PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

PROF-it Professors-in-Training 12/3, January 2011 $$ opportunities for Grad Students, & 2011 Dissertation House. Plus, SREB’s Dr. Bob Belle comes to UM College Park to discuss interviewing Dec. 3!

In Dissertation House, Grad Student Success Seminar, Ph.D. Completion Project, PROF-it, PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP on November 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM

As the semester comes to a close, we want to remind you about upcoming seminars on our campuses. We’ll look forward to seeing you!

Prof-It Workshop:  Preparation for the Professoriate Seminar: Learning Styles
Friday, 12/3/10 , 12 noon – 2 PM, Commons  329.  Speaker: Dr. Anne Spence



Ph.D. Completion Workshop at College Park: Effective Job Interviews

Special Guest, Dr. Bob Belle, Director of the SREB-AGEP Doctoral Scholars Program,

Headquarters: Atlanta, GA.

Friday, 12/ 3/10, 3:00 – 5:00 PM. Ulrich Recital Hall 0f Tawes Hall


For more workshops at College Park, visit the Ph.D. Completion Workshop Series page:


Earn $400 during the January 2011 Winter Session!

Build your mentoring and advising skills and become a Winter Advisor for new undergraduate students at UMBC. Deadline: December 10, 2010.  Details on MyUMBC:


SEMINAR: Preparing for Spring 2011 GRADUATION: Rules, Regulations, and Forms

Friday, 12/10/10. 12 noon – 1 PM. Commons 331

Presenters: Office of Progressions for the UMBC Graduate School



Workshop-Dissertation House – On Campus
Winter Session, UMBC Campus only
Tuesday, January 18 – Friday, January 21, 2011, 9 AM- 5 PM

Commons 329 & 327

RSVP: and fill out the application on that site.

For more information about the Dissertation House, visit

  1. During this seminar Dr. Spence informed us on the various learning styles. Based on the “kite” activity my learning style from David Kolb’s Model leaned more towards the Concrete Experience, this is not a surprise because I prefer concrete examples.

    I would incorporate demonstrations to in my lesson plan involving concrete examples. For the water filtration exercise I would propose to show the students the difference between clean-purified water and unclean water. Then give the students a quick project to create a device to purify water with some restrictions. Then the students would bring their final products in class to demonstrate and we would evaluate, some of the reasons why certain techniques are preferred. This would help the students learn how water filtration works in a practical manner. This information is mirrored on the PROF-it Professors-in-Training Blackboard site at UMBC.

  2. 1. What is your learning style? Was this a surprise to you?

    I am a converger. When I read the description I was in agreement with what it said about my learning style. The question ‘How?’ is very poignant to me. I require the knowledge of how to do some thing or how does some thing function. I think this is what makes me interested in research because I want to understand, for instance, how a specific mechanism in the body works.

    2. Imagine you are teaching a class of 30 students. This can be the same class that you were “teaching” in November for Dr Tull’s session. Having learned about Teaching and Learning styles today, what kind of activities will you incorporate into your lesson plan? Keep your topic broad or deep enough to cover a two-week period, so you assume that you have at least 4 class times.

    Properties of Water – topic

    I would like to do a few experimental sessions about the properties of water.

    Class 1: Experiment 1: Water is the universal solvent?

    -Start off the class with the question: is water a “universal solvent?” Ask the class to discuss whether or not it is or is not a universal solvent and give examples.
    -Discuss properties of water which makes it a good solvent for some types of substances and not as good for others.
    -Experiment: Break the class into 5 groups of 6. Give each group of students four beakers of water and four substances (two polar and two nonpolar) in a beaker. Have students mix the four substances into the beakers of water and mix. Watch for any phase separation. Ask class to discuss and come up with reasons, on a molecular basis per our initial discussion, why they are seeing the results from the experiment.
    -Finish up the class period by discussing the important of water’s solvation properties for biological functions.

