Syllabus for CHE-101



Survey of Chemistry is designed for non-chemistry majors to provide a broad background to "The World of Chemistry." The real world of chemistry is vast and complicated, but the assignments and activities in this course help elucidate how every substance, living or inanimate, is chemical in nature.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Define chemistry in terms of the chemical view of matter.
  2. Explain the scientific method and apply it to a simple experiment conducted with household chemicals.
  3. Classify matter as elements, compounds, and mixtures.
  4. Define different forms of energy and explain their relationship to chemical reactions.
  5. List the subatomic particles and their role in the structure of atoms.
  6. Explain the importance and structure of the periodic table.
  7. Name compounds and write their formulas.
  8. Explain how bonds are formed between atoms to produce compounds.
  9. List pollutants found in water, air, and soil, and explain with scientific terminology the dangers of environmental pollutants.
  10. Determine whether a chemical equation is balanced or not.
  11. Explain the importance of dynamic equilibrium in nature.
  12. Describe the properties of acids, bases, and salts and give examples of each.
  13. Define and identify examples of oxidation and reduction reactions.
  14. Differentiate between inorganic and organic chemicals.
  15. Discuss the different forms of renewable and nonrenewable sources of fuel.
  16. Identify different groups of plastics and discuss their practical applications and recycling.
  17. List the major chemical groups that make up living organisms, our food, and medications.
  18. List three different forms of nuclear radiation and discuss their effect on the environment.
  19. Discuss practical applications of chemical reactions in our everyday life.
  20. Name and discuss the contributions of various scientists to the advancement of chemistry.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  • World of Chemistry: Essentials, 4th ed., by Melvin Joesten, Mary E. Castellion, and John L. Hogg (Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2007)

    ISBN-13: 978-0495012139

A Word about the Course Materials

The textbook provides a wealth of information and learning assignments designed to enrich your study of chemistry. The paragraphs that follow introduce you to these materials and suggest ways you might use them to the best possible advantage.

Subdivided into sections, each chapter in the textbook contains the following useful study aids and features:


Survey of Chemistry is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven modules. Modules include  learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module assignments include studying one or two chapters in the textbook and checking your understanding of the topics covered by means of tutorial quizzes and chapter self-tests. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and take two proctored online examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1, Survey of Chemistry has five graded online discussion forums.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eleven written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. 

The written assignments draw mostly on even-numbered questions from the Applying Your Knowledge section at the end of assigned chapters in the textbook. For each assignment, answer all assigned questions, and show all work. Your answers should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Responses should be in your own words—do not merely copy answers from the reading materials.

Assignments must be prepared electronically using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. When preparing your answers, please identify each question carefully by number and repeat the question. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text format (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.


You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.


Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed-book exam. It is two hours long and covers all material assigned in Modules 1–6 of the course (Chapters 1–10 of the textbook). The exam consists of thirty-five multiple-choice questions and three short-answer, essay-type questions.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book. It is two hours long and covers all material assigned in Modules 7–11 of the course (Chapters 11–19 of the textbook). Like the midterm, the final exam consists of thirty-five multiple-choice questions and three short-answer, essay-type questions.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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