CH302N F21

CH302N - Fall 2021

Chemistry in Our World II

Unique: 51265

TTh 2:00pm - 3:30pm

WEL 1.308


Dr. Paul McCord

office hours: see homepage to website

Teaching Assistant

Jimmy Wadman

office hours: see homepage to website


chembook: Dr. McCord's FREE online textbook. It is not behind a paywall or login page - free and open. The chembook website has the chapters presented in the same order that we will cover them in class. Click the link and then save the bookmark in your browser.

What you also need

TI30xa image

Scientific Calculator: Although a good ol' TI-30Xa is shown here, you can use any decent scientific calculator. Make sure you know how to use it - especially how to punch in and handle scientific notation, exponents, and log functions. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide are givens. You will use this calculator for both in-class work, homework, and exams.

Here is a whole page on approved calculators for the course.

Chemistry Course Content

CH302N will cover the following subjects which will be divided into four units or modules. Each unit of coverage will have a corresponding exam to go with it. Each exam will correspond to one or two chapters from the chembook website (eBook).

Unit 1

6 - Water, water, Everywhere

Unit 2

7 - Electrochemistry

Unit 3

8 - Intro Organic - Plastics

Unit 4

9 - Food & Nutrition

Please note that the prerequisite for this course is CH304K (which is now CH301N) which covered Chapters 1-5 on the chembook site.

NOTE: The final exam will be a comprehensive exam that is an overview of all the material that was covered in units 1-4 (chapters 6-9 on chembook). Technically, the final exam is optional because you only need 4 exam scores for your average. The final exam is a safety net exam to allow you to drop one of the first four exams and count the final exam in its place.

Are the Classes Recorded?

Yes, our classroom is equipped for recording. So if you happen to miss class, you can still login to Canvas and find the recorded class there. So the content of class is available after the fact. However, you cannot participate or get credit for the InstaPoll quiz questions that were assigned that day. It is always best to attend "live", but do know you can review the material later via the recordings. And, speaking of which...

This class is using the Lectures Online recording system. This system records the audio and video material presented in class for you to review after class. Links for the recordings will appear in the Lectures Online tab on the Canvas page for this class. You will find this tab along the left side navigation in Canvas.

To review a recording, simply click on the Lectures Online navigation tab and follow the instructions presented to you on the page. You can learn more about how to use the Lectures Online system at the Lectures Online website.

Calculating your Overall Score

We are keeping the grading in the course rather simple. Your overall grade in the course will be determined by your averages in each of three categories: Exams, Homework, and Quizzes with the percentages as shown below for each of the three categories.

Exams = 80%

This will be the average of your top 4 exams scored out of the total of five exams (exams 1-4 and the final exam). Canvas will not drop your lowest exam of the five until the end of the semester. All your exams count (in canvas anyway) until then. Canvas will correctly show this average.

Homework = 15%

This will be your average of your homework scores. At least one score will be dropped in the average. The drop will occur at the end of the semester. Canvas will correctly show this average.

Quizzes = 5%

This is mostly a participation score and about staying engaged with the course. These "quizzes" are either InstaPolls given during class or assigned quizzes in canvas. The quizzes and InstaPolls will have separate averages until the end of the course when I will combine them to be one overall "Quiz" average.

Grade Breaks

Course grades will be determined according to the following scale or cut-offs:

A 93.00
A- 90.00
B+ 87.00
B 83.00
B- 80.00
C+ 77.00
C 73.00
C- 70.00
D+ 67.00
D 63.00
D- 60.00
F < 60.00

Your score is calculated to the nearest 1/100th - that's 2 places PAST the decimal.

Exams Schedule

Regular Exams

Our four "regular" exams will be held on the following class days in WEL 1.308 from 2:00pm to 3:20pm.

  • Exam 1 Tue 9/21
  • Exam 2 Tue 10/12
  • Exam 3 Thu 11/11
  • Exam 4 Thu 12/2

Final Exam

The final exam is scheduled by the University and we will comply with their time. The final exam will be in our regular class room: WEL 1.308.

  • FINAL Thu 12/9 (9am-12noon)

Exam Day/Time Conflicts

There should be very few conflicts with the exam times, since they are given during your regularly scheduled class time and there are no UT sanctioned events scheduled at that time. You signed up for this class, please be available during the times that are published for this class.

IF, however, you do think you have a situation that requires you to miss the scheduled time, please contact Dr. McCord and Jimmy Wadman about the conflict and they will work with you to arrive at a workable solution. Please communicate with us in these difficult times. Communication is critical if you want to get a grade. Please do so ahead of time so that arrangements can be made. NOTE: We do not give any make-up exams after the exam is made public and the answers are posted.

SSD Students

All SSD students need to realize that they technically "have a conflict" with the published times. For that reason, you will need to communicate with Dr. McCord and Jimmy Wadman about the times that can be made available for your canvas exams. They will try to communicate with you to make sure you get your extra time as documented in your SSD letter. The default time will be an extension of the regular class time. So instead of 2-3:20pm for the exam, you will have from 2-4pm (1.5× regular time).


Each of the first four exams will cover new material from the associated chapters. Each of the exams will be around 20-25 questions that are all multiple-choice questions. The number of choices will vary anywhere from 2 up to 10 choices. Each student will turn in their exam copy, scratch paper, and a bubblesheet (an answer sheet that will be scanned and graded). Exam scores will be uploaded to Canvas. The exam keys and full solutions will be available here on this website (not canvas). Dr. McCord has his own hand-coded program that scrambles exam questions. Scrambled means that each student will get a unique version of the exam. Think of an exam as a deck of questions where we shuffle the deck of questions and we also shuffle the answers. Very important for each and every student to bubble in correctly the version number of the exam they have.

Final Exam

The Final Exam is a comprehensive exam which means that it will cover the major topics from all the material that we covered throughout the semester. Unlike the regular exams, it will be a bit longer with around 30-35 questions. The final exam effectively allows you to drop your lowest regular exam and substitute the final into its place for your exam average. If you just do well on exams 1-4, you can skip the final exam and be done with the course after exam 4. The University determines the date and time of the exam which happens to be the very first day and time for finals: Thursday, 12/9, from 9am to 12noon. Classroom assignments for finals will be announced by the registrar 2 weeks before the end of classes.

Exam protocol ⬅️ All you need to know about EXAM DAYS. What you CAN and CANNOT bring/use, etc. Read up.

Work in the Class

"Class" time is being IN class and listening and participating when necessary. Please do not use your phones in class. Please, no texting, messaging, posting... you know what I mean. Only use your "device" when an InstaPoll is active. Speaking of which...`

InstaPoll: In addition to the above in-class "listening" activities, Dr. McCord and Jimmy might have one or more "live" questions that you will answer via InstaPoll which is part of our Canvas account. These "in-class" quizzes are short-lived, meaning they are due as soon as Dr. McCord ends the question. Many questions will be calculations and you will need to have your scientific calculator available to assist you. Your "InstaPoll" score will be a part of your "Quiz" portion of your overall grade which is 5%.

Work Outside the Class

There are really about 3 things you will do outside of class.

  1. Reading / Studying / Learning: This is kinda the "yeah, no duh" part of the course. You DO need to do all of that outside of the class. It will be a little time for some students and a LOT of time for others. You need to learn the material and in order to acheive that goal, you need to put the time in.
  2. Homework: The main "hands on" activity you will do outside of class is the homework (HW). There are two HWs per unit and they are only available in the weeks leading up to each of the exams. HWs are designed to help you test your knowledge of various concepts for the course before the arrival of the exam. Both quantitative (calculations) and qualitative (conceptual) questions will be on the HWs. The HWs are the best way to test yourself as we move through the material. Some questions are easy while others will be much harder and push you to develop more sophisticated problem-solving skills (you DO get a QR flag).
  3. After Class Quizzes: Sometimes we will have a "take home" question instead of an InstaPoll in class. The Quiz will be clearly labeled (with date) and you will need to complete it before the end of the day (11:59pm). This allows you to take much more time on a question that might feel rushed during class time. The take home quiz will be short - no more than 2 or 3 questions, one of which will be "did you do this quiz?" to which the answer is YES.

Canvas Policy on HW All HW assignments will be allowed two attempts max on canvas. Once the due date and time arrives, the assignment will close permanently and not reopen. If you do happen to get locked out of the HW after the due date, then study off the HW pdfs that I (Dr. McCord) post on our website - or another students canvas version. We will not reopen assignments for those that didn't at least open and attempt a submission. Remember, HW counts 15% - so don't blow it off. It is also the best way to get ready for the exams. We will drop at least one HW score for your overall average. Canvas will not show this drop until the end of the semester.


Don't cheat! We are doing everything we can to help you be successful in this course. There is no reason to cheat and doing so diminishes the entire learning experience. I'd go on but won't (for now). You're welcome.

Drop Date / Change of Status

The last day to drop the course is Thursday, October 28, 2021. It is also the last day that you can change the grading status for the course to pass/fail. You should be able to do all of this online.

Students with Disabilities

Please notify me of any modification/adaptation you may require to accommodate a disability-related need. You will be requested to provide documentation to the Dean of Students' Office, in order that the most appropriate accommodations can be determined. Specialized services are available on campus through Services for Students with Disabilities. The official wording is this: The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY or Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259,

Observance of Religious Holidays

Religious holy days sometimes conflict with class and examination schedules. It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify each instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holidays that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student may not be penalized for these excused absences but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.

Does this course carry a FLAG? no, it does not

The previous course (our prerequisite course, CH304K or CH301N) did carry a QR flag. This course does not, but does meet the requirements for some core curriculum stuff and is required for some majors like textile design.

Sharing of Course Materials is Prohibited:

No materials used in this class, including, but not limited to, lecture hand-outs, videos, assessments (quizzes, exams, papers, projects, homework assignments), in-class materials, review sheets, and additional problem sets, may be shared online or with anyone outside of the class unless you have my explicit, written permission. Unauthorized sharing of materials promotes cheating. It is a violation of the University’s Student Honor Code and an act of academic dishonesty. I am well aware of the sites used for sharing materials, and any materials found online that are associated with you, or any suspected unauthorized sharing of materials, will be reported to Student Conduct and Academic Integrity in the Office of the Dean of Students. These reports can result in sanctions, including failure in the course and expulsion from the University.

Core Curriculum Requirements & Objectives

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the Natural Science and Technology Part I component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board:

  • Critical Thinking Skills (CT): to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.
  • Communication Skills (COMM): to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication.
  • Empirical and Quantitative Skills (EQS): to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions.
  • Teamwork (TW): to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal.

© 2021 · mccord