DESIGN AND ASSESSMENT OF A NEW COMPUTER-ASSISTED APPLICATION FOR THE ACID-BASE TITRATION STUDIES IN A SELF-LEARNING CONTEXT
The benefits of using new technology tools, to promote students’ knowledge and learning, have been already proved in a number of different educational contexts. Computer-assisted learning constitutes a suitable alternative to reinforce theoretical or numerical concepts through an interactive way. This is especially relevant in distance education systems, such as open universities or in the virtual courses of regular universities. Thus, in this research, a new computer application is proposed to promote the self-learning of the acid-base equilibrium studies in undergraduate education. Acid-base equilibrium plays an important role in general chemistry syllabuses, being a common feature in overall chemistry curriculum. The designed and implemented application has been written under the MATLAB environment and in the basis of pop-up windows, where only elementary MATLAB knowledge is required. With this application, students will be able to practice with comprehensive acid-base titration options such as the titration of strong, weak or polyfunctional acids and bases and, for each titration, different concentration of each compound as well as the titration volume can be selected. As a result, the software plots the titration curve (mL vs pH) and the first and second derivative of this former curve as well, together with the numerical results. In addition, concentration diagrams are displayed, i.e. log of the samples participating in the titration vs. pH. Thus, it will be easy to follow how the acid-base titration is happening. To check the suitability of the designed and implemented application, a post-task survey was carried out among different types of users (professor, undergraduate and postgraduate students and other professionals), resulting that over 80 % of the participants recommended to using this application.