Dr. Sparks Principles of Chemistry II

Dr. Stacy Sparks
WEL 4.312
Monday and Friday 10:30-11:30

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 - Physcial 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 7 - Nuclear Chemistry & Kinetics
This unit will look at nuclear chemistry as an introduction to chemical kinetics. We will compare and contrast nuclear and chemical change. The second half of the unit will look at the rates of nuclear and chemical change specifically addressing 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.

A detailed layout of the material for each class day can be found after class each day on the "in-class" tab of the course webpage.

Requirements for the Course

iClicker2: All students must have an iClicker2. We have officially switched to the iclicker2 (not the original iclicker) - see picture to the left. These are available at a variety of outlets including the University Co-op. We will use them daily in class. You will register the iClicker2 number via the iClicker website ( www.iclicker.com), and then you are good to go. (Make sure you enter your UT EID when prompted to enter your student ID. Some students mistakenly enter the long number on their UT ID. Also, for this class, you must register your iClicker2 on the iClicker web site NOT via Blackboard!! Some classes require that you register your Clicker on Blackboard or in Quest, we need you to register on www.iClicker.com, so you may have to register in multiple places.)

sci-calc nographing

Calculator: You will absolutely need a calculator for this course. During class (as long as we are not taking a quiz or exam) you can use any type of calculator. However, during the test you can only have a nonprogrammable, scientific calculator. You should be able to pick one up for around $15.00 anywhere that sells school supplies. You can never use a wireless device as a calculator or a programmable calculator during an exam.


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, 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, buy you might find them very useful in your studies.

Click the button below for more information on the textbook policy.


Course Pack (cost $19) You will need a printed course pack. These are available at the University COOP and contain copies of all of the in-class learning activities as well as the supplemental worksheets.

Sapling Learning (cost: $25)

This course makes use of the web-based homework system from Sapling Learning. This service will require a $25 charge per student for its use. Instructions on how to setup your account can be found here. 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.

What will we do in our class?

We’ll learn a lot of chemistry. In class, we will try to learn stuff rather than just take notes. This will take place through a variety of engaging activities in which you will be expected to actively participate. Outside of class, you will be expected to master some of the knowledge of general chemistry by engaging course material in the form of online learning modules (typically some text or a brief video, followed by a few questions – this is when you will be taking notes) as well as by doing homeworks. Both in class and out of class activities will be assessed (graded). We encourage everyone to work together, both in class and outside class.

How will I earn points toward my course grade?

You will earn points during class (iClicker quizzes, iClicker participation questions, learning activities), by completing the online materials outside of class (learning modules and homework), on selected evenings when you take the exams (four total), and on the final exam to be taken at the scheduled time during finals week.

Can I drop an exam?
Do I have to take the final if I have a ridiculously high grade?
More details below

Overall Scoring for the Course

Your overall score will be determined from your Participation Points (homework, learning modules, and iclicker points), Exam Average, and a FINAL EXAM. Your overall score (and letter grade) in the course will be calculated by two methods. The HIGHEST score of these two methods will be the one that counts. Your score is calculated to the nearest 1/100th - that's 2 places PAST the decimal.

Method 1

  • 15% (Average of Participation Points score for all four units) a
  • 60% Exams (3-exam average) b
  • 25% Final

Method 2

  • 0% (Average of Participation Points score for all four units)
  • 75% Exams (4-exam average) c
  • 25% Final

Note a: You will receive a participation score for each unit that is based on the number of points you earn on homework, iclicker, learning modules, and "other". "other" may include a variety of other participation assessments in and out of class. Details below.

Note b: The 3-exam average is your best 3 out of 4 exams averaged (1 dropped exam).

Note c: The 4-exam average is all 4 exams averaged with no drops.

Which method? The method that gives you the highest possible score will be used.

Grade Breaks

Course grades will be determined according to the following scale or cut-offs:


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.

Participation Points

The participation points will be all the other assessment points accumulated during the semester excluding the points earned on exams. These include work both inside and outside the classroom. In class, we will be taking iClicker quizzes as well as completing guided inquiry activities. Outside of class you will earn “participation points” by correctly completing and submitting online homework and completing online learning modules. Your final grade will be based on the percentage of the total points that you earn through these activities. Your unit participation score (one assigned for each unit) will be based on the percentage of the total points that you earn through these activities. In addition, there may be opportunities to earn extra participation points. (However, you will not be able to ever get more than 100% of the possible participation points regardless of how many extra participation points you earn). In addition, we will have opportunities for bonus points. We will track these bonus points throughout the semester. At the end of the semester these bonus points will be utilized to decide if borderline students are bumped to the next highest +/- letter grade.


