Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Suazette Mooring

Second Advisor

Jun Yin

Third Advisor

Samer Gozem


This dissertation focuses on investigating undergraduate students' problem-solving abilities in the challenging domain of proton (1H) NMR spectroscopy and aims to develop an effective assessment tool to evaluate students' conceptual knowledge in this area. The study is divided into two distinct phases to comprehensively explore and address the research objectives. In the first phase, qualitative interviews were conducted with undergraduate students to delve into their problem-solving approaches when confronted with a proton NMR task. Also, this study aimed to identify common alternative conceptions that students demonstrate during proton NMR problem-solving. The second phase of the study involved the development of an NMR concept inventory, meticulously designed to serve as a robust assessment tool for evaluating students' conceptual understanding of proton NMR. This dissertation presents a detailed and systematic account of the step-by-step process employed in crafting the concept inventory. The inventory places particular emphasis on assessing students' comprehension of fundamental concepts such as signal counting, splitting, and chemical shift, as well as their ability to effectively integrate these concepts to solve complex problems associated with proton NMR. This research makes significant contributions to the field of chemistry education by advancing our understanding of undergraduate students' problem-solving approaches within the realm of proton NMR spectroscopy. Moreover, the development of the NMR concept inventory offers a reliable and valid tool for accurately assessing students' conceptual knowledge in this challenging subject matter. Consequently, this dissertation presents a comprehensive exploration of proton NMR problem solving, providing valuable insights and practical implications for enhancing teaching and learning practices in this specialized area of study.


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