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

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

    ISBN-13: 978-0-495-01213-9

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:

  1. Boxes titled "The World of Chemistry" and the "Personal Side": The "World of Chemistry" boxes describe new developments related to chapter topics or focus on science-related societal issues. "The Personal Side" boxes highlight the achievements of important contributors to the science of chemistry.

  1. Examples with Solutions: Worked examples in the text demonstrate the application of simple concepts in problem solving. Each worked example is accompanied by one or more "Try It" exercises to help you check your understanding of the material. Study each example and solution, and then work through the "Try It" exercise on your own. Check your solutions with the answers in Appendix F.

  1. Concept Checks: Test your understanding of the material by doing the Concept Checks in each chapter. Answers to these exercises are given in Appendix E. Also, take the self-check, online chapter quizzes given on the textbook's companion Web site:

  1. Applying Your Knowledge: At the end of each chapter is a section titled Applying Your Knowledge. Even-numbered questions provide the basis for the written assignments, but you can work similar questions on your own by answering the odd-numbered questions and comparing your solutions with the answers in Appendix G. Since the course does not emphasize mathematical problem solving, you are not responsible for doing the problems at the end of each Applying Your Knowledge section, nor the calculations related to these problems presented in the examples and "Try It" exercises.


Survey of Chemistry is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven (11) 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.

  1. Module 1:  World of Chemistry and Chemical View of Matter

  1. Module 2:  Atoms and the Periodic Table

  1. Module 3:  The Air We Breathe, Greenhouse Effect, and Ozone Layer

  1. Module 4:  Chemical Bonding and States of Matter

  1. Module 5:  Chemical Reassignment and Acid–Base Reactions

  1. Module 6:  Oxidation–Reduction Reactions    

  1. Module 7:  Water and Acid Rain

  1. Module 8:  Energy and Hydrocarbons; Nuclear Changes and Nuclear Power

  1. Module 9:  Organic Chemicals and Polymers; Chemistry of Life

  1. Module 10:  Nutrition and Medicine
  2. Module 11:  Chemistry of Useful Materials


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 (5) 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 (11) 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 (2) 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 (35) multiple-choice questions and three (3) 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 (35) multiple-choice questions and three (3) 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:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

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:

  1. Discussion forums (5)—10 percent
  2. Written assignments (11)—40 percent
  3. Midterm exam (proctored online – Modules 16)—25 percent
  4. Final exam (proctored online – Modules 711)—25 percent

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 nonarea of study course), 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:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


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.

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 takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. 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, 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.

Thomas Edison State College. All Rights Reserved