Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Chemistry (Chemistry Education)

First Advisor

Thomas A Holme


Observations of natural phenomena are made possible with the invention of scientific apparatus and instruments. The focus in science education, however, has primarily been on theories rather than what enables the development of such theories, and chemistry curricula reflect this tradition. Introducing students to the role of instruments in science, both in experimental and theoretical aspects, can improve students’ overall understanding of, and appreciation for scientific practices. In addition, students’ increased perception of how chemical concepts are developed and how scientific observations are made can advance their awareness of the nature of science, thereby improving scientific literacy. Integrating the idea that instruments hold a central role in scientific progression can be achieved in both laboratories and lectures, providing students with opportunities to connect concepts to history, scientific practices, and applications. This dissertation is comprised of a series of studies which explores the use of technology and context-based curricular approach to provide general chemistry students with more information about instruments and applications in chemistry. Based on constructivism and the theory of meaningful learning, the affective learning domain, such as attitudes and motivation, was assessed in both chemistry laboratory and lecture courses. An augmented reality tool designed to connect students to information about commonly used instruments in a general chemistry lab course, specifically a pH meter and conductivity meter, was developed, implemented, and its effects on student learning and attitudes were investigated. In addition, for a chemistry lecture course, a context-based curricular approach was taken to introduce students to chemical concepts related to real-life applications, as well as to the role of scientific instruments, and this effort was assessed.


Copyright Owner

Jiwoo An



File Format


File Size

167 pages