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  1. Abstract

    Developing and using scientific models is an important scientific practice for science students. Undergraduate chemistry curricula are often centered on established disciplinary models, and assessments typically provide students with opportunities to use these models to predict and explain chemical phenomena. However, traditional curricula generally provide few opportunities for students to consider the epistemic nature of models and the process of modeling. To gain a sense of how introductory chemistry students understand model changeability, model multiplicity, the evaluation of models, and the process of modeling, we use a construct‐mapping approach to characterize the sophistication of students' epistemic knowledge of models and modeling. We present a set of four related construct maps that we developed based on the work of other scholars and empirically validated in an undergraduate introductory chemistry setting. We use the construct maps to identify themes in students' responses to an open‐ended survey instrument, the models in chemistry survey, and discuss the implications for teaching.