CHEM 162 C: General Chemistry

Spring 2022
MWF 2:30pm - 3:20pm / BAG 131
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Download the course schedule

  • 2022-03-25 Version: DOCX | PDF
  • 2022-04-03 Version: DOCX | PDF 
    • CORRECTION to coverage of Quiz 1: Review of CHEM 142 (not 152); L1.1-2
    • CORRECTION to coverage of WS 2: L1.2-3 (not L1.3)
  • 2022-04-04 Version: DOCX | PDF
    • CORRECTION to reading assignment for L1.3. This has have been updated in the Lesson 1.3 page

CHEMISTRY 162 C (12090)

Lessons:  Delivered asynchronously via Panopto recordings in the CHEM 162 LESSON VIDEOS Panopto folder

Class (Review & Problem Solving) Sessions (all MWF in BAG 131): All R&P sessions will be recorded and made available in the CHEM 162 C Panopto folder

Course Web Site: 

Registration Questions/Entry Codes: Chemistry Undergraduate Services | 

If you are sick or qualify in other ways for an excused absence, please fill out the UW Chemistry Absence Reporting Form. You DO NOT need to also email me or your TA! We will be alerted when your absence is excused.


Course Instructors:   

Prof. Colleen Craig | contact via or Canvas inbox | public help sessions (office hours) in the Chemistry Study Center (BAG 330)

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

Learning Strategies Mentor:

Anna Merkulova | schedule an appointment | attend a workshop

Anna leads the Chemistry Department's Catalyze Your Success (CYS) program, and is an expert in metacognitive learning strategies. Contact her for advice on applying the CYS strategies to your study of chemistry.  

TAs in Discussion and Lab Sections:  

Consult MyPlan or the UW Time Schedule for time and location information for your Discussion and Lab Sections.

Discussion Section Schedule Notes

Discussion Section (DS) starts in Week 1. All DSs will be in person, at the scheduled time and location listed in your course schedule as "QZ". In-person participation in DSs during weeks 2-10 is part of your grade (DS during Week 1 will not be graded, to accommodate student schedule changes). DSs will not be recorded. You may miss two DSs during the quarter without penalty.  

Lab Section Schedule Notes

Week 1: No Lab during Week 1. You do not need to attend your lab section during Week 1.

Week 2: Lab Safety Orientation. Proper attire, lab coat, and goggles are REQUIRED.

Weeks 3-5, 7-9: Labs meet in person

TAs in CHEM 162 C Help Sessions (Office Hours)

All TAs will offer Help Sessions in the Chemistry Study Center, BAG 330. See the "Get Help!" Canvas module for the schedule. You may attend any and all TA help sessions! This means that you can get over TWENTY 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 Sections, name of the TA associated with each section, and TA emails
Section TA Email (
CA Batool Mutawe


CB Dakota Kennedy


CC Timothy Trinklein


CD Xiaofei Guo


CE Denzel Lambino


CF Ned Kan


CG Xiaofei Guo


CH Mark Bertolami


CI Timothy Trinklein


CJ Ryan Ye Jiang


CK Dakota Kennedy


CL Kirill Shumilov



Course Communications

General questions about the course? Use Ed Discussion.

With so many students in our classes, it’s simply not feasible for the Teaching Team members 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 if you post it to Ed Discussion than if you only email Prof. Craig or TA. We will be actively monitoring the discussion board and will answer questions as we find them. If you write us an email about the course content, you will likely receive an response asking you to post your question to the discussion board. 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 emails:

I receive a lot of emails. I will do our 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 Canvas email or (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 is secure, and I can be sure that I am talking to you and not some rando with a hotmail account who wants to know about you, 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 Prof. Craig,” or “Hi Prof. 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 an email. I will not remember to put the meeting on the 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 provide your detailed schedule on those days. I will email you back with a 15-minute block.
  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.


If you're sick or have received a positive COVID test, do not come to class, even if it is on a quiz/exam day. The Department has a generous sick leave policy. You can request an excused absence at the Chemistry Department Absence Reporting Form. If you're feeling sick, please stay home and take your first opportunity to get tested.


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, can be found on the Religious Accommodations Policy page. 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, but you may purchase a different copy of the Chemical Principles 6th ed. text if you choose).
  • UW General Chemistry 162 Laboratory Manual, Autumn 2021-Summer 2022 (Hayden McNeil).
  • 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. The bookstore sells a version with “UW Chemistry Laboratory Notebook” information on the front, but this version is not required – it is the type of notebook that is critical).
  • 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. Consult the ALEKS module 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.
  • Develop laboratory, data analysis, and scientific writing skills.


