Dr. Tamara Fudge, Purdue University Global in the School of Business and Information Technology
Purdue University Global’s second Student Online Annual Research Symposium (SOAR Symposium) is slated for this September 13 and offers our students and our alumni a great opportunity.
Imagine the chance to delve into meaningful career concepts outside of the classroom, hone research, analytical, and organizational skills, create meaningful visual elements, exercise verbal communication, and take a leadership role within a webinar atmosphere. It will take time management and communication skills to get it all done, too! What is even better is that the SOAR Symposium offers both professional experience and a way to enhance the participant’s resume.
There are a few different ways students can participate in the SOAR Symposium. They can present with a PowerPoint presentation in an Adobe Connect room live session or develop a “poster” (an infographic). Optionally, the participant can prepare a paper to go with his or her topic that may be suitable for professional publication.
These methods of information sharing have significant value. They require research, which in itself is good critical thinking practice for the workplace. As Lipowski (2008) notes, “continuous assessment of policies, procedures, and programs [in the workplace] is necessary because science and technology can render them obsolete.”
Additionally, visual representations such as infographics and PowerPoint charts, graphs, and images aid attendees in understanding, processing, and remembering information (Parsons & Sedig, 2014). We can see that it is not just the participants, but the attendees who benefit from the Symposium.
It is also a leadership experience: presentations are a demonstration of assertiveness. This professional competency is also validated in participants’ preparedness to answer questions (Berjano Sales-Nebot, & Lozano-Nieto, 2013). This public speaking experience is powerful on a resume.
Berjano, E., Sales-Nebot, L., & Lozano-Nieto, A. (2013). Improving professionalism in the engineering curriculum through a novel use of oral presentations. European Journal Of Engineering Education, 38(2), 121-130.
Lipowski, E. (2008). Developing great research questions. American Journal Of Health-System Pharmacy, 65(17), 1667-1670 4p. doi:10.2146/ajhp070276
Parsons, P., & Sedig, K. (2014). Adjustable properties of visual representations: Improving the quality of human-information interaction. Journal Of The Association For Information Science & Technology, 65(3), 455-482. doi:10.1002/asi.23002