Four examinations will be given during the semester. These will be given about once a month on Tuesday evenings at 7PM. Each examination will consist of multiple-choice questions that will be machine graded, plus a hand graded section which will include short answer, model explanation, problem solving, etc...

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.

The final exam schedule is set by the Registrars office and cannot be changed.

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 iClickers. These opportunities will come in the form of “Clicker Questions”. Each Clicker question is worth 10 points. On any given day in class, we might have between 5 and 15 Clicker questions. Those Clicker question points will accumulate throughout the period of a three-week Unit. At the end of the Unit the Clicker Question points will be added to the homework and learning module point totals to give your participation points for that Unit. To get a perfect participation score you will need to have earned 90% of the total possible participation points for the Unit. This way if you forget your Clicker one day, or your batteries go dead, or some other event prevents you from attending class one day, your grade will not be affected. A fully engaged student will have a participation point score in the 90’s. Anything less indicates something is not quite working.

We will have two types of iClicker questions. Some will be participation only where all you need to do is try (more formative in nature). Other questions will require you to get the correct answer to score the points (more summative in nature). In both cases (formative and summative questions) we will sometimes encourage you to work in small groups to practice articulating your thoughts and speaking the language of chemistry. This group time is deliberate and designed to help you solidify your concept of basic chemical principles. Taking advantage of this time and fully engaging in the group work will help lead you to success in this class.

Work Outside the Class

Online Work

We will be using the Sapling and Canvas for online learning and assessment system with two types of graded assignments: Learning Modules and Homework Sets. Learning Modules 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 will be provided, but will not be graded. The drilling worksheets are designed to help build your problem solving skills such that you can successfully complete your Homework Set. 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. Learning Modules will typically be shorter than the homework assignments. The graded Learning Modules and Homework Sets will be counted toward your participation points. Each LM will have a quiz that can be repeated three times. Your highest score will be counted toward your grade.

All About Exams...

The class exams will be held in various rooms around campus. ALWAYS check our website to find out WHERE you go for your exam.

All regular Exams are on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 PM

Your room assignments (where to go for the exam) will be announced on Quest a week before the exam.
  • Exam 1 Tues 2/4
  • Exam 2 Tues 3/4
  • Exam 3 Tues 4/8
  • Exam 4 Tues 4/29

Final Exams

    Will be announced later once the Registrar has finalized them.


You only need a few things for an exam:

  1. More than one pencil
  2. An eraser
  3. Your non-programmable calculator
  4. Your UT EID card


...and 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:

  • 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 the two reasons below 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.

Reschedule Your Exam(s) at WEL 2.212

The Undergraduate Chemistry Office is where you need to go to reschedule the exam conflict. You will need to schedule an earlier time to take the exam. They will tell you what your options are when you go there. You will need to print, and fill out the form given below and attach any requested documentation about the conflict. If you can't take the exam from 4-6PM (the default alternative time), you will have to ALSO get Dr. Sparks's signature for approval on the form. Reschedule for ALL exams with a conflict for the whole semester. Final exam rescheduling will start 2 weeks before final exams.

Alternate Exam Time FORM (fill out and turn in to WEL 2.212)

Even More About the Exams

Four examinations will be given during the semester. These will be given about once a month on Tuesday evenings at 7PM. Each examination will consist of multiple-choice questions that will be machine graded, plus a hand graded section which will include short answer, model explanation, problem solving, ect..

The fours exams will be given in the evenings on the scheduled days in the rooms posted. You must go to the correct room. Be sure and bring your calculator to the exam. You CANNOT use a PDA, or cell phone as your calculator (or any other gadget that is NOT only a calculator). An alternate exam time will be available only if you have a University related conflict (see above) The times of the exams are posted on the webpage. If you have a conflict, you must schedule a make up time at least one week before the exam. You schedule the make up exam time with the Lower Division Chemistry Office, Welch 2.212.

Each student will receive a unique exam copy with a specific version number on it. 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.

Even 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. If you are seriously ill and cannot take the final exam during your scheduled time you will receive an incomplete for the semester. 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. 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.

Additional Assessments

We are always working on ways to teach chemistry better, and as such we need to evaluate our course against some standards. So, in addition to our graded exams, quizzes, worksheets, homework and learning modules: we will have a few assessments that will be included in the “Participation Points” for the course section of the grade book. These will be assessments and surveys that will be graded on participation only, including but not limited to a chemistry concept inventory given in class, a survey regarding learning strategies for chemistry, a study habits survey and a science attitudes survey all to be taken online. Instructions for completing these “completion-graded” assessments will be given on an as needed basis during the first two weeks of the semester.


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 use your iClicker cheating. For example, if you send your iClicker 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, www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd

Drop Date

The last day to drop the course for academic reasons is March 31st, 2014. 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 Requirments

NATURAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY PART I (Core Component 030) 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.