Principles of Chemistry II Spring 2015

Uniques: 50140 / 50145 · MWF in WEL 1.308

Instructor:Dr. Paul McCord
Office location: WEL 5.239 B
Hours: MW 1-2pm
Teaching Assistantsemail address
Alisha Bohnsack
Kristin Suhr
Nelly Membreno

Chemistry Course Content

CH302 is broken down into four equal units that each cover a different fundamental area of chemistry. The title of each unit is linked to the relevant section of the eBook that contains the specific learning outcomes for each unit.

Unit 5 - Physical Equilibria This unit will examine the concept of equilibria and free energy in the context of physical change. Specifically we will examine phase transitions and the thermodynamcis of solutions and solubility.

Unit 6 - Aqueous Equilibria This unit will examine free energy in the context of chemical change with an emphasis on the chemistry of aqueous solutions. In particular we will examine acid/base equilibria in the context of weak acid/base buffer systems.

Unit 7a - Nuclear Chemistry This unit will examine some basic nuclear chemistry reactions and compare the differences in nuclear and chemical change.

Unit 7b - Kinetics This unit examines the rates of chemical change and specifically addresses the factors that control the rates of chemical reactions.

Unit 8 - Electrochemistry
The final unit is a capstone unit for the entire semester and examines free energy, equilibria, and solution chemistry in the context of electrochemistry. Specifically we will examine oxidation reduction chemistry and electrical potentials for applications ranging from sensors to batteries.



TopHat: All students must have a "smart" device in class and run Top Hat software. This is a replacement of our traditional iClicker. This software allows the student to use any wifi connected device for their in-class responses. This includes smartphones (both Android and iOS), tablets, iPods, and laptops. The recommendation is to buy a 5-year subscription to Top Hat for $38. Your subscription will then work for as many courses as you wish for a full 5-year period. This means that if you purchased a 5-year subscription to Top Hat for Fall 2014 CH301 (or another class), you will not need to purchase another subscription. Once the TopHat class is started, and you are officially registered in the class, you will receive an email invite to the Top Hat service. Click the link in the email to complete your registration.

eBook: All of our topics are covered in our online FREE ACCESS eBook. We wrote it, we control it, and you have 24-7 access to it. It works on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones. If it has a modern browser you are in business. However, if you really want a hardcopy book to use as a non-electronic reference, we suggest you purchase a used Chemical Principles type textbook. Some solid books that we have reviewed are the 4th, 5th or 6th edition of Chemical Principles, by Steven S. Zumdahl; Chemical Principles by Atkins & Jones, 3rd, 4th or 5th editions; Principles of Modern Chemistry by Oxtoby, et al, 4th, 5th or 6th editions. These books are all a solid resource for further reading. Once again, these books are not required although we do recommend them for most students. Most of these textbooks are also available for use in our Chemistry (Mallet) Library in WEL 2.132.

Here is more information on our textbook policy for CH301 and CH302 from our FAQ page on our CH301 eBook website.


Calculator: For exams you need to have a nonprogrammable, scientific calculator. You should be able to pick one up for around $15.00 anywhere that sells school supplies. I would avoid a solar powered calculator as you can't count on good lighting in the exam rooms. Any of the TI-30-series will work and by 30 we mean the 30, 34, and 36's with various letters behind them. You can never use a programmable calculator or a wireless device as a calculator during an exam .


Sapling Learning This course makes use of the web-based homework system from Sapling Learning. ALL students must click on the "Sapling Registration" assignment in Canvas in order to register for this class. Once you are on the Sapling website you will be able to complete the registration and payment. This service will require a $30 charge per student for its use per semester. For $45 you will be prepaying for two semesters which is the better deal. There is a 14 day grace period for payment. After that date you will no longer be able to access required homework for the course.

Your UT Network Bandwidth Each student at UT receives at least 500MB of "free" bandwidth per week. This may, or may not meet your actual needs for this course and your other online activities. Please consider your upgrade options offered through the UT ITS website at  Also realize that resident students that are using Resnet will have 10GB per week included with their room - that should be more than enough, but if you need more you do that via Resnet. ALL students should be aware of their own bandwidth needs and respond accordingly.

Overall Scoring for the Course

We will use six aggregate scores that we will use to get your over all score in the course. Here is the run down of the six numbers we will use.


  1. 3-Exam avg: average of your best 3 of 4 exams (one drop)
  2. Final exam: score on the final exam
  3. Homework: average of the best 12 of 14 homeworks (two drops)
  4. Quiz: total points as percentage of max possible points
  5. TopHat: total points as percentage of max possible points
  6. lowest exam: lowest of four exam scores (the dropped one)

Your overall score is calculated to give you the highest score possible within the confines of our allowed percentages and drops within each category. The following table is an effective way to see how to get your overall score in the class. There are too many "if/then" scenarios to list each one separately. So this is a rubric to use to figure out your score.

category / criteriaweight
3-exam avg 55 %
final exam 25 %
Higher? 3-exam avg or final exam   5 %
highest of 2-6 above   5 %
second highest of 2-6 above   5 %
third highest of 2-6 above   5 %
total100 %

Notice that this means that your final exam could count as much as 35% towards your overall grade. In general, the easiest categories to score high in are homework, learning modules, and TopHat. Staying engaged with the class and staying on task will help you score very high in those three categories. If for some reason you do not do the assigned homework, etc., then you still have your exam scores to fall back on for your grade.

