CHEM 162 A: General Chemistry

Autumn 2020
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am / * *
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Download a copy of the Course Schedule:

  • 2020.09.29 version: DOCX | PDF
  • 2020.10.01 version: DOCX | PDF
    • Professional Development Assignment due dates added
    • Moved L1.4 from 10.16 to 10.14. The 10.16 Q&A is now dedicated to more discussion of L1.3-4

CHEMISTRY 162 A (12388)

Lessons:  Delivered asynchronously via Panopto recordings

Instructor Q&A Sessions:  M, W, F  9:30 – 10:20 am PT,  via Zoom (Meeting ID: 922 4395 1261 / Passcode: imfs)

Course Web Site: 

Registration Questions/Entry Codes: Chemistry Undergraduate Services | 


Course Instructor:   

Prof. Colleen Craig | | public office hours

Private Office Hours: If you would like to discuss something personal/private, please email me to schedule a private appointment. I will send you a private Zoom link. Private Office Hours will not be recorded.

Lab Instructor:                  

Prof. Andrea Carroll | | Office hours: email for Zoom appointment

Discussion Sections:  

Participation in the live Discussion Session during the scheduled time is required. Discussion Sections will not be recorded, but you may miss two during the quarter without penalty.  

All CHEM 162 A Discussion Sections take place on Thursday.

Section TA Email ( Time (PDT) Zoom Meeting Number password
AA Zach Ellsworth 8:30-9:20 AM 962 0417 6453 chemistry!
AB Dakta Kennedy 9:30-10:20 AM 887 090 438  
AC Yue Liu 9:30-10:20 AM 967 1540 4407 162ac
AD Anna Merkulova 9:30-10:20 AM 913 6500 1478 162ADds
AE Abbie Ganas 12:30-1:20 PM 206 290 5643 catsrule
AF Farhad Akrami 1:30-2:20 PM 424 367 2917 happy
AG Farhad Akrami 2:30-3:20 PM 424 367 2917 happy
AH Helen Larson 3:30-4:20 PM 920 9332 0067 yaychem
AI Abbie Ganas 4:30-5:20 PM 206 290 5643 catsrule
AJ Anna Merkulova 8:30-9:20 AM 996 6837 1732 162AJds
AK Zach Ellsworth 9:30-10:20 AM 944 4300 1996 chemistry!
AL Jasper Thompson 9:30-10:20 AM 961 9028 1323 162ALds
AM Jasper Thompson 8:30-9:20 AM 950 9928 3641 162AMds
AN Helen Larson 12:30-1:20 PM 934 8361 9937 yaychem


TA Office Hours on Zoom

You may attend any and all TA office hours! This means that you can get TWELVE hours per week of live help from TAs. The TAs can help you with pre-labs, data analysis, lab write-ups, and course content. TA Office Hours will not be recorded. 

Questions about the Course? Use Canvas Discussion Board.

With so many students in our classes, it’s simply not feasible for me or the TAs to respond to individual emails about the course content or schedule. If you have a question along these lines, please post it to the Canvas Discussion Board rather than emailing one of us directly. That way you will be accessing the collective knowledge of literally hundreds of people, who are all thinking about the same things as you. You are likely to receive an answer much more quickly than if you only email me or your TA. However, The TAs and I will be actively monitoring the discussion board and will answer questions as we find them. Many of your colleagues will probably have the same question as you, so posting your question on Canvas helps everyone in the class.

How to help me respond to your email:

I receive a lot of emails. I will do my best to respond within 48 hours to an email you send me, but to maximize your chances of hearing back, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Email me about private matters, such as grades, or requests for private appointments. Questions about course content or the course schedule should be posted to the Canvas Discussion Board.
  2. Use or a Canvas email.  (FYI: Canvas is the best to use if you have a private matter to discuss regarding grades or other sensitive topics, because it is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Basically, that means the information you share with me is secure, and I can be sure that I am talking to you and not some rando with a hotmail account, because you have to log in to Canvas using your UW NetID credentials.)
  3. Indicate your section 
  4. Present yourself in a professional manner
    • Use an appropriate salutation (“Dear Dr. Craig,” or “Hi Dr. Craig,” etc.) and sign-off (“Best, Leslie Jones” or “Thanks, Jerrod Carmichael” etc.).
    • Write in complete sentences.
    • Employ proper punctuation and grammar

How to make an appointment to speak with me privately:

