CHEM 105 Internet

Course Syllabus

General Course Info
Enrollment Grading
Online Learning
Course Materials Getting an "A"
Instructor Information Course Requirements Cheating Policy

General Course Info
CHEM 105 is a 3-unit non-mathematical course for liberal arts and non-science majors exploring chemistry in relation to society.  The course emphasizes a conceptual understanding of chemical principles and their application to many phenomena in the human environment.  Students need not have any previous exposure to chemistry.  The course is fully articulated and transferable to UC, CSU and private institutions and may be taken on a P/NP or letter grade basis (Note: UC does not accept this course if taken P/NP).

Upon completion of this course, a student should be able to:
Students enrolled in the online CHEM 105 course will be using, in addition to a standard textbook, modern multimedia tools including digital video mini-lectures, demonstrations, animations, and interactive tutorials, in order to enhance learning in a distance environment.  Communication between the students and instructor will take place primarily via the course website.  Assignments will be posted on the class website and students are required to complete work by participating in electronic discussions with the instructor and with classmates, and by completing online quizzes and tests, as well as an officially proctored final examination.  No campus visits are required.

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Online Learning
CHEM 105 is a demanding class. Students should be prepared to dedicate a minimum of 6 to 9 hours per week to the class in order to be successful. Any student who does not earn at least 20 points total each week on the various quizzes and forum assignments will be deemed as not adequately participating in the course, and may be dropped by the instructor.

The online CHEM 105 class contains the same content as a face-to-face class, but students do need to make a few adjustments in order to be successful in an online class. Online learning requires much more independence than traditional classroom learning. Students must learn to take initiative, to be very organized, and to exercise a great deal of self-discipline in order to meet all of the deadlines. Please click on the following links to determine if online learning suits your needs:  Introduction to Online Learning
and DE Self-Assessment Survey.

We will be using the college's course management system (CMS), called Moodle, to keep the class organized.  Moodle, which is accessed through a student's MyCOM portal, offers students electronic forums, a messaging function, and online testing to help make the online environment more interactive.

To use Moodle properly, the recommended minimum browsers are: recent Google Chrome, recent Mozilla Firefox, Safari 6, Internet Explorer 9 (IE 10 required for drag and drop of files from outside the browser into Moodle). In the past, there have been problems using certain Moodle features within the Safari Browser.  Mac users are encouraged to use Firefox.

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Instructor Information

Dr. Erik Dunmire

Office Location:  SMN 315

Office phone:    (415) 485-9536

Office hours:    Course email (sent via the Message function of the course website) will be checked daily (Mon - Fri), and will provide the quickest response to most questions.  Regularly scheduled on-campus and online office hours are posted on the instructor's faculty homepage (  If you would like to arrange a face-to-face meeting at another day or time, please contact the instructor by email or telephone. 

College e-mail address:

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Required Course Materials

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Course Requirements

1.  Read the appropriate chapter(s) in the textbook (approximately 20-30 pages).

2.  View the video tutorial from for the current chapter.  Each tutorial contains a variety of digital video lecture material, interviews, and demonstrations that will help you better understand the chapter concepts. Complete the corresponding Video Quizzes and Reading Quizzes for the assigned sections.

3. Work on the currently available quiz that is posted on our Moodle course website, and submit your first quiz attempt by the weekly deadline.

4. Download and complete the Practice Page worksheets found on the "FYI page" for each chapter at Use the Practice Pages Forum on our Moodle course website to discuss with your classmates the answers to selected questions posted by the instructor.

5.  As additional reinforcement of the concepts, try to complete the odd-numbered questions (answers in the back of the book) and the Readiness Assurance Test found at the end of each chapter.   Note that these do not need to be submitted.

6.  Also view any additional material provided on the Concept Review page of the course website.

7.  Use the Conceptual Questions Forums on the course website to pose and discuss, with your classmates and the instructor, any additional questions you may have about the material, or to discuss the questions that are posed by your instructor.

