, easy to read, and convey the key elements of your work – we opted for a minimalist approach to our design which perhaps wasn’t the most visually arresting… (hey, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad!). We were fortunate enough to not have to worry too much about the size and printing of our poster as the Student Champions Team handled that – thanks Champs Team!

Practicing the presentation

Once we had designed and assembled our poster, it was important for me to practice how I would introduce it as my collaborators were unable to attend the event. I spent a bit of time imagining what attendees might focus on, but as we had several key points on the poster it was difficult to be sure. I therefore focused on the broad strokes of what we were trying to achieve with the poster and made sure I could summarise these in under 45 seconds.

Engaging the audience

Engaging with the audience is probably the most important aspects of presenting at a poster exhibition (and can also be the most enjoyable). Thankfully all the people who I interacted with on the day were really engaged and wanted to hear about me, my work with the Student Champions scheme and the poster. I tried to be approachable, welcoming, and not flap too much when asked something I wasn’t certain on (again 2 out of 3 were achieved I think!)

I managed to speak with some interesting people from across the university including several academic departments, three friendly members of the student engagement team, a team member from Student Futures who was keen on enlisting the Student Champions for the promotion of their service next year (plug plug plug!) and an education developer from the Cardiff Learning and Teaching Academy who had some great questions for me about my experience on the scheme.

The moment of truth

After the exhibition was over, attendees dispersed into some focused presentations looking at the various projects Student Champions were engaged in. I took the opportunity to sit in on one before I was due to co-present with one of our project leader’s just after. The project I watched the presentation on was superb. Dr. Isaac Myers and the Student Champions who assisted him (they stole the show tbh) talked those assembled through the project he was leading titled Unboxing Inboxes which focused on improving email efficiency it contained several eye-opening facts – for instance did you know the majority of emails in the average student’s inbox arrive on either Monday or Friday!? Seems like a recipe for a lot of missed messages!

Then it was my turn, Michael Hackman and I walked the long path from the back of room 2.25/26 to the whiteboard like a pair of condemned men.

However, as soon as we got rolling it was great and those in attendance found our presentation on the Community of Inquiry Toolkit very compelling. It was so satisfying to be able to share my enthusiasm for the project with a warm and receptive audience – Michael and I were happy with how our talk went.

Overall, the Student Champions Poster Exhibition 2023 was an unmitigated success, and it was great to have a final few words with my fellow Student Champions before heading out to a sun-drenched Cardiff.