    Class 2: Demonstration: Boiling point of water

    -Begin class with a discussion of the boiling of water. Ask questions like: what temperature does water boil at? What happens to the boiling point temperature when salt is added to the water? What happens to the temperature of boiling water when boiled in Denver, Co versus here?
    -I would demonstrate the effects of adding salt to boiling water. First, I would boil water without salt and measure temperature upon nucleate boiling. Then, I would add a certain amount of salt and repeat. While waiting for boiling to occur, would ask the class to vote if the temperature has gone up or down with the addition of salt. Ask the class to guess at what temperature at which they believe it will start boiling.
    -Finish up the class with a discussion of the importance of a high boiling point of water and what that means for biological systems, especially with respect to metabolism and respiration.

    Class 3: Video: Ice

    -Show a video having to do with glaciers, polar bears and arctic marine life.
    -After video, ask the class why I showed this video. Point them in the direction of ice being the central theme.
    – Show the molecular architecture of water when in the solid form and discuss property differences between the solid and the liquid form of water.
    -End class by reviewing the aspects of ice which make arctic marine life possible.

    Class 4: Video/Experiment-Electrical conductivity of water

    -Start class with a video on electrical safety that specifically speaks about electrical shock in water. Ask the class to explain why water conducts electricity so well.
    -Experiment: Split class into 6 groups of 5. Set up an electrode with water as the conduit. Use an amp meter to measure the resultant electric current. Have them note their readings over a period of 15 minutes.
    -Ask the class to look up for the next class period some other type of conductors and their amperage under similar conditions.

    Natasha P Wilson 12/6/2010 7:41pm

    This comment is mirror on the Prof-It: Professors-in-training discussion board on MyUMBC

  3. 1) Post your learning style from the Kolb Model based on your “kite”.

    I apparently have no preference towards a specific learning style based on the Kolb “Kite” Model. I scored a 3 in every section, but I believe I am more of a converger because of the description “preferring to deal with things rather than people” and “greatest strength lies in the practical application of ideas”, which is a perfect fit.

    2) Explain your process for the water filtration exercise.

    I was in the same group as Natasha Wilson and our filtration exercises were definitely more centered on the filtration device and explanation of the device, rather than how or who would use the device.

  4. I am a “Diverger”. It says that this learning style excels in the ability to view concrete situations from many perspectives and generate many ideas. This does not surprise me, because I try to look at all angles before coming up with a solution.

    For the water filtration project:
    I would let the class see the difference between purified and unpurified water. Discuss the importance of water purification and why its necessary. Then, explain different techniques of water purification. Last, allow the class to work in groups to create their own device that filters water.

    Water filtration project for a class of 30 students
    Class 1: Discuss the physical properties and phase changes of water

    Class 2: Using a video and discussion show the students importance of water filtration. The need in polluted areas or underdeveloped countries

    Class 3: Discuss different filtration techniques. And come up with a list of ideas that can be done in a classroom setting

    Class 4: Allow students to work in groups and create a device from a previously discussed technique to purify water

  5. 1. According to the Kolb “Kite” Model I am an accomodator, I use concrete experience and active experimentation. Learning or figuring this about myself was not surprising since I knew I was a “hands-on” person.

    2. For the water filtration exercise we would have done the following steps:
    – Introduction of the concept and purpose of the class, that session.
    – Break into teams and develop an experiment or project, make the students come with ideas.
    – Presentations of students’ projects
    – Discussion of results and future work, what could be improved?

    3. For question number 2 on Blackboard – the 4 lectures about a class for 30 students:

    I would use a solar powered system to provide electricity to places where it is hard to get power lines.

    – Lecture 1: Introduction, explanation of importance of this project and ultimate goal, break group into teams.

    – Lecture 2: Let teams explain their approaches and possible methods of solving issue in hand.

    – Lecture 3: Presentations of possible solutions.

    – Lecture 4: Feedback and discussion of “best” approaches and actual implementation.

    “This information is mirrored on the PROF-it Professors-in-Training Blackboard site at UMBC.”

  6. I am a “Converger” because I absorb information abstractly and then process the information actively. In computer science courses, I often have to learn theoretical concepts and practically apply it for programming purposes so it is not a surprise.

