Profiles in Science

Luis E. Miramontes: Chemist and inventor of oral contraceptives

Teach with this

Supporting student learning

Assign the reading quiz

This module has a multiple-choice quiz associated with it that allows students to check their own answers and get feedback that helps them choose the correct answer. Ask them to report their score and reflect on the questions they missed.

Use a just-in-time approach for formative assessment

In a just-in-time approach, students submit responses to questions at least an hour before class, and no more than 24 hours before. You review their responses before class begins and adjust in-class activities to build on their current understanding and ideas. A simple question like, “What surprised you or interested you from this reading?” can elicit student ideas and help them connect personally to the reading.

The goal of assigning these questions to be completed before class is to allow you to see responses ahead of time, summarize their responses, and modify your teaching accordingly. It is helpful to keep the grading very simple so that you can read and give points for them very quickly, in 20-30 minutes prior to class. You can use a very simple, 2-point rubric for these questions that encourages complete responses over finding the "right" answer:

  • 2 points: Complete and thoughtful answer to the question
  • 1.5 points: Complete answer but does not go beyond what is written in text
  • 1 point: Partial answer, does not support response
  • 0.5 points: Minimal answer, just a few words
  • 0 points: No response
For future teachers: Show NGSS annotations

Do you have future teachers in your course? They will need to be comfortable with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) when they start teaching. You can help them gain confidence by encouraging them to use the toggle to show NGSS annotations in the modules, read the full annotations, and reflect on how the three dimensions of science and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas are integrated in the real process of science.

Deepening understanding

Explore the data and figures

Help your students engage with the data-rich figures and animations in their readings. These are available at high resolution by clicking on them: you can project them in class or print them out on handouts to serve as the starting point for group discussions. Ask students to explain the figure to each other, or generate questions about the figure. See our module Using Graphs and Visual Data in Science to help students practice explaining graphs.

Explore the scientists and their research

Help your students connect to scientists by further exploring the individuals they read about, or finding others who have worked on similar research.

You can also further explore their published papers with students. See our module Understanding Scientific Journals and Articles for ideas to help students read the literature.