CH 220: Building Bonds with Interactive Lewis Structures

The goal of this project was to help students acquire Lewis Structure knowledge in General Chemistry in preparation for Organic Chemistry. Lewis Structures are diagrams that show the bonding between atoms of a molecule and the lone pairs of electrons that may exist in the molecule. A Lewis Structure can be drawn for any covalently bonded molecule, as well as coordination compounds. The Lewis Structure was named after Gilbert N. Lewis.

Instructional Challenges

  • Students find the task challenging.
  • Students needed a tool to aid their learning of the Lewis Structure.


  • A web app, Lewis Structure Builder, was developed to allow students to review asynchronously, position atoms, build and break bonds and get feedback.
  • The development of the app was intuitive.
  • The app required little training.
  • The app was developed for desktops, laptops, or mobile.
  • Students received visual and haptic feedback.
  • The pilot study involved 37 students in Organic Chemistry I, and students were given an assessment to determine proficiency in drawing Lewis Structures.
  • After the assessment, students could use the web app and complete a post-test.
  • 27% students showed improved outcomes.
  • Most students reported satisfaction with UI and benefits of using app.
  • Students who struggled showed improvement after using web app.

Related Links

Lewis Structure Builder

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