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. So the only digit that is rounded "up" is the 1/1000th's digit.


Four examinations will be given during the semester. These will be given about once a month (see schedule below) on Thursday evenings at 7 PM. Each of the exams will be approximately 25 to 30 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 and a bubblesheet (answer sheet) which will be scanned and graded. All scores on exams will be available on Quest (Quest is only used for exams and the grading of exams - there is no cost associated with this service). BOTH of my classes (50140 and 50145) are combined in Quest but listed under the 50140 number.

Final Exam

The final exam WILL be comprehensive. This means that all the material covered during the course will be on the exam. The final exam will be counted as 25% of your overall grade. This could be more if the score is high enough - see "Overall Scoring for the Course" above for details.

The final exam schedule is set by the Registrars office and cannot be changed. Make sure you know the time and place of your exam for your section of the course. You can find this final exam date and time on the registrar’s website even prior to signing up for the course.

Exam Schedule

The class exams will be held from 7-9pm on the dates shown below (all Thursday evenings). There will be assigned seating in order of version number. Your version number will be delivered to you via Quest. Look for an assignment named "exam#-version" a few days before the exam.

  • Exam 1 Thu 2/12
  • Exam 2 Thu 3/12
  • Exam 3 Thu 4/16
  • Exam 4 Thu 5/7

Final Exams

  • 50140: Wed, 5/13 2-5pm
  • 50145: Wed, 5/13 9-12n

Registrar's Finals Schedule

If you have an Exam Conflict...

Students with University related conflicts can schedule the exam at an earlier time on the same day. These conflicts include:

  • all students with an official SSD letter for special accommodations
  • a UT laboratory course (like physics, chemistry, or biology lab)
  • a UT Band member where rehearsal is at the same time as the exam
  • any student with a letter from the SSD Office needing extra time or other conditions
  • any official UT course with a conflicting time (we'll need the unique number of the course)
  • UT athletes who must travel to go to a game or tournament
  • affiliated students to the above reason - like trainers, team managers, and traveling band members

Only UT-related conflicts are accepted reasons to reschedule an exam for another day.

  1. You are away from UT as part of a University-sponsored activity. For such instances, you will provide written documentation on UT Letterhead explaining the reason for your absence.
  2. The exam is in conflict with a religious holiday. For this you will provide written notice of the conflict at least 14 days in advance.

RESOLVE your Conflicts by going to WEL 2.212

WEL 2.212 is the Student Services Office for Chemistry. You will need to go there and let them help you find a solution to your conflict. The main resolution is to take the exam earlier from 4-6 PM. You will need to print and fill out the 4-6 PM Exam Petition Form and submit it at their office.

If you cannot take the exam from 4-6pm (the default alternative time), then you will need to discuss with them switching to another section of CH 301 that has exams on a different night (or reschedule your conflicting class).

Reschedule ALL exams that you will have a time conflict with for the entire semester.

Students with an SSD letter: You need to also go to WEL 2.212 and schedule your times and accommodations. Please use the Petition for Alternate Time for SSD Student Accommodations form for this purpose. Print it, fill it out, and take it to WEL 2.212.

Work in the Class

In Class Stay Fully Engaged

Opportunities to test your prior knowledge, your progress on the learning curve and your mastery of chemical principles will be given in class using TopHat. These opportunities will come in the form of in-class TopHat questions. Each TopHat question is worth 5 points (4 for just answering and 1 more point for getting it right). On any given day in class, we might have as few as one question and as many as ten questions. You can always view all the details (every question asked) in TopHat on your own phone app or on the web at It is very important that you remember to bring your "device" so that you can answer questions and get credit this way. A fully engaged student who attends class regularly will have an TopHat score in the upper 80’s to high 90’s, assuming you typically get questions right. Anything considerably less than this indicates something is not quite "right". The score from TopHat will be 5% of your overall score (most likely, see details in the "Scoring" section above).

Some Tophat questions might be assigned the same way that quizzes are on Canvas. So Dr. McCord might assign a TopHat question that stays "active" until the next class period. These type questions will be worth more points than the usual 5 like in-class questions. These will further add to the grand total of possible points on TopHat.