If you would like to schedule a time to speak with me privately, I am happy to meet with you! I will schedule student meetings in 15-minute blocks via Zoom. Private Zoom meetings will NOT be recorded. When you contact me to set up a meeting, please follow these steps:

  1. Send me an email. I will not remember to put our meeting in my calendar if we only speak in person.
  2. Indicate whether you want to schedule a private meeting (if you have questions about grades, DRS accommodations, etc.), or if other students may attend (if you want to discuss course content).
  3. Suggest two or three possible days for our meeting, and give me your detailed schedule on those days. I will email you back with a 15-minute block that will work for both of us.
  4. Confirm via email that the day and time I suggest will work for you. I will send you a Zoom link once you have confirmed our appointment.
  5. If you have to reschedule or cancel a meeting we’ve set, let me know as soon as possible.



Your experience in this class is important to us, and it is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. Disability Resources for Students (DRS) offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.  If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary or permanent disability that requires accommodations, you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or visit  If you have already established accommodations with DRS, the information for the Alternative Testing Contract will be submitted to DRS via their online system. Students with accommodations are solely responsible for scheduling the exams with DRS well in advance of the exam dates.  Regarding lab reports and accommodations for “quick turnaround assignments”: because students will have >24 hours after their lab session to upload in-lab reports into Gradescope and a full week for take-home reports, there will not be DRS-related deadline extensions for Chem 162 reports.  


Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( ). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form ( ).


Except where indicated, all items are required and available from the University Bookstore:

  • Chemical Principles, 6th ed., Atkins/Jones/Laverman (custom-split Chem 162 version contains Chapters 4, 6, 7, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 as well as the introductory Fundamentals Section and the student solutions manual for these chapters).
  • Study Guide, Chemical Principles, 7th ed., Zumdahl/Kelter (optional).
  • UW General Chemistry 162 Laboratory Manual, Autumn 2020-Summer 2021 (Hayden McNeil; e-book via link available through UW Bookstore or on the Labs Canvas site); Note that you do NOT need goggles and lab coats this quarter. Labs will be run online with your TA and section at the times published in the UW Time Schedule.
  • Scientific calculator
  • ALEKS access. Purchase online:  (see ALEKS info on the course website for more information).
  • Daily online access to Canvas ( and the Zoom app (within Canvas or at You can look for WA State Drive-in wifi hotpsots if needed. For Discussion and Lab Sessions you must be able to participate in Zoom calls by voice. If your computer does not have a microphone, you may need to log in with your phone. 
  • Ability to convert a sheet of paper and/or file into a pdf. You do not need a separate scanner. Free apps are available for smartphones – the Gradescope instructions page of the Labs site has more details.
  • You do NOT need a printer.


Despite the transition to remote teaching due to COVID-19, many course fees remain as important and relevant in supporting coursework in an online environment. The Chemistry Department has reviewed all course fees related to Autumn 2020 courses and determined that course fees still apply to online versions. More specifically, course fees during Autumn 2020 will be used for technical support staff salaries, equipment maintenance, and software used in teaching laboratory courses. All of these items and services were used in previous quarters and continue to be used to provide remote instruction. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Co-Associate Chemistry Chairs for Undergraduate Education, Prof. Forrest Michael ( and Prof. Gary Drobny (


Students who successfully complete CHEM 162 will be able to

  • Explain the properties of chemical molecules using bonding models, including hybridization and molecular orbital theory, with the understanding of their limitations.
  • At a beginning level, analyze spectroscopic results to determine the structure of molecules.
  • Use isomerism (structural, geometric, and stereo) to explain variation in chemical and physical properties.
  • Explain macroscopic properties based on intermolecular forces within the chemical system.
  • Describe the structure and properties of the liquid and solid states, as well as phase changes, at the particulate and macroscopic levels.
  • Explain the chemical, physical, and thermodynamic properties of solutions at the particulate and macroscopic level.
  • Apply bonding models to the structural study of organic molecules and transition metal coordination complexes.
  • Illustrate the concepts of kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibria through application to organic and transition metal chemistry.
  • Develop skill in visualizing the particulate level as related to the concepts above.
  • Relate empirical observations, particularly in the laboratory portion of the course, to concepts listed above.
  • Demonstrate laboratory, data analysis, and scientific writing skills.