    The Kolb Learning Styles method uses four different categories to describe the learning process of an individual. In the Myers Briggs assessment, there are 16 different categories to describe personality types. Both methods may be used in conjunction to understand how students learn and can successfully work as a team with others with different personality types.

    Having learned about Teaching and Learning styles, I will incorporate a variety of activities to teach a class in programming Java for 30 students.

    Week 1
    Lecture 1: Explain the expectation of team project for programming Java. I will provide an example of a similar Java project from a previously taught class or provide my own example.

    Lecture 2: I will provide real world examples and problems that show why the theoretical and technical material will be useful. I will explain the importance of learning concepts from completing the project.

    Week 2
    Lecture 3: Ask students to form teams of four. Ask teams to write ideas and submit.

    Lecture 4: Ask teams to orally present their area of interest and provide a flowchart of steps that they would follow to complete the problem.

    • “This information is mirrored on the PROF-it Professors-in-Training Blackboard site at UMBC.”

  7. Based on the descriptions of the learning styles in the inventory, I would fit the Accommodator learning style. I view myself as an experimentalist and prefer to learn via hands on demonstrations and trial and error. Based on my experiences; I learn best when employing the Accommodator style of learning.

    In order to teach students who prefer practical application I would provide numerous visual aids as well as hands-on demonstrations which help convey the topic.

    For the water filtration activity that we were asked to examine I would start by explaining the necessary background information using traditional lecture format. I would follow the lecture with an experiment or demonstration that covers the same concept or idea being discussed. This method would cover the various learning types that could be present in my class.

    In order to ensure the lesson plan is long enough for a 2 week period, I’d set up an lab experiment to test various methods of water filtration and then have students evaluate each method and offer critique on how it could be improved.

    “This information is mirrored on the PROF-it Professors-in-Training Blackboard site at UMBC.”

  8. My learning style is “Converger.” The concepts I come across in classes, I always try to process them logically, compare the more abstract concepts to the basic ones, and derive the concept using deductive reasoning. I am also interested in applying new analysis to real problems to be able to see the application of these methods.

    Topic – Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors

    Class 1: Background information regarding eigenvectors from Linear Algebra. How to solve for eigenvalues and vectors.

    Class 2: Properties of eigenvectors

    Class 3: Applications of Eigenvectors in Geology, PCA, Eigenfaces, etc. Assign a project on eigenfaces for the class.

    Class 4: Review the project and the understanding of the concepts behind it.

    As a “converger,” I would incorporate multiple questions in each class to keep the class engaged and let the class derive answers to the questions.

    “This information is mirrored on the PROF-it Professors-in-Training Blackboard site at UMBC.”

  9. According to the Kolb Model my learning style is converger. This was not a surprise because convergers tend to take ideas and develop practical applications for them.

    Water Filtration Exercise
    Initially my group thought about the different types of water filtration methods that could be used to purify water. We placed our focus on how the process would be organized and which method would be most efficient based on the constraints of the area in which the water must be purified. Because my group was composed of convergers we explored methods that would aid students with our similar learning style. We also learn from hands-on work and make decisions and solve problems based of what we learn from practical applications. Through the water filtration activity, we will provide overviews of how to purify water and will encourage our students to try hands on activities to understand the process.

    I would present the water filtration activities to a class using the following class breakdown.

    Class 1: During the first class I would focus on engaging the students. I would find ways to relate the class topic to students’ interests. I would require all students to participate and give feedback on what they want to learn or experience before the end of the class.

    Class 2 and Class 3: Students will be taught the key lessons during these classes. I would provide examples of what the students will be expected to retain from the class. I would also create activities that would require students to create simulations on the focal points of the lesson.

    Class 4: This class will be used to review the lessons. Students will be evaluated to see how much information they retained.

    “This information is mirrored on the PROF-it Professors-in-Training Blackboard site at UMBC.”

  10. […] PROF-it Professors-in-Training 12/3, January 2011 $ opportunities for Grad Students, & 2011 Diss… ( […]

  11. […] PROF-it Professors-in-Training 12/3, January 2011 $$ opportunities for Grad Students, & 2011 Dis… […]

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