Date of Award

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Anja Blecking

Committee Members

Kristen L Murphy, Mark L Dietz, Joseph H Aldstadt, Shama P Mirza, Renee S Cole


Acid-base, Chemistry, Education, Models


Teaching scientific concepts is very complex and includes the discussion and use of different models that support students’ understanding of particle-level interactions and behavior of chemical phenomena. The presented research describes the development of three-dimensional acid-base models and an accompanying learning module to support students’ understanding of the autoionization of water, acidic strength, pH, and Ka in aqueous acid-base chemistry. The model set includes acid and base models embedded with magnets and removable hydrogen atoms or hydroxide groups to model particle-level interactions. The magnetic models allow students to investigate particle-level processes with student-built models of aqueous acid and base systems. To asses student learning gains, this research discusses the development and validation process of a pre- and post-assessment and the results after the implementation of the learning module in an analytical chemistry course. In addition, follow-up interviews with participants were conducted to support the results of the analysis and clarify students’ responses to assessment items.

Included in

Chemistry Commons