The course consists of:

  • 3 lessons per week – Panopto Recordings in Canvas
  • 1 discussion section per week – with TA via Zoom Meetings in Canvas
  • 1 three-hour laboratory session certain weeks of the quarter (5 labs total – Labs will be run online with your TA and section at the times published in the UW Time Schedule. See the 162 Laboratory Resources page of the course website for details.) 
  • Daily work in the ALEKS online learning environment
  • Online prelab assignments and online submission of post-lab reports, delivered via Canvas
  • Online quizzes and exams, delivered via Canvas

The point distribution for the evaluative components of the course is as follows:

Professional Development Assignments


Concept Tests (embedded in Panopto Lesson videos)


Discussion Section Participation


ALEKS (50% Objectives, 50% Pie Mastery)




Quizzes (4 highest scores out of 5 total quizzes; 11%/each)


Final Exam 




Professional Development Assignments

There will be a series of Professional Development assignments in this course, delivered via Canvas. These are intended to help you develop as a scholar and budding professional in your field. The tasks on these assignments may be related to:

      • helping you develop metacognition skills 
      • bringing your attention to undergraduate research opportunities, and to help develop application materials for such positions
      • introducing you to seminars and refereed-journal articles, standard methods by which scientists communicate their research findings 

Details will be posted as the quarter goes on. These will be graded on participation and good faith effort only. The Professional Development Assignments category represents 4% of your course grade.

Concept Tests embedded in Panopto 

Students will earn 1 participation point for every Concept Test embedded in the Panopto videos. To earn these points, you must watch the videos and answer the Concepts Tests by 9:30 AM PT on the day the Lesson assignment is due. Your Concept Tests points will not immediately show up in the gradebook...we will need to run a report and upload them into Canvas manually. We aim to have them posted on a roughly weekly basis.

At the end of the quarter, any student with at least 75% of the Concept Test points will be awarded full credit for this category. So, don't worry if you miss completing a few here and there.

You do not have to get the Concept Tests correct to earn credit. They will be graded on participation  only. However, note that there is no way for me to make the Panopto quizzes it will look like you are being graded when you complete them in Panopto. But, we will just track whether you completed the CT at all when we award points, no matter what answer you chose. 

You will not be able to retake any of  the Concept Tests (but remember they are only graded on participation, not accuracy!). This is so that I will know what your first choice answer was, which will help me plan the synchronous Q&A sessions. If there is a Concept Test that the majority of the class misses on the first try, then I will spend time reviewing that concept during the subsequent Q&A to make sure everyone in the class understands it. 

The Concept Test portion of the course is worth 4% of your course grade.

Discussion Section Participation

Discussion section will be conducted via Zoom during the regularly-scheduled discussion section time. To earn your participation credit, you must arrive on time and participate in good faith during the Discussion Section, not simply be in attendance. The two lowest Discussion Section scores will be dropped, allowing you to miss two without penalty. The Discussion Section Participation category represents 5% of your course grade.


Your ALEKS grade is constructed from your objective scores and the percent of the pie you complete by the end of the quarter. The more of the pie you complete, the higher your ALEKS score will be, but you do not have to complete the entire pie to earn credit for ALEKS. Similarly, you do not have to complete all the topics in an Objective to earn credit. Whatever percentage of topics you complete by the due date will be your score for that Objective. The Objective and Pie Mastery portions of your ALEKS grade are weighted equally. They each represent 7.5% of your overall course grade, so altogether the ALEKS category represents 15% of your course grade.


The Laboratory portion of this course will be conducted via Zoom during the regularly-schedule lab session. More details about lab can be found on the 162 Lab Canvas page. The Laboratory category represents 13% of your course grade.


Quizzes will be delivered every other Friday (starting in Week 2) during the regularly-scheduled class session. Each quiz will focus on the most recent set of lectures, but chemistry is a cumulative subject by nature, so I will assume that you have a firm understanding of material from earlier in the quarter and from previous courses when I write the quiz questions. There will be five quizzes total but I will only keep your four best scores. The Quiz category represents 44% of your course grade

Final Exam

The Final Exam will be delivered during the regularly-scheduled final exam session for this course. The Final Exam is cumulative. I will provide details about the percentage by points of each course unit on the final towards the end of the quarter. The Final Exam represents 15% of your course grade.

Grade Distribution

The final mean GPA in Chemistry 1x2 generally falls within the range 2.6-2.9. It is the Chemistry Department’s policy not to make grade changes of 0.1 after final class grades are submitted to the UW Registrar.

