CHEM 162 A: General Chemistry

Autumn 2021
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am / KNE 120
Section Type:
Jacob Finney
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Download a copy of the Course Schedule:

  • 2021-09-29 version: DOCX | PDF
  • 2021-10-13 version: DOCX | PDF
    • UPDATES: Reading assignments for L1.2 (10-04), L1.3 (10-08), and L1.4 (10-11) have been corrected. 
  • 2021-11-11 version: DOCX | PDF
    • UPDATES: We are about one day behind the original in-class discussion schedule. As a result, the following items have been modified:
      • Discussion topics and related Active Reading assignments for 11-15, 11-17, 11-19, and 11-24 
      • ALEKS Objs 6, 7, and 8 

CHEMISTRY 162 A (12499)

Lessons:  Delivered asynchronously via Panopto recordings

Class Sessions:  M, W, F  9:30 – 10:20 am PTKNE 120

Course Web Site: 

Registration Questions/Entry Codes: Chemistry Undergraduate Services | 


Course Instructor:   

Prof. Colleen Craig | | BAG 202 C | public office hours

Private Office Hours: If you would like to discuss something personal/private, please email me to schedule a private appointment. 

Lab Instructor:

Prof. Andrea Carroll | | Office hours: email for 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 one during the quarter without penalty.  

All CHEM 162 A Discussion Sections take place on Thursday.

Details about Discussion Section schedule, location, and teaching assistants
Section TA Email ( Time (PDT)


 Jacob Finney  finneyjm

 8:30-9:20 am


 Jacob Finney


 9:30-10:20 am


 Melanie Cash


 9:30-10:20 am


 Erin Dunnington


 9:30-10:20 am


 Andy Wong


 12:30-1:20 pm


 Erin Dunnington


 1:30-2:20 pm


 Xiaofei (Betty) Guo


 2:30-3:20 pm


 Ryan Jiang  rjiang2

 3:30-4:20 pm


 Timothy Trinklein


 4:30-5:20 pm


 Stephanie Hanna


 8:30-9:20 am


 Stephanie Hanna


 9:30-10:20 am


 Yue Liu


 9:30-10:20 am


 William Miller


 8:20-9:20 am


 William Miller


 12:30-1:20 pm


CHEM 162 A TA Office Hours

All TAs will hold office hours in the Chemistry Study Center, BAG 330. You may attend any and all TA office hours! This means that you can get FOURTEEN hours per week of live help from TAs. The TAs can help you with pre-labs, data analysis, lab write-ups, and course content.

Study Center Learning Mentor Office Hours—SCHEDULE TBD

In addition to CHEM 162 A TAs, you have access to two Study Center Learning Mentor TAs, who will also hold office hours in the Chem Study Center. The Learning Mentors are available to counsel you one-on-one in metacognitive learning strategies, which will help lower barriers to your success! They will also hold periodic workshops on the application of these techniques. The workshop schedule will be announced once details are finalized. 

Course Communications

General questions about the course? Use Ed Discussion.

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 Ed Discussion 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 the discussion board 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 Ed Discussion.
  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. Meeting can be held either in person or on Zoom. 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. Indicate whether your prefer an in-person or Zoom meeting. If Zoom, I will send you a meeting link once we confirm a day and time. Note: Depending on the day/time, I may only be available via Zoom. 
  4. 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.
  5. Confirm via email that the day and time I suggest will work for you. 
  6. 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.

Course Materials

  • 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).
  • UW General Chemistry 162 Laboratory Manual, Autumn 2021-Summer 2022 (Hayden McNeil).
  • UW Chemistry Laboratory Notebook (Hayden McNeil) with numbered pages and carbonless duplicate pages. You may continue to use a notebook from a previous quarter if it meets the stated criteria and has at least 30 pages available.
  • Lab coat and safety goggles (NO safety glasses or any other type of goggles).
  • Scientific calculator. Graphing/text-entry calculators WILL NOT be permitted on exams.
  • ALEKS access. Purchase online: (see ALEKS info on the course website for more information). If your financial aid is delayed, contact your instructor for a temporary access code.

 Internet and Instructional Technology

  • Access to a computer or tablet. Student Technology Loan Program funded through Student Technology Fees
  • Daily online access to Canvas ( and ALEKS. Weekly online access to Gradescope ( All necessary links are available on the course Canvas site.
  • Internet access. Students in WA State without broadband internet service: visit WA State Drive-in wifi hotpsots.
  • Ability to convert a sheet of paper and/or file into a pdf. You do NOT need a printer or separate scanner for this course, but submissions cannot be a group of individual image files. Free scanning apps are available for smartphones (such as Genius Scan and Scannable) – the Gradescope instructions page of the Labs site has more details for using these apps.


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:

  • 2-3 video lessons per week – Panopto Recordings in Canvas
  • in-person class sessions per week, focusing on content discussion and problem-solving (attendance at these sessions is strongly encouraged, but optional)
  • 1 in person discussion section per week – with TA via Zoom Meetings in Canvas
  • 1 in person three-hour laboratory session certain weeks of the quarter (6 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
  • In person quizzes and exams, delivered during the regularly scheduled class and final exam sessions.

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

Category weights for overall course grade


Percent of grade

Research Surveys


Active Reading Assignments


Quiz Reflection Surveys


Discussion Section Participation


ALEKS (50% Objectives, 50% Pie Mastery)




Quizzes (5 highest scores out of 7 total quizzes; 13%/each)




Research Surveys (1%)

Your Research Surveys score is comprised of three surveys I will ask you to complete over the course of the quarter. These surveys are designed to assess your expectations about this chemistry course and your feelings towards the subject of chemistry in general. Each survey is worth 2 pts. All of the surveys will count towards your Research Surveys score (i.e., the lowest score will not be dropped). 