Lesson Content

Formal lesson content will be delivered asynchronously via recordings in the CHEM 162 LESSON VIDEOS Panopto folder. 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 presented in each class will be available on the Unit modules. 

In-Person Review & Problem Solving (R&P) 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. We will respond to the evolving needs of the class in terms of how these sessions are structured.  

Attendance at the in-person R&P sessions is strongly encouraged, but not required. We 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, because you will distract other students. These sessions will all be recorded and made available on Panopto, so you can watch them at your leisure.

PREVIEW Material to Prepare for Class:

  • Mindfully implement the learning cycle.
  • Complete the Active Reading Assignment for the material that will be covered in each upcoming Review & Problem Solving Session. The Canvas modules and syllabus will tell you the assigned sections from the Atkins textbook.
  • Watch the relevant lesson video and engage with the embedded concept tests. Think of some questions to ask and write them down in your notes.

INTERACT During Class

  • Take advantage of the opportunity to discuss the content with your colleagues during the learning activities. Try not to just passively listen to others: you will experience powerful learning by putting your understanding into words and teaching someone else
  • If the answer to an activity is not what you expected, think about why you expected a different result. Record some thoughts about why your answer was incorrect in the moment, before you forget. This is an excellent way to build your knowledge!

REVIEW and STUDY After Class:


The course consists of:

  • Several pre-recorded lessons per week – Panopto Recordings already posted on Canvas
  • 2-3 class sessions per week, focusing on content discussion and problem-solving. In-person attendance at these sessions is strongly encouraged, but optional. Panopto recordings will be available for those who cannot be present in person.
  • 1 in person discussion section per week 
  • 1 in person three-hour laboratory session certain weeks of the quarter (6 labs total 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 final exam

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 (3 highest scaled scores out of 4 total quizzes; 15%/each)


Final Exam





Research Surveys (1%)

Your Research Surveys score is comprised of a research study announcement acknowledgment and 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 which you have an assigned reading. 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 ReadingActive Reading Assignments are graded on completion only. Active Readings will open on the Sunday before the associated R&P session, and will be due at noon on the day of the associated R&P session. 

Each Active Reading Assignment is worth 2 pts. The lowest three Active Reading scores will be dropped, allowing you to miss a few without penalty. 

Quiz/Exam Reflection Surveys (2%)

The Quiz/Exam Reflection 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/Exam Reflection Surveys total: three Pre-Quiz/Exam Reflections, and two Post-Quiz/Exam Reflections, distributed throughout the quarter. (Note that there will not be a pre- and post-quiz reflection for every quiz in this course.)

The Pre-Quiz/Exam Reflections will open six days before the associated quiz/exam, and are due two days before the associated quiz/exam.

The Post-Quiz/Exam Reflections will open by the day after scores for the associated quiz/exam are published, and are due five days later.

Each Quiz Reflection Survey is worth 2 pts. All Quiz/Exam Reflection Surveys will count towards your score. 

Discussion Section Participation (2%)

The primary activities during the weekly in-person Discussion Sections will include:

      • The TAs will field your questions about lab, quizzes, course content, etc.
      • You will work with your colleagues on worksheet problems relevant to current course topics.

Weekly worksheet problems are intended to help you synthesize the material covered in the previous week’s lessons and R&P sessions; therefore, they will be quite challenging. A blank electronic copy of the worksheet will be available at least a week in advance of each in-person Discussion Section. You do not need to bring a print out of the worksheet with you to Discussion Section; your TA will have hardcopies available. The blank is made available in advance so you can get started on the questions early. The worksheet key will be available on Thursday evening each week. You can find the worksheet blank and key in a given week's Discussion Section assignment, which will be linked in the relevant unit module

Worksheets are not graded, and you do not need to turn them in to your TA to earn participation credit for Discussion Section.

In person participation during the Discussion Sections 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. Each Discussion Section is graded out of 3 pts:

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

Discussion Section in Week 1 will not be graded. The two lowest Discussion Section scores in Weeks 2-10 will be dropped, allowing you to miss two without penalty.

ALEKS (13%)

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 lesson content. 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. 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. Refer to the ALEKS Orientation module for more details and to obtain the access code to enroll in the ALEKS course for this section of CHEM 162

Your first task in ALEKS is 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 will take about 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 only complete the learning tasks you need. 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 are responsible for monitoring the due date and time for all ALEKS Objectives. It is not possible to open up an ALEKS Objective 3 or 4 hours before it is due and complete it successfully. 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.