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  1. There are  a large number of very brief Video Quizzes and Reading Quizzes that are integrated into the resources on the website, which you should complete as you work through the course material. There is no time limit to complete these quizzes, but you get only one attempt, and all attempts for a particular chapter must be submitted by the weekly deadline. You can earn up to 200 points maximum toward your course grade by answering these questions correctly; given that there are roughly 700 points possible on the site, you can miss a substantial percentage of the questions and still achieve the maximum score in this grading category.
  2. There are 12 'Core' quizzes (Quiz 1 - Quiz 12), worth 20 points each, which are found on the Moodle course website and which will be due weekly. (Quiz 5 will be extra credit.) Each quiz will cover one of the core "conceptual" chapters (1-12) of the textbook.  Each quiz will be continuously available for the  week preceding its deadline, and there will be no time limit (other than the deadline itself) for completing the quiz.  As long as you submit your first quiz attempt by the weekly deadline, you will get a 2nd and 3rd attempt on each quiz (highest score counted), which must be submitted by the deadline for the corresponding Exam on that material. These quiz attempts will form a crucial part of your exam preparation. Also, you can earn up to 240 points toward your course grade based on your quiz scores.
  3. There are also 5 'Context' quizzes, worth 20 points each, found on the Moodle course website that cover the topical chapters (13-17) of the textbook.  These chapters will not be covered on the Exams.  However, students will probably find these chapters to be the most interesting in the book, as they focus upon important social and environmental issues (such as nutrition, medicine, food production, water and air pollution, and energy production).  All of these quizzes must be completed by the Saturday before Final Exam week, and you will get up to 3 attempts on each quiz (highest score counts).  You can earn up to 100 points toward your course grade by completing these quizzes.

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The final grade for the course will be based on the total points at the conclusion of the semester.

Entrance Quiz 20 pts

Video & Reading Quizzes
up to 200 pts
Grade Point Total
Core Quizzes
240 pts

1450 - 1700 pts
Context Quizzes
100 pts

1400 - 1449 pts
Exams (2 x 200 pts)
400 pts

1350 - 1399 pts
Final Exam
500 pts

1275 - 1349 pts
Forums up to 100 pts

1250 - 1274 pts
Topic Report 100 pts

1200 - 1249 pts
Pre-Term Knowledge Survey 20 pts

1050 - 1199 pts
Post-Term Knowledge Survey 20 pts
1000 - 1049 pts
1700 pts

925 - 999 pts

875 - 924 pts
1050 - 1700 pts

800 - 874 pts
0 - 1049 pts

0 - 799 pts

NOTE:  Regardless of the total number of points, a student must score at least 60% (300 points) on the final exam in order to receive a passing grade in the course.  Additionally, the instructor reserves the right to base a student's grade in the course solely upon the final exam score, if the instructor believes that academic dishonesty may have occurred at any time during the course.

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Getting an "A"
While getting an "A" grade in this course will require some effort, it is not beyond any student's reach.  The following tips will increase your chances of getting the grade you desire (assuming you desire a passing grade).
  1. First, read through the Concept Review for the current chapter. This brief synopsis of the major concept for each section of the textbook will give you a "big picture" view of what you will be learning in each chapter, helping you to understand how the detailed pieces fit together. You may want to revisit this page later, either to take advantage of some of the resource links provided here, or simply to confirm and reinforce your overall understanding of the chapter.
  2. Second, view the video tutorials at ConceptualAcademy for the current chapter.  The video lectures and demonstrations are very understandable and will help introduce you to concepts and terminology; in essence, they will "warm up" your brain to better receive more information. Answer the Video Quiz questions after viewing each video. 

  3. Next, look over the questions on the Reading Quiz, and spend a few seconds contemplating each of the answers.  Even if some of the questions seem like they are in a foreign language, you will be setting up cues in your brain that will prove useful later.

  4. After looking over the quiz, sit down and read the chapter in the book, keeping a printout of your quiz nearby (or keeping the window open on your computer, if you prefer).  As you read, you should immediately recognize topics that were addressed in some of the quiz questions, which you can stop and answer as you finish reading the relevant sections of the chapter. 

  5. Attempt the current Core Quiz on the course website. Hopefully, you can now answer most of the questions on this quiz. However, some of the questions will probably still remain unanswered.  Now you can go back over the chapter, re-reading the sections that correspond to your unanswered questions.  Make sure to also review the Practice Pages, as well as the exercises and RATs at the end of each chapter, as some of the questions may come directly from them (the answers to the odd-numbered exercises are provided in the back of the book).

  6. After submitting your first attempt on a Core Quiz, review the graded quiz and see which questions you missed.  Use the feedback for the question to focus your studying on the relevant material.  If you are still confused about the answer after reviewing the textbook, post a question to the Forum.  Even if you do well on your first quiz attempt, you may want to take the quiz again just to verify your understanding on a variety of different questions (note that the highest quiz score will be counted).

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