Active Reading Assignments (2%)

There will be an Active Reading Assignment in advance of each class day for you have an assigned reading. Each Active Reading Assignment will be worth 2 pts. The goal of these assignments is to give your brain the "big picture" of what it's about to learn, which will increase your ability to retain the information and subsequently build on it in class. Learn more about these assignments here: Active Reading AssignmentActive Reading Assignments are graded on completion only. The lowest 3 Active Reading scores will be dropped, allowing you to miss a few without penalty. 

Quiz Reflection Surveys (2%)

These surveys will guide you through a reflection on your exam/quiz preparation strategies, and an analysis of your quiz performance and the strategies that work best for you in learning the material for this course. Engaging with the survey questions sincerely will help you  build metacognition, a mental skill that allows you to keep track of which study habits work and which don't. There will be five Quiz Reflection Surveys total: three Pre-Quiz Reflections, and two Post-Quiz Reflections, distributed throughout the quarter. (Note that there will not be a pre- and post-quiz reflection for every quiz in this course.) Each Quiz Reflection Survey is worth 2 pts. All Quiz Reflection Surveys will count towards your score. 

Discussion Section Participation (2%)

Discussion section will be conducted in person 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. Each Discussion Section is graded out of 3 pts:

    • 1 pt for arriving on time
    • 2 pts for participating in good faith

The first Discussion Section (on 09-30) will not be graded. The subsequent lowest Discussion Section scores will be dropped, allowing you to miss one without penalty.

ALEKS (13%)

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 6.5% of your overall course grade. 

Laboratory (15%)

Your Laboratory grade is comprised of six prelab quizzes (5 pts/ea), six postlab reports (60 pts/ea), the Undergraduate Stockroom contract (5 pts), and the Safety Quiz (5 pts). All of the lab activities will count towards your score. More details about lab can be found on the 162 Lab Canvas page.

Quizzes (65%)

There are seven quizzes in this course. The lowest two scores among the seven quizzes will be dropped. The dates for the quizzes will be provided in the course schedule on Canvas. The first five quizzes will be delivered during the regularly-scheduled class time. The last two quizzes will be delivered during the final exam period.

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 module as each quiz date nears.

Quiz keys will be available on Canvas after grading has been completed, except for Quizzes 6 and 7 which will not be published. Scores for Quizzes 6 and 7 will be posted in the Canvas gradebook. You may make an appointment with me next quarter to view your responses and grading details for Quizzes 6 and 7.

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 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

You are required to sign and submit an honor code statement for this course, in which you will affirm your acknowledgment of what constitutes academic misconduct in this course as defined below. Failure to adhere to this code of ethics will result in referral for possible disciplinary action as described in the Student Conduct Code.

General policies for all course assignments

Your submissions for ALL assignments (including but not limited to homework assignments, lab reports, quizzes, and exams) should be your own individual work unless you are explicitly told otherwise by your instructor.

You are strictly prohibited from sharing any content from ANY assignment (including but not limited to homework assignments, lab reports, quizzes, and exams) with any website or app (including but not limited to Discord, Chegg, Course Hero, and Snapchat) or any other course content repository (virtual OR physical) that is not explicitly approved by the instructor. This prohibition applies both during the quarter that you are taking this course and any time after the course ends.

Specific policies for exams and quizzes

During exams and/or quizzes, you may not seek out or accept any input from ANY other individual, whether or not they are a classmate. Further, you may not provide assistance to other students during the availability window for an exam or quiz unless an instructor explicitly allows for that collaboration.

Specific policies for lab reports

It is presumed that the data you record and report in laboratory is your work. All data analysis and written/typed calculations and responses that you submit should be yours alone, even if you collected data with a laboratory partner. We often find examples of plagiarism in which lab reports are copied from someone else, or from an earlier quarter and examples of improper collaboration in which lab reports or portions of lab reports are posted or shared for other people to view.

We understand that it can be difficult for students to discern what constitutes good-faith collegial support on lab reports, and what constitutes plagiarism or cheating. While we often find examples of explicit plagiarism in which lab reports are directly copied from a student in the current quarter or an earlier quarter,​ we also find many cases of students “over collaborating,” resulting in reports that are essentially identical or extremely similar with only minor edits made to achieve minimal differences between the reports. This does not meet our expectation that you are submitting your own independent work. 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 will not get in trouble for asking this type of question!


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 included 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 will be available on the Unit modules. All in-person lessons will be recorded using the Panopto lecture capture system

In-Person Class Sessions

During the regularly-scheduled class time, we will engage in learning activities to further and deepen your understanding of the material presented in the video lessons. I will respond to the evolving needs of the class in terms of how these sessions are structured.  

Attendance at the in-person class sessions is strongly encouraged, but not required. I will employ Poll Everywhere activities to keep the sessions engaging, but these polls will not be graded. If you don’t plan to pay attention during an in-person session, don’t come. These sessions will all be recorded and made available on Panopto, so you can watch them at your leisure.


The primary activities during the weekly 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 one Discussion Section 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 seven quizzes in this course. The lowest two scores among the seven quizzes will be dropped. The dates for the quizzes will be provided in the course schedule on Canvas. The first five quizzes will be delivered during the regularly-scheduled class time. The last two quizzes will be delivered during the final exam period.

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 module as each quiz date nears.

Quiz keys will be available on Canvas after grading has been completed, except for Quizzes 6 and 7 which will not be published. Scores for Quizzes 6 and 7 will be posted in the Canvas gradebook. You may make an appointment with me next quarter to view your responses and grading details for Quizzes 6 and 7.


  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 even 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 14, 2024 - 5:32 am