E-Posters: Why You Should Submit and Tips for Success

With gratitude we welcome one of our NCKP 2021: The Piano Conference Research E-Poster Award Winners, Robin S. Heinsen, to our Discovery page. Heinsen is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Miami University, and has provided helpful insight into her experience as an NCKP poster presenter. We hope it will inspire you to join us this summer for NCKP 2023, and to submit your own e-poster proposals by April 15, 2023 at 11:59pm PT.

View Robin S. Heinsen and Robert Duke’s winning research poster, “I play the piano because I like the piano: A national survey of school music teachers.”

How did you decide on your proposal topic?

Our pathway to NCKP: The Piano Conference is probably different from most other presenters because we are not pianists—we are music education professors who became curious about how school music teachers use the piano in their classrooms and wondered whether there were relationships between how teachers learned to play the piano and how they use it in their teaching. We had previously shared our findings in music education circles, and subsequently sought out this conference as an opportunity to share with the piano pedagogy community. We all have a stake in what our students learn and retain from university class piano.

What would be your top three tips on writing a successful e-poster proposal?

First, ask a great question! What are you curious about, what do you wonder about, and how can you design a project that can help answer that question? 

Once you’ve done that, practice condensing your research question, potential findings, and implications into only a few sentences to ensure your own thinking is clear about what you want to propose and why it matters. 

Then, once you start writing, make sure a reader can extract that information from your proposal so the significance of your work stays prominent instead of getting buried. This may be best accomplished by asking someone else to read your proposal and then tell you about the project they think you are describing. 

What was it like using the Kubify platform?

From what we remember, it was a pretty intuitive interface. It was easy to navigate, customize, and upload materials into the platform, and it integrated well with the NCKP conference page. We had never used it before this event, but we found it to be straightforward with little to no learning curve.

We had many great conversations with participants who were interested to learn more about our findings and eager to share ideas and collaborate.

What advice would you give to someone building their e-poster? Any tips, tricks, or recommendations for effectively communicating their research through the software?

We approached our e-poster as if it was a slide deck (such as in PowerPoint or Keynote) and each square was a “slide” that contributed one piece of information. We titled the squares with short questions so that the reader knew what to look for as they clicked on each one. We frequently utilized charts and graphs to make it easier to visualize the data and answer the title questions, and avoided extensive prose or paragraphs of text when possible. Our introduction and conclusion were larger boxes that bookended the smaller content slides.

Why would you recommend presenting an e-poster at NCKP?

As non-pianists, we were hesitant to enter this space and initiate these conversations, but we felt extremely welcomed and enjoyed our time at the conference. We had many great conversations with participants who were interested to learn more about our findings and eager to share ideas and collaborate. It was an important reminder that all of our work can benefit from interdisciplinary dialogue.

Inspired? Submit your e-poster proposals for NCKP 2023 by April 15, 2023 at 11:59pm PT.


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