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Chemistry in Our World - Syllabus

Chemistry 10030 -- Chemistry in Our World
Summer 2020

Printable Version

Contact Information

Dr. Clarke W. Earley
Kent State University at Stark
421 Main Hall
Phone: (330) 244-3421
Office Hours: View schedule or by appointment.
Web site:



Recommended: "Chemistry in Context", American Chemical Society. Published by McGraw-Hill. Any edition is acceptable. This should be available through the Stark campus bookstore. Alternatively, most online sites (ex. sell and rent both paperback and electronic versions of the newest edition and have both new and used copies of older editions, including some very inexpensive 6th and 7th editions (used).

In addition to the assigned textbook, you will need to access all of the material on this site. While not required, you might find it convenient to print some of this.



While there are no specific courses required as prerequisites, students are expected to be able to read and write at a college-level and be able to perform basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions). Note that you will be allowed to use a calculator on exams. No prior chemistry coursework is required.


Course Description

Catalog Description: A course for nonscience majors which utilizes environmental and consumer topics to introduce chemical principles and develop critical thinking skills.

This course is designed for nonscience majors and is intended to develop an understanding of basic chemistry principles and to show the application of chemistry to everyday life. Utilization of the scientific method on practical applications will illustrate both the potential benefits and the limitations of chemistry. Because this is an online course, material does not need to be (and will not be) presented in a traditional lecture format. While some of the material will be presented in the form of short video lectures, much of the material will be covered in readings, discussion boards, online videos, writing papers, and other methods. Some of the applications/phenomena covered will be dictated by student interest through the discussion board, sharing of student papers, and other means.



Grades for this course will be based the following:

  • Examinations - 300 pts
    Students will be required to take three examinations for this course. These exams will generally be taken Blackboard Learn and monitored using Proctorio. However, if necessary, these exams can be taken as traditional paper-and-pencil exams at an approved testing center. Contact Dr. Earley at least one week before the first exam if you need this option. With the University "closed" during the Summer I session, exams must be taken online. See the Exam Options Page for additional information.
  • Online Quizzes - 50 pts
    The online modules will either directly contain or provide links to most of the content for this course. Periodically, students will be required to take unproctored, online quizzes to test their understanding of the topics covered in these modules. These quizzes will be used to monitor student progress through these modules.
  • Discussion Board - 20 pts
    Each week during the semester, a discussion prompt will be posted. You will be required to create at least 10 posts of at least 100 words (worth 2 points each) on the discussion board during the semester. You will be given credit for up to two posts for each topic (provided the content of these posts is significantly different), so you are not required to respond to every prompt.
Grading Scale
90+% 88-90% 82-88% 80-82% 78-80% 72-78% 70-72% 60-70% <60%
A B+ B B- C+ C C- D F

All course grades will be posted on Blackboard Learn, but the GradeBook link located near the top of the left-column on the course website will provide a more up-to-date summary of your grades for the online quizzes and papers.



The format of the examinations will be varying combinations of multiple choice, true/false, calculations, and short answer questions. You will be allowed to use a non-programmable calculator on these exams. Unless approved by the instructor in advance, each exam must be taken within the one week periods listed below. See the Exam Options page for more information about the options you have for taking these exams.

  • Exam #1 - Must be completed between June 13-15, 2020.
  • Exam #2 - Must be completed between June 25-27, 2020.
  • Exam #3 - Must be completed between July 7-8, 2020.

While the content of this course can change significantly between semesters, copies of old examinations will be made available on this web site. You will be allowed to use a non-programmable calculator during the exams. Note that you will not be allowed to use your phone as a calculator.


Initial Requirements & Course Content

The first time you log into this course, you will be prompted to create a password (for security, do NOT use your Flashline password). You should edit your User Profile and create a name ("My Alias") that will be shared with other students for all material posted on this site. You may also add a picture (avatar) that everyone will see when you post comments.

The topics covered in this course are divided into three sections (one for each exam) on the Course Content page. Within each section are links to the Learning Modules, which provide the content for this course. The calendar (located near the bottom of the left-column of the course website lists due dates for upcoming assignments and should be consulted regularly.


Learning Modules/Quizzes

Each of the topics covered in this course is broken into sections. While the content of these sections will show significant variation, sections will typically contain a reading assignment from the course textbook, pages containing audio or video summarizing important topics, handouts, links to web pages covering aspects of this topic, practice problems, and online quizzes. It is expected that students will work through this material in the sequences given.

The online quizzes are generally short (less than 10 questions) and must be completed by the due dates listed in each section for full credit. You may repeat these quizzes as many times as necessary. Only your best quiz score will be used. These quizzes will remain open all semester, so you are allowed to take these after the posted deadlines (but will not receive full credit for this).


Discussion Boards and Online Identity

Each student should create an alias, and only this name (not the student's real name) will be shared with the rest of the class. While all of the student posts on this site do not include individuals' real identities, students are still expected to be courteous in all of their posts. Personal attacks, demeaning or inflammatory language, or other posts deemed inappropriate by the instructor will be deleted. Repeated occurrences of this behavior will result in at least loss of access to some or all of the material on this site. Depending on the nature of the offense(s), additional sanctions may be applied that are consistent with University policy.

Most weeks during the semester, a discussion prompt will be posted. You will be required to create at least 10 posts of at least 100 words each on the discussion board during the semester. Each of these posts will be worth 