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 some credit for ALEKS. Similarly, you do not have to complete all the topics in an Objective to earn some credit. Whatever percentage of topics you complete by the due date will be your score for that Objective. 

Extensions on the due dates for ALEKS Objectives and the Pie Mastery are not allowed.

Excused absences for ALEKS Objectives and the Pie Mastery are not allowed.

Each Objective is worth 10 pts. All Objectives are included in your course grade. 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 (45%)

There are four in person quizzes in this course, delivered every other week starting in Week 2. 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 prerequisite courses. Information about quiz length and coverage will be posted in the Quizzes & Final Exam module as each quiz date nears. The raw quiz scores will be recorded in the Canvas gradebook and the class average on each quiz will be posted. The dates for the quizzes are provided in the course schedule on Canvas. All quizzes will be delivered in person during the regularly-scheduled class time. 

Graphing or text-entry calculators WILL NOT be permitted on in-person quizzes.

A list of equations will be provided with quizzes. Students are not permitted to bring their own list of notes or equations to in-person quizzes.



Quizzes missed due to excused absences will be replaced by the average of your other quiz scores, and the lowest score among the four quizzes will be dropped.

The material in CHEM 162 is not uniformly difficult. Some topics tend to be much more challenging for students than others. In addition, I write fresh quiz questions for every class, under considerable time constraints, which means that I sometimes create questions that are unintentionally too difficult or unintentionally too easy based on how well I have taught the material that quarter. Together, this means that the average and standard deviation of the quizzes are unlikely to be exactly the same, and that comparing raw scores on two different quizzes to each other can be misleading, and can disadvantage students.

Consider the following example: Let's say a student earned a raw score of 75% on Quiz 1, and 85% on Quiz 2. The average and standard deviation for each quiz were:

      • Quiz 1: Avg = 60%; Std Dev = 7.5%
      • Quiz 2: Avg = 70%; Std Dev = 10%

(Perhaps the averages are different because Quiz 1 contained more challenging material or unintentionally harder questions than Quiz 2, or both.) Although 85% is numerically greater than 75%, the student's 80% on Quiz 1 is actually a better score, since it is two standard deviations above the mean on Quiz 1 (60 + 2*7.5 = 75), whereas the 85% score is only 1.5 standard deviations above the mean on Quiz 2 (70 + 1.5*10 = 85). If just the lowest raw score were dropped, the 85% might be retained rather than the 80%, even though the student actually did better on Quiz 1 than on Quiz 2. 

Here's another example: Let's say another student had an excused absence from Quiz 2, and earned the following scores on quizzes 1, 3, and 4 (average and std dev for each quiz given in parentheses):

      • Quiz 1: 67.5% (Avg = 60%; Std Dev = 7.5%)
      • Quiz 3: 71% (Avg = 62%; Std Dev = 9%)
      • Quiz 4: 68% (Avg = 58%; Std Dev = 10%)

In each of the quizzes they were able to take, this student earned a score that was one standard deviation above the mean. If they had been able to take Quiz 2, they would most likely have scored similarly, with an 80% (70% + 1*10% = 80%). However, if the average of their raw quiz scores was used to create their Quiz 2 score, it would only be 68.8%, which is actually just slightly below the mean on Quiz 2. 

To ensure that replacement scores for excused absences are calculated fairly, and to fairly drop the right score for every student, I will put all of the quiz scores on a common scale, not unlike making sure that I have the same units for the LaTeX: \Delta H Δ H "> and LaTeX: T\Delta S T Δ S "> terms in LaTeX: \Delta G=\Delta H-T\Delta S Δ G = Δ H − T Δ S ">. 

Scores on each quiz will be scaled so that the average is 65% OR the overall class average on Quizzes 1-4 (whichever is higher), and the standard deviation is 17.5% OR the average of the standard deviations on Quizzes 1-4 (whichever is smaller). Below is the equation I will use to scale quiz scores:

LaTeX: Scaled\:score\:on\:Quiz\:X=65\%+\left(\frac{Raw\:score\:on\:Quiz\:X-Mean\:on\:Quiz\:X}{Std\:Deviation\:on\:Quiz\:X}\right)\times17.5\% S c a l e d s c o r e o n Q u i z X = 65 % + ( R a w s c o r e o n Q u i z X − M e a n o n Q u i z X S t d D e v i a t i o n o n Q u i z X ) × 17.5 % ">

NOTE: The highest possible scaled score will be 100%, and the lowest possible scaled score will be 0%.