How course grades are calculated: I use the equation of a line between (~95%, 4.0) and (~40%, 0.7) to convert course percentages into GPs. Then, the average grade tends to fall in the range 2.6-2.9. I do not set the average to fall in this range. This means your grade in the course does not depend on anyone else's grade! Grades in this class are not zero sum. 

Monitor your Scores

Your scores for Participation, Lab, and Exams  will be recorded using the Canvas Gradebook. Your ALEKS scores can be monitored through the Gradebook and Reports tabs on ALEKS. Your overall ALEKS grade will be imported to the Canvas Gradebook at the end of the quarter.


Original work performed in good faith is assumed on all assignments and course components.

The Student Conduct Code (see prohibits several forms of academic misconduct (see section 7: Prohibited Conduct), including:

  • Cheating
  • Falsification
  • Plagiarism
  • Unauthorized collaboration
  • Engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by an instructor
  • Recording and/or dissemination of instructional content without express permission of the instructor

Your submissions for online assignments and exams should be your own, individual work unless you are explicitly told otherwise. You will sign and submit an honor code statement for this course, and for all quizzes/exams in this course.

For exams and/or quizzes, you may not seek out or accept any input from other individuals, and you may not communicate with other members of the class or provide assistance to other students during or after the assignments unless an instructor explicitly allows for that collaboration.

It is presumed that the data you submit in the lab reports is what was provided to you by the instructor. All data analysis and written/typed calculations and responses that you submit should be yours alone. We often find examples of plagiarism in which lab reports are copied from someone else, or from an earlier quarter.​ In short, if you have not done something yourself, do not attempt to pass it off as original work. If you have questions about what might cross the line, please do not hesitate to ask your lab or class instructor prior to submitting your work. 

You are prohibited from sharing content from any assignments, quizzes, exams, labs, etc. with any non-UW course content repositories. Examples include BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: Chegg, CourseHero, Reddit, SnapChat, etc. NOTE: This prohibition applies whether or not the assignment deadline has passed. For example, you may not post exam questions to Chegg, etc. even after the key to the exam has been posted. If you have questions about how to solve a question from the exam, reach out to a member of the teaching team.

Failure to adhere to this code of ethics will result in referral for possible disciplinary action as described in the Student Conduct Code.


Lesson Content

Formal lesson content will be delivered via Panopto recordings. These videos will have embedded concept tests to help you engage with the material. However, they will not be graded...they are including solely for your benefit.

A schedule for the chapters to be covered each week is available in the Canvas calendar for this course. You are responsible for material covered in class AND in the textbook (whether or not it was covered in the lesson videos). The Lessons will cover only highlights of the textbook material.

PDFs of the lesson notes I will present in each class are available on the Course Topics module. All lessons will be recorded using the Panopto lecture capture system

Craig Q&A Sessions

During the regularly-scheduled class time, I will hold "Craig Q&A" sessions via Zoom. I will respond to the evolving needs/preferences of the class in terms of how these sessions are structured.  

Attendance at the Instructor Q&A sessions is encouraged, but not required. If you don’t plan to pay attention during a Q&A session, don’t come. These sessions will all be recorded and made available on Panopto, so you can watch them at your leisure.


The weekly Discussion Section will be facilitated by your TA via Zoom. The primary activities during Discussion Section will include:

  • TA fielding questions about lab, quizzes, general course content, etc.
  • working with your remote colleagues on worksheet problems relevant to current course topics.

The worksheet problems are intended to help you synthesize the material covered in the previous week’s lectures, therefore, they will be quite challenging. A blank version of the worksheet will be available at least a week in advance of a particular Discussion Section. You can find them in the relevant weekly module. The worksheet key will be available on Thursday evening each week.

Participation during the regularly-scheduled Discussion Section is required. To earn participation credit, arrive to discussion section on time and collaborate in good faith with your colleagues. If you arrive late, or if you engage in activities unrelated to the course, you will not be awarded participation credit for that day. 

You may miss up to two Discussion Sections without penalty.


This course uses the internet-based learning program ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces). In ALEKS, you will complete learning objectives rather than traditional homework assignments. An ALEKS Objective contains topics relevant to the lecture discussions. ALEKS will present you with a series of problems that explore a particular topic. The problems will have enough variability that you will only be able to get them consistently correct by understanding the core principle or skill defining the topic. Once you consistently answer the problems for a given topic correctly, ALEKS will conclude that you have learned the topic, and you will then be allowed to choose another topic to learn (refer to the ALEKS Orientation posted on the course website for more details). Your daily/weekly work on ALEKS will be on your own schedule outside of class, although there are specific deadlines by which you must complete various Objectives. The registration code for your ALEKS course can be downloaded from Canvas. Make sure that you register for the ALEKS course specific to your section of 1x2.

