Michael Hubenthal Recognized for Educational Poster Research

Michael Hubenthal with a seismology poster designed for effective classroom use.

While developing classroom materials on seismology-related topics, Michael Hubenthal, IRIS Education Specialist, was also taking classes at Binghamton University. This month, Michael not only completed his Master's degree, but was also recognized by Binghamton's School of Education for his research into the role of posters in the classroom.

Michael's thesis evaluated the effectiveness of "traditional" educational posters produced by the science community. Ultimately, this work concluded that posters, as currently conceived, do not serve their intended educational purpose well. "Many posters don't even make it up on to the classroom walls, and those that do are commonly used as wallpaper rather than enhancing instruction," he said. To improve the educational value of posters, Michael applied learning theory and cognitive psychology to identify key design elements that, if incorporated into a poster, ultimately increased the poster's instructional value. When examining prototypes, teachers saw ways they could engage their students, incorporate the posters into their actual instruction, and encourage students to seek more information about the topics.

Binghamton University featured Michael's research in a recent news release.