After the quiz scores are scaled, values for any excused absences on quizzes will be assigned, based on the average of a student's other---now scaled---quiz scores. Finally, the lowest quiz score for every student will be dropped. 

This quiz-drop and score-scaling policy encourages you to quarantine if you are sick, even if a quiz day occurs during your quarantine. Do not come to a quiz if you are sick. If you have an excused absence on a quiz, your missed quiz will be replaced with the average of your other scaled quiz scores.

After grading for a given quiz is complete (about 4-6 days after a quiz):

      • Raw quiz scores will be published in Gradescope 
      • The quiz key will be published in Canvas
      • Regrade requests will be enabled in Gradescope 24 HOURS AFTER SCORES ARE PUBLISHED, and will be available for four days 

After any and all regrades for a quiz have been addressed (typically 2-3 days after regrade requests close):

      • Raw quiz scores will be published in Canvas
      • Scaled quiz scores will be published in Canvas 

Final Exam (20%)

The final exam will be delivered in person during the standard final exam session for MWF 2:30-3:20 PM classes, as scheduled by the University. 

The final exam will be comprehensive over the entire quarter, and will also depend on knowledge from prerequisite courses. Information about the final exam length and coverage will be posted in the Quizzes & Final Exam module as the final exam date nears.  

Graphing or text-entry calculators WILL NOT be permitted on the in-person final exam.

A list of equations will be provided with the final exam. Students are not permitted to bring their own list of notes or equations to the in-person final exam.



Do not come to the final exam if you are sick. If you miss the final exam due to an excused absence and you are passing the course through the last two weeks of the quarter, you will be given an incomplete. Contact me to schedule a time to make up the final exam at a later date. It can be as soon as you are well and able to come meet me in person. 

After grading for the final exam is complete:

      • Scores will be published in Canvas ONLY 
      • The final exam key WILL NOT be published
      • Regrade requests in Gradescope WILL NOT be enabled

Note that grading mistakes are exceedingly rare. For instance, in Winter 2022 CHEM 152 sections C, D, and E, there were about 15 total genuine grading mistakes observed over approximately 20,000 individual questions graded during the quarter (5 quizzes * 5 questions * ~800 students = 20,000). Most of the grading mistakes that do occur are actually discovered during grading, and are therefore corrected before scores are ever published to students. The grading team for a quiz (myself and the TAs) discuss the rubrics in detail before grading begins, and we are in constant contact throughout the grading period. Any issues in the application of the rubric are discussed during this time, updated if needed, and previously graded quizzes regraded if needed. We do all this to ensure a fair application of the rubric and to minimize the number of genuine grading mistakes, and even more importantly to clearly communicate to students what they have done correctly or not in their solution to a problem, so that they can learn from their mistakes. In this respect, regrade petitions are available to correct these communication errors as much as---if not more so---to award an accurate score for a problem, since the impact of a mistakenly applied deduction on the overall course grade is often immeasurably small. A 0.1 shift in grade point typically corresponds to about 2% of the overall course grade. A grading error of 10% on the final exam (which is compressed to 20% of the course grade) would be required to yield a 2% decrease in the overall course grade (2% = 10% * 0.20). This magnitude of grading error rarely escapes detection during the grading process itself. 

You can make an appointment with me after the term to view your work on the final exam in person. If we discover an error in the grading of your final exam during that meeting, and it is large enough to affect your course grade by at least 0.2 GP units (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), then I will happily submit a course grade change to the registrar.

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 will use the equation of a line between (~95%, 4.0) and (~40%, 0.7) to convert course percentages into GPs. When I do this, the average grade tends to fall in the range 2.6-2.9. I will 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 Lab throughout the quarter will be posted in the gradebook on the CHEM 162 Canvas Lab site. Your overall Lab score will be imported to the Gradebook for this Canvas site at the end of the quarter.

Your ALEKS scores throughout the quarter can be monitored through the Gradebook and Reports tabs on ALEKS. Your ALEKS scores will be imported to the Gradebook for this Canvas site at the end of the quarter.

Your scores for all other assignments will be available in the Gradebook for this Canvas site throughout 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!


  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 chemistry 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 help sessions / 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 and exam reviews for Chemistry. 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 22, 2024 - 11:40 am