The registration code for your ALEKS course can be downloaded from the ALEKS module. 

Your first task in ALEKS will be to complete an Initial Knowledge Check. This is ALEKS’s way of assessing your current knowledge of math and chemistry, so that it can guide you appropriately. The Knowledge Check will contain 25-30 questions and shouldn’t take more than 40-60 minutes to complete. You will probably be asked a few questions that you don’t know how to answer. Don’t worry…the ALEKS system is only determining your knowledge baseline so that it can be tailored to address your specific needs. When you use ALEKS, you will complete the learning tasks you need and not those somebody else needs. After you complete the Initial Knowledge Check, ALEKS will provide one-on-one instruction intended specifically for you. ALEKS will also give you a new Knowledge Check after you complete each Objective, so that it can track your evolving knowledge state as you move through the material, and continue to tailor its approach to your unique learning path.

You, alone, are responsible for monitoring the due date and time for all ALEKS Objectives. Note that it is not possible to open up an ALEKS Objective 3 or 4 hours before it’s due and be able to complete it. ALEKS will not let you access the problems corresponding to the more advanced topics in an Objective until you have mastered the basics, so you will need to spend time nearly every day on ALEKS to complete the Objectives. The schedule of Objectives and their due dates is available on the Canvas course site.


There are five quizzes in this course, delivered every other Friday (starting in Week 2). The lowest score among the five quizzes will be dropped. The dates for the quizzes will be provided in the course schedule on Canvas. Quizzes will be delivered during the regularly-scheduled class time.

Each quiz will focus on the most recent set of lessons, but chemistry knowledge is cumulative by nature, so the quiz questions will often depend on knowledge from earlier chapters and courses. Information about quiz length and coverage will be posted in the relevant weekly module as each quiz date nears.

Quiz keys will be available on Canvas after grading has been completed.


The final exam will be delivered during the regularly-scheduled final exam session for this course. The final exam will be cumulative over the quarter. Information about quiz length and coverage will be posted as the final exam date nears.

The final exam key will not be posted on Canvas. However, you may contact Prof. Craig after the quarter to review your final and the key.


  1. Participate in ALL available sessions, pay close attention, and take notes. 
  2. Learning chemistry is a sequential process. You must understand today’s material before you can understand tomorrow's. As with all courses at UW, your instructors and TAs will assume that you are studying at least two hours for each hour of lecture and one hour for every hour of lab. Find a place that allows for periods of uninterrupted study. Skim through chapter or sections to be covered in the next lecture.
  3. Working in shorter, more frequent sessions in ALEKS will be more efficient than long, marathon sessions.
  4. Practice! Work on suggested end-of-the-chapter problems as well as topics in ALEKS - focus on understanding the concepts and general processes, not just memorizing how to solve a specific problem.
  5. Talk chemistry with fellow Chem 162 students. You will not only learn more, but you will probably also enjoy the course more. This is a much bigger challenge with remote learning, but also so much more important when there are not in-person sessions. Use the discussion board, chats, etc. to create study groups for talking about the course content.


  1. Ask questions in person during class, discussion section, or office hours.
  2. Ask questions on course discussion board. While you are there, take a look at your classmates’ posts and see whether you can help them. Learning happens when people share experiences, knowledge, and ideas.
  3. Form your own study group. Try using the course discussion board to find interested classmates. You have your own Zoom account, so you can connect virtually to discuss the course!
  4. The Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE) offers free drop-in tutoring for Chemistry during 10:00 am - 3:00 pm (Pacific) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday via Zoom. See the CLUE website for more information. 
  5. The Instructional Center offers free drop-in tutoring, review sessions, study skills seminars, and more for students who are members of TRIO or EOP (students who are not members of TRIO or EOP may apply to access IC services on a space-available basis). For more information, visit the IC website.
Catalog Description:
Molecular bonding theories, liquids, solids, solutions, and introduction to organic and transition metal chemistry. Includes laboratory. No more than 5 credits can be counted toward graduate from the following course group: CHEM 162, CHEM 165. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 1.7 in CHEM 152. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements Met:
Natural Sciences (NSc)
Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)
Last updated:
April 17, 2024 - 5:18 pm