Work Outside the Class

Online Work

We will be using Sapling and Canvas for online learning and assessment. There are two types of graded assignments: Quizzes and Homework. Quizzes will be on Canvas and they are designed to introduce new concepts and/or direct teach basic skills outside of class. Homework Sets will be from Sapling and they are a series of problems that you should work through to help you solidify your conceptual understanding of the material and to develop more sophisticated problem-solving skills. Skill drilling worksheets are available from in the eBook but are not graded. The drilling worksheets are designed to help build your problem solving skills such that you can successfully complete your homework. Each type of assignment has been designed for a particular purpose to help you master the learning outcomes for this course. To this end, each assignment should be completed in the order in which it was assigned. Quizzes will be much shorter than the homework assignments. The graded quizzes and homework will be counted toward your overall grade at 5% each. Each quiz can be repeated up to three times. Your highest score will be counted toward your grade.

Note: Some Top Hat questions will be assigned outside of class as well.

More about the Exams

Be sure and bring your approved calculator to the exam. We cannot provide calculators. You CANNOT use your cell phone or any other device as your calculator. Each student will receive a unique exam copy with a specific version number on it. There is a different exam version for every student in the class; no two students can have the same version numbers (it is impossible). We will keep ALL exam materials after the exam is over. You MUST turn in your exam, a bubblesheet, and all scratch paper when you complete your exam. Make sure you sign each part of your exam.

You CANNOT make-up a missed exam for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. If you have a University approved conflict that requires rescheduling an exam, you must notify the instructor within the first 2 weeks of the course (go to WEL 2.212 and schedule your earlier exam time). You get to drop one exam score from your overall average, so for whatever reason you miss, that particular exam score (a zero) will be your dropped exam.

More About the Final Exam

We will not allow you to take the final early, late, or with another section.

A final exam cannot be made-up in any way. Final exam times are scheduled by the registrar's office and cannot be changed for any reason. Show up at the right place and the right time or get a zero on the exam. The final exam WILL be comprehensive. This means that all the material covered during the course will be on the exam. The final exam will be counted as no less than 25% of your overall grade (could be more if you make higher than other scores). If you keep up with the material for the semester, the final will not be any more difficult than the four exams. It will be extremely difficult if you try to cram for it one day ahead. Keep up and make the grade. The time for the final is published when the course schedule is made, but it is subject to change, so double check the time for the final the week before the final exam.


If you get caught cheating in any way, whatsoever, you will have to discuss the situation with us. We will arrive at a penalty and write up a formal report. The minimum penalty for cheating is receiving a 0 on the assignment on which you cheated. In this class, in addition to all the traditional types of cheating (looking at someone else’s answer, utilizing “cheat sheets” of any form or fashion – paper or digitized, getting an advance copy of an exam or quiz), we also consider allowing someone else to enter answers in class with your phone or tablet cheating. For example, if you send your iPhone to class with another class mate or an individual who is not you and you are caught, you and your accomplice will be penalized. If you deny the allegation, we will proceed by filing a formal report to the Judicial Services in the Dean of Students Office as is policy. Judicial Services would decide the final penalty after a hearing on the matter. For more information, read in the General Information Catalog about scholastic dishonesty (i.e. cheating).

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,

Drop Date

The last day to drop the course is Monday, April 6, 2015. This will require you to go to your college and get a drop form. You then must bring the form to me and get my approval and signature. After this deadline, students must go to the Dean's office, WCH 2.112, to begin the appeal for substantiated non-academic reasons.

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.

How can I be prepared for an emergency?

Occupants of buildings on The University of Texas at Austin campus are required to evacuate buildings when a fire alarm is activated. Alarm activation or announcement requires exiting and assembling outside. Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of each classroom and building you may occupy. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when entering the building. Students requiring assistance in evacuation shall inform their instructor in writing during the first week of class. In the event of an evacuation, follow the instruction of faculty or class instructors.

Do not re-enter a building unless given instructions by the following: Austin Fire Department, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, or Fire Prevention Services office. Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL): 512-232-5050

Does this course carry a FLAG?

You betcha... Quantitative Reasoning

This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.

Core Curriculum Requirements & Objectives

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the natural science and technology (Part I or Part II) component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and empirical and quantitative skills.

Communication Skills

Students will work in class, on homework and on exams to apply scientific model to explain empirical data as well as to use models to predict physical and chemical change. Students will be able to connect mathematical formulas and graphical representations to communicate scientific concepts.

Critical Thinkings

Students are presented with many opportunities to use critical thinking skills to solve problems both in class via clicker response system and on graded homework assignments. These skills are assessed on the exams.


Students work in small groups in class on guided group activities designed to help the student come to a deeper understanding of the content and to "discover" chemical principles via the process of inquiry. Outside of class students are encouraged to continue working in groups on better understand homework assignments.


Quantitative Skills

Students are required to calculate answers based on their understanding of scientific laws and derived equations. These methods include skills in manipulating units, understanding and applying the concept of ratios, proportionality, rearranging algebraically to solve for a specified unknown, understanding and applying rates of change, interpreting equations using physical models. These skills are assessed on the exams.