FAQ

The following does not apply to Fall 2017. Please visit the Moodle pages for all Chem 201 course info.

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Attendance & Illness
Attendance is expected at all scheduled classes for the full class period. In general, enrollment in each section has been adjusted to meet safety requirements (lab) or to maximize the personal attention that instructors can give to each student (lecture), so attend only the section that you are enrolled in. If you need to attend another section, send the instructor a ‘heads-up’ email before class if possible, and present yourself to the instructor at the start of class.

As a courtesy to instructors and classmates, please arrive at class a couple of minutes early so that you can get settled before class starts.

If you must miss a lab or exam for any reason, contact your instructor right away. Sick students shouldn’t be on their feet or working in close quarters with other students. We will do what we can to find a way for you to make up missed work so please contact us right away.

Instructors spend a fair amount of time responding to student requests for information that is widely available. If you miss a lecture, try to obtain the information you missed from our classes page.

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Grades
Chem 201 is a combined lecture-lab course. Satisfactory performance in both lecture and lab are necessary to earn a passing grade.

Grades are based on points that you accumulate during the semester. Points accumulate from several sources: quizzes and final exam (70%), lab (15%), Sapling online homework (10%) and clicker responses (5%).

There will be 5 short quizzes, each worth 50 points. There will also be a final exam worth anywhere from 150-200 points. Quizzes are issued twice, in-class and then take-home, but these versions are graded differently. The final exam is issued once at a time assigned by the Registrar’s office. To learn more about how these exams are handled, please consult the Exams page.

There will 25 graded Sapling online homework assignments, one for each day of class. (I may create additional Sapling problems for you to practice with, but these will not be graded.) 80% bonus: if you score at least 80% of the available Sapling points over the entire semester, you will receive full credit (100%) for the semester.

Clicker responses will be gathered nearly every day in class (expect the first clicker question to be asked at, or very near, the beginning of class). Clicker points are earned by responding to the questions that are posed. It doesn’t matter whether your answer is right or wrong; you simply need to respond. 80% bonus: if you respond to at least 80% of the clicker questions that are asked, you will receive full clicker credit (100%) for the semester.

The lab is evaluated in two ways. First, there is a baseline expectation of satisfactory performance in the lab. Students who do not perform in a satisfactory way will not receive a passing grade for 201.  Second, lab points will be awarded based on a combination of factors: lab work, quality of lab notebook, and quality of lab reports. More specifically, we expect all students to:

  • complete all assigned lab work
  • keep a detailed, accurate, up-to-date lab notebook
  • turn in reasonably satisfactory reports for all labs
  • practice safe lab behaviors
  • be punctual in the lab and in turning in assignments (notebooks, reports)
  • pay attention

The thresholds for ‘satisfactory’ performance for the first three areas – lab work, notebooks, reports – are not terribly high. This means the vast majority of students can work reasonably hard, make some mistakes, and still receive 80% or more of the lab points for the semester. A student who takes a more casual approach to the lab and occasionally neglects one or more of these areas can expect to receive fewer points. (If this pattern is severe and/or sustained, the student will not receive a passing grade for the lab which translates into not passing Chem 201.)

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Prerequisites
Chem 101 and 102 are prerequisites for Chem 201. These courses provide a solid background in basic chemical concepts and practical lab experience. Students who would like to take Chem 201 without having taken Chem 101/102 are expected to explain why their background exempts them from these courses. Chem 201 is a prerequisite for Chem 202.

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Lecture only? Lab only?
If you have met the prerequisites, you may enroll in Chem 201 lecture for 0.5 unit. You will be excused from all lab work with two exceptions: spectroscopy (NMR, IR, MS) and molecular modeling. These subjects are covered, in part, through lab lectures and lab work, and 201 lecture students need to participate in these parts of the lab. Students who complete Chem 201 lecture may enroll in Chem 202 lecture, but not the lab.

If you have completed organic chemistry lecture at another college or university, you may enroll in Chem 201 lab and/or Chem 202 lab as appropriate. Each semester is worth 0.5 unit. You will be excused from exams and lectures, but not the weekly lab lectures. Because lab assignments are graded mainly as “complete/incomplete”, it has generally not been possible to earn an “A” in 201/202 lab.

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Questions
If you have questions about these instructions or any other part of Chem 201/202, please contact your instructor (Chem 201 – Alan, Chem 202 – Rebecca).

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