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Extra Credit

Encouraging Students to Attend the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day

Past Assignments

Note: URCAD will be held on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 in the University Center and in the Performing Arts and Humanities Buildings. This is a free event and is open to all UMBC students, faculty, families and friends.

Below is a sampling of extra credit assignments from UMBC Instructors for encouraging students to attend URCAD and reflect on what they learned. URCAD offers a unique opportunity for students to interact with their peers, faculty, and staff, and receive feedback on their research, practice public speaking, and engage in intellectual exchanges with folks from both within and outside of their fields. Please encourage your students to attend URCAD presentations, engage with presenters by asking questions, and reflect on what they learned by writing or presenting their own summaries. Encourage them to participate in URCAD and other undergraduate research events next year!


Ancient Studies, David Rosenbloom: Many of our instructors offer one percent extra-credit for attending URCAD presentations by Ancient Studies students and for writing a short essay about one presentation. Some instructors pose specific questions about the presentation for their students to answer in a short-essay format; others ask their students to paraphrase the arguments made in a particular presentation and to assess their validity based upon the evidence and the quality of the inferences drawn from it.

Bioinformatics, Maricel Kann and Ivan Erill: Students will earn one percent of extra credit by attending URCAD.

Biology 305, Sarah Leupen: Students will one point on the final exam by attending URCAD.

Biology, Steve Miller: My syllabus has a place for token extra-credit opportunities for students. URCAD attendance with a write up on a student oral or poster presentation can earn one percent toward the final grade.

Chemistry, Lisa Kelly: Students must listen to at least one presenter (oral or poster) and ask that presenter a good, relevant question. The student turns in a written paragraph describing the question, the answer, and the student’s insight about whether the answer was a good one.

Chemistry, Mark Perks: Students can earn one extra-credit point in their final grade by writing a short synopsis of one of the science posters which includes a question to the presenter and their reply.

Chemistry 102L, Paul Smith: Students are required to submit a one-page summary about a poster or presentation and can also earn extra credit by attending and talking to a student about their poster.

Information Systems, Amy Everhart: Students received extra credit if they talk with two poster presenters or listen to two orals presentations and write a paragraph or two about what they learn. Many of the students were unaware that research could be conducted in a non-science field and still be legitimate.

Interdisciplinary Studies 330, Steven McAlpine: Students are given extra credit for attending one presentation or interviewing one poster presenter and then writing an analysis of the interdisciplinarity of their research.

Interdisciplinary Studies 480 Capstone Project Seminar, Steve Freeland: A formal assignment in this course is to attend at least two oral presentations and critique using the rubric provided in class.

Psychology, Charissa Cheah: Students receive one percent bonus point if they attend any of three designated oral presentations (one percent for each presentation) during URCAD. Students listen to the presenter and ask that presenter a good, relevant question. Students then turn in a written paragraph describing the research presentation, and a second paragraph describing the question they asked, the answer, and their insight/critique of the answer to their question.

Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics, Zoe Warwick: Students attend URCAD during class time with a worksheet of questions to ask presenters: How did the researcher become interested in this? What research methods were used? What did the student learn? What would he or she have done differently? What are some future directions identified by the researcher? Are there additional future directions you could imagine that were not identified?

Science 100, Suzanne Braunsweig: I give SCI 100 students class time to attend URCAD. Attending URCAD and discussing it on the discussion board on Black Board is a way to earn participation points, similar to going to a seminar or other professional activity.

What if there are no URCAD presentations this year in my discipline?

Consider assigning students to attend URCAD to see the work being done in other disciplines. Extra credit could be offered for a short e-mail report describing the presentations the student attended and ideas the student now has for work he or she could do next year that would be appropriate to present at URCAD. Graduating seniors could suggest work to be conducted by younger students.

For more information contact: Dr. April Householder, aprilh@umbc.edu