Impact of Museum of Science’s Research Communication Laboratory Program on Research Presentation Skills of Graduate Students
Learning to design and deliver research information customized for particular audiences is one major goal of the Museum of Science’s Research Communication Laboratory (RCL). Judging of short research presentations by an independent judge revealed that graduate students from MIT’s Center for Excitonics who participated in RCL demonstrated significantly better spoken and graphic communication skills compared with graduate students who did not experience RCL instruction. The judge rated RCL students as significantly better than non-RCL students with respect to three criteria: 1) presentation overall; 2) efficacy of slides and graphics in enhancing understanding; and 3) poise, comportment and connection with audience. RCL students also scored better, but not significantly better, on two remaining criteria: 4) clarity of motivation for (and potential significance of) the research; and 5) clarity of what distinguished the chosen approach. The Center for Excitonics is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Energy Frontiers Research Center.