CHEM 123-05A (10143)


Dr. Henry Jakubowski

office: 363-5354

TEXT:  General Chemistry: Atoms First, with MasteringChemistry Online problems (2010)

WEB TEXT:  by Dr. Chris Schaller

CLASS:  1:00-2:10 PM, Days 1-3-5; Ardolf Science Center, 104

LAB:  Day 3, 8:00-12:00 P.M; Ardolf Science Center 202/204

LAB Instructor:  Dr. Brad DeLeeuw;  LAB TAs: Chris Seeler and Justin Eklund

OFFICE:  Ardolf Science Center, 245; CSB

OFFICE HOURS: Days 4,6 at 2:30-3:30; Days 3,5 at 9:30-10:30; or by appointment


General Chemistry I is the first course in chemistry taken by science majors and students in prehealth programs.  It also satisfies the one course Natural Science (NS) Common Curriculum requirement.  It is not usually taken by nonscience majors seeking to fulfill the NS Common Curriculum requirements.  Nonmajors usually take CHEM 105, Chemistry and Society, or similar nonscience majors courses in other departments.

This year we have significantly revised General Chemistry I as the first step in a major curriculum change in Chemistry that we strongly believe will be benefit our students.  More details can be found in the link below.


Very approximate semester schedule


Content Goals:  Students should be able to:

 Process Goals: Students should be able to:

Bloom's Taxonomy, developed in 1956, gives a classification of increasing complex and sophistical levels of thinking and behavior associated with in learning.  These levels really reflect the process goals that we wish students to develop in individual chemistry courses and throughout the whole chemistry curriculum. Not all of these process outcomes are achievable in an introductory course.  They are listed below in modified form.

  • recall of memorized ideas (knowledge)

  • understand what is being communicated (translation, interpretation, extrapolation). Solve problem using a method that is explicitly specified. (Ex:  Draw 3D representations of different molecules )

  • apply appropriate concepts to solving a new problem without being told to how to do so.

  • analyze material by breaking it into constituent parts and detecting relationships of the parts and how they are organized. 

  • synthesize or create (a new way to synthesize of molecule)

  • evaluate existing ideas to make them better.


The following diagram shows the before class, in-class, and after class activities for a given class day.

Most of your work will be done outside of class.  Your success in the class will be determined by your effort outside of class.  A general rule is that for every hour in class you should prepare at least two hours.

  • Before Class:  Read the assigned material (from the text or webtext).  Then do the online problems on MOODLE: Chem Tutor (see below).  These problems are not very difficult but will prepare you to get the most out of class;

  • In Class:  I will divide class time into lecture, group activities, and quizzes/tests.  Group activities will consists of problem solving and presentations based on problems distributed in class or by email, and on activities found in the General Chemistry Shape Workbook that will be distributed at the start of class.

  • After Class:  As soon as possible after class, I will post the reading assignments for the next class, and a series of problems based on the learning activities of the just completed class. 

Note that before the next class, you will be assigned problems based on the just completed class, and also reading material and problems to prepare you for the next class.


In general, the following grading cutoffs will be used.  Grade cutoffs won't be higher than shown.


Students whose main language is not English or who have documented learning disabilities should contact me within the first two weeks of the semester to discuss possible accommodations on exams.


Four exams are scheduled for this class (three regular exams and one final exam). I will replace your lowest regular exam score with the final exam score if the final exam score is higher than your lowest regular exam score. In that case, your final will count twice, once as a regular exam and once as the final. This policy is designed to help you if you had a bad day on one exam and to give you motivation to study hard for the final exam.



I will give three period-long exams during the semester, and one final exam.  The three period exams may consist of any combination of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and/or  problems.  The final exams is a common exam given to all students taking General Chemistry I.  My policy is that there will no makeup exams for missed exams.  Rather, the final exam score will substitute for the missed exam.


Tutors will start the week of August 31.  There may be a few evenings when an individual tutor will not be available.  The tutors are expected to post a sign at the tutoring site ahead of time when they cannot make it.  There will be no tutor sessions on evenings before a free day or on days when classes are canceled due to weather.   Sessions will be at CSB in Ardolf study room (middle student lounge)  and the SJU study room from 7 � 9 PM, except Lindsey Firman who will be available from 6:30-9:30.

  • Monday            Ardolf (CSB)           Lindsey Firman       gen chem, organic          

  • Tuesday           Ardolf (CSB)               Daryl Fields                gen chem, organic   

  • Wednesday      Ardolf (CSB)              Lindsey Firman          gen chem, organic

  • Wednesday        Science Hall (SJU)    Jake Petersburg        gen chem, organic

  • Thursday          Science Hall (SJU)    Jake Petersburg        gen chem, organic


Your final grade may be influenced by the extent and quality of your participation.  Average participation will neither boost or detract from your grade.  Significant participation might  be reflected by a raising of your final grade by a half-step (from AB to B) if you are very close to the cutoff for the higher grade.   Participation suggests interest and effort. It is not limited to just asking/answering questions in class. It includes things like:


Sending any of the course materials from any course at CSB/SJU to a third party vendor is expressly forbidden and will carry serious consequences.

Attendance at class is expected. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and to be prepared for the next class. If you miss to many classes, you may be asked to withdraw from the class.

I will drop one quiz grade.  If you miss a quiz, you will get a grade of 0 for that quiz.  Presumably, you will wish to drop that quiz grade which implies that all others will count toward your grade.  There will be no makeup quizzes.  No makeup exams will be given unless for a certifiable emergency. Any makeup exam will be more difficult than the original and consist of oral and written questions.

15% of the grade derives from quizzes, homework, and group activities, which we will do in most classes. Because of this, ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY! The group work will vary from informal, ungraded exercises to formal, graded problems.   Homework will be assigned for most chapters. All questions should be completed. I encourage you to work in groups. Only random questions from the homework assignments will be graded and if I ask them to be submitted, you must do so prior to the start of class the day they are due. No late homework assignments will be accepted for grades. Quizzes will usually be announced during the previous class. Some grades will be group grades. The final exam will emphasize the material presented after the last exam, but will also be cumulative. 


Individual:  All students are expected to provide the results (answers, reports, etc) by doing their own individual work, written in their own words.  In some cases, clearly indicated by my, students may consult with other classmates, TAs, tutors or the instructor in attempting to understand the material involved.  However, even in these cases, students must submit their own results.  Clearly, there are some individual assignments where consulting would not be allowed (quizzes, exams, etc.)

Group:  All members of the group are expected to meet and discuss all parts of the assignment, even if they initially divide up the assignments into individual parts.  All members must understand the results (answers, reports, etc.) that are being submitted and agree to a a single set of results that will be submitted for grading.  All group members receive the same grade for the assignment.

On the first day of class, I will groups of 4.  These groups will change during the semester.


Most of you probably had chemistry in high school.  You may have had an introductory course, or taken AP Chemistry.  You probably took it in your Junior year.  You bring in differing levels of understanding of chemistry � both factual and conceptual, both of which are probably rusty.  In high school, chemistry may have been one of your most difficult classes.  Now, you will take chemistry again, only this time in a completely different context.  For many of you in your first year at CSB/SJU, you will be taking chemistry along with three to four other demanding classes.  In addition, the pace we will take will be faster than in high school.   You will have to learn and use new study habits for the rigors of the academic expectations at CSB/SJU.  All of this is happening at a new time in your lives when you�re trying to make new friends and adjust to a brand new environment.  There will be many competing demands for your time.  How are you going to deal with all of these demands?  It's up to you.  I can provide the learning environment, but you will have to do the learning.  High grades in college don't come as easily as they do in high school.  What can you do to do well? 

Here is what I expect from students:

  • You will treat everyone in the class, including the professor, with the respect.
  • You will attend every class, give your full attention to the material, and conduct yourself in an appropriate manner.
  • You will agree to do the work outlined in the syllabus on time.
  • You will acknowledge that previous academic preparation (e.g., writing skills) will affect your performance in this course.
  • You will acknowledge that your perception of effort, by itself, is not enough to justify a distinguished grade.
  • You will not plagiarize or otherwise steal the work of others.
  • You will not make excuses for your failure to do what you ought.
  • You will accept the consequences -- good and bad -- of your actions.

Here is what you can expect from me:

  • I will treat you with the respect.
  • I will not discriminate against you on the basis of your identity or your well-informed viewpoints.
  • I will manage the class in a professional manner. That may include educating you in appropriate behavior.
  • I will prepare carefully for every class.
  • I will begin and end class on time.
  • I will teach only in areas of my professional expertise. If I do not know something, I will say so.
  • I will return your assignments as quickly as possible.
  • I will pursue the maximum punishment for plagiarism, cheating, and other violations of academic integrity.
  • I will keep careful records of your attendance, performance, and progress.
  • I will make myself available to you for advising.
  • I will maintain confidentiality concerning your performance.
  • I will provide you with professional support and write recommendations for you if appropriate.
  • I will be honest with you.
  • Your grade will reflect the quality of your work and nothing else.
  • I am interested in your feedback about the class, but I am more interested in what you learned.


Chemistry is a difficult field.  One study showed that there are as many new words in a first year general chemistry class as in a first year foreign language class.  The words have precise, but often difficult meanings.   Critical thinking skills are required.  In addition, there is much content to learn.  It's not a course that centers around discussion or your opinion, but your ability to problem solve.  To be successful in the class, you will need to study regularly and diligently.  Click the link below to find out some proven ways to study successfully that were compiled by Ronald Ragsdale, University of Utah..


Learning is a complex endeavor.  It can be fun and easy and we would like it to be that way. More often it is challenging, difficult, and associated with failure (temporary, we hope).  Our goal as life-long learners is to try new strategies when we encounter difficulties and failures on the path to understanding, and transform our fears into courage and frustrations into patience.  True and deep learning comes when we overcome failures and our fears that prevent us from doing what we need to do.  We move  

It is easy to blame yourself or me if you have difficulty with this class.  Both are unproductive.  You need to adopt a new strategy, as described below.  These strategies work for any situation you find difficult, not just General Chemistry. 

Learning to Learn Strategies



Failure to complete a lab or labs without a valid reason will have the following consequences on FINAL COURSE GRADES:

Completion of a lab or lab equivalent is defined as both attendance at the lab and completion of the requisite written report.

NOTE: An unexcused lab will result in an F (0 points) grade for that lab. This grade will be averaged in with the student's other lab grades for the semester when calculating the final laboratory grade or T score. The final laboratory grade will contribute 20% toward the final course grade. It is this final course grade which will then be lowered by unexcused absences. Students having a valid excuse may reschedule the lab, if possible, only if they notify the LABORATORY COORDINATOR before the scheduled lab.


  • You need to have goggles on the first day of lab.  Some of you may already have them.  Bring them with you to lab, but they must be approved before you can use them.  If you don't have goggles, you can purchase them at the bookstore for around $20.  

  • Short and sandals are not  allowed in the lab.  You will not be allowed in lab if you are wearing them.

  • Purchase a lab notebook ($12) from the bookstore before you come to the first lab.  Get the lab notebook that makes copies without a piece of blue carbon paper inserted between the sheets.


We will make extensive use of computer and information technology in the class.

USE OF Mastering Chemistry (MC)

Mastering Chemistry is a program for online, graded chapter problems.  Here is some general information about it:

Although MC has many advantages, there are two small weaknesses. First, because it is a computer-based system, only certain kinds of questions and question formats can be included. Questions that involve identifying terms, doing basic calculations and other fundamental concepts work well. However, more complex or multi-part problems do not. And, the computer has to be fussy about format in order to be able to do the grading. Second, because it is done on a computer, it is always possible that the network can go down! Don�t leave assignments until the last minute. Your first MC assignment will be to register online and then do the "Introduction to MC" It is due on Friday, August 28. There is a second MC assignment also due on Monday, August 31 dealing with significant figures, rounding and related issues. (It is best to read the related pages in the textbook before trying to do the online assignment. In this case it is sections 1.10-1.12.)

Here�s how to get started: Please contact me if you have any problems!)

  1. Go to (Bookmark this!)
  2. Under Register, click on "new student"
  3. There should be an access code and a password in the packet you will receive when you buy your textbook at the CSB/SJU Bookstore.  Use these and complete the process. The zip code you should use is 56374 (St. Joseph) even if you are a St. John�s student. Again, select the College of St. Benedict whether you are a CSB or a SJU student.

If you bought a book from another source you will need to purchase an access code. Follow the steps above and you will be able to purchase an access code online. To do so, you will need a credit card. If you don�t have one, get ahold of someone who does ASAP! Note that you will probably need the expiration date, and the "secret code", a three digit number which is on the back of the credit card. Use this and register.

After you get past this step you will at some point need to enter the Course ID.

  • For our section the COURSE ID is MCJAKUBOWSKI082609

  • The course title should be: Gen Chem I: Section 05A (Jakubowski)

If it asks for student ID, enter your ID number on your CSB/SJU ID (it begins with 900...)

You will be asked for a login ID and password. I suggest using your network account and password to minimize confusion.

Click on the Current Assignments tab on the left side of the screen. That should allow you to see what is due and when.

Use of Moodle

I will use two Moodle sites:

This is how you get to Moodle.  First try my site:


  • If your course does not appear in the list, click the "All Courses" button at the bottom of the list, or search for the course by name (or partial name, course #...).

  • Locate your course and click the link to it.

  • In the dialog box: "You are about to enroll yourself as a member of this course. Are you sure you wish to do this"?

  • Click "Yes"

When there you can “enroll “ in the CHEM 123: General Chemistry, section 05 A.   Follow prompts to personalize your Moodle Homepage and change your password. 


Some of you might get a different window such as displayed below

There is no place for the domain name.  In that case, include the domain name, ad, as shown below (for the hypothetical user jngramke):





I'll pass out lab manuals and workbooks.  You will be charged for the lab manual out the lab fee you have already paid for the course.  You'll be changed $8.00 for the workbook.  Make sure you have your ID with your Banner # before the class.

Before class, log into Moodle and take the Day 1 quiz, "Can you use Moodle".  It's located in the 1st topic, Introduction to Chemistry and Matter.

Also in Moodle, go to the left hand side, select Profile, and follow prompts to load  digital picture of yourself.  Also add some comments.


I have the right to amend this syllabus during class in ways which I feel will facilitate student learning.

Last Update:  08/30/2011