Poster Guidelines

World Conference on Online Learning Poster Presentation Guidelines

Poster presentations may be in one of two formats:

1) A printed poster; or

2) An electronic poster on a laptop

Presenters choose their preferred format.

Each presenter or group of co-presenters prepare their poster in one of the formats noted above and display it in an assigned location in advance of the scheduled time. For a set period of time advertised in the conference program, all delegates are invited to visit the location and move from poster to poster, reading and asking questions of the presenters.

Presenters stand by their respective posters to:

  • Give a very brief, one-on-one or group presentation on their project, research or experience, repeatedly as delegates visit throughout the scheduled time period.
  • Answer questions and engage in informal discussion on their content with delegates who visit.

If presenters choose the printed option, the World Conference will have easels and/or other suitable stands to display printed posters.

If presenters choose the electronic format, poster presentations may be 2 to 3 PowerPoint slides, for a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes. Electrical connections and Internet connectivity will be available. Presenters must provide their own laptop and power cable, and are responsible for the security of their laptop.

Presenters will be asked to identify their preferred option prior to the World Conference to ensure easels or stands are available.

Poster Guidelines

  1. Posters should be in the Portrait format and, where possible, in an A0 size (841 x 1189 mm or 33.1 x 46.8 inches) to provide an opportunity for more posters to be on display.
  2. Easels and other appropriate stands will be available to attach posters to for display purposes.
  3. Consider the suggestions on pages 3–5 for developing your poster.
  4. Consider printing posters on cloth to make travelling with the poster easier.
  5. If cloth is not an option, posters may be printed on paper and laminated to ensure durability.
  6. Posters should include a photo of the presenter(s), together with their institution name and contact details.

Posters may not be sent in advance to the organizers by mail or courier.

Posters left behind after the close of the World Conference will not be returned.

Poster Creation Suggestions

The Concept

  • A poster is a graphically-based approach to presenting a project or research. In presenting your project or research with a poster, you should aim to use the poster as a means for generating active discussion of the topic.
  • Limit the text to about 1/4 of the poster space, and use “visuals” (graphs, photographs, schematics, maps, etc.) to tell your “story.”

Design and Layout Specifications

  • The poster must be oriented in the portrait position.
  • A banner displaying your poster title, name, and department (or class, if appropriate) should be positioned at top-centre of the poster (see below).
  • Make it obvious to the viewer how to progressively view the poster. The poster generally should read from left to right, and top to bottom. Numbering the individual panels, or connecting them with arrows, is a standard “guidance system” (see below).
  • Leave some open space in the design. An open layout is less tiring to the eye and mind.

poster layout


  • Word-process all text (including captions). Print on plain white paper using a quality printer.
  • Text should be readable from at least 5 feet or 1.5 metres away. Use a minimum font size of 18 points.
  • Lettering for the title should be large (at least 70-point font). Use all capital letters for the title.


  • Present numerical data in the form of graphs, rather than tables (graphs make trends in the data much more evident). If data must be presented in a table format, keep it simple.
  • Visuals should be simple and bold. Leave out or remove any unnecessary details.
  • Make sure any visual can “stand alone” (i.e. graph axes are properly labelled, maps have north arrows and distance scales, symbols are explained, etc.).
  • Use colour to enhance comprehension, not to decorate the poster. Neatly colouring black-line illustrations with colour pencils is entirely acceptable.
  • Make sure the text and the visuals are integrated. Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.
  • Each visual should have a brief title.


  • Keep the text brief. Blocks of text should not exceed three paragraphs (viewers won’t bother to read more than that). Use text to: (a) introduce the project or research (what hypothesis was tested or what problem was investigated? why was the project or research worth doing?), (b) explain visuals and direct viewers’ attention to significant data trends and relationships portrayed in the visuals; and (c) state and explain the interpretations that follow from the data. In many cases, conclusions can be summarized in a bullet-point list.
  • Depending upon the stage or nature of your project or research, the text could also include sections on future research plans or questions for discussion with viewers.
  • Cite and reference any sources of information other than your own, just as you would do with a research paper. The “References Cited” is placed at the end of the poster.

Other Suggestions

  • SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY. Keep to the point, and don’t try to cover too many things. Present only enough data to support your conclusions. On the other hand, make sure you present sufficient data to support your conclusions.
  • Before making your poster, create a list of the visuals you would use if you were describing your project with only the visuals. Write the text after you create the list of visuals.
  • Frame the components of the poster with colour. This sets-off the text and illustrations from the white background.
  • Before the poster session, rehearse a summary of your topic. Many viewers will want a quick “guided tour” of your poster. Do not be afraid to point out uncertainties in your work; this is where you may get useful feedback.

These suggestions are a modified version of the University of Pittsburgh’s Guidelines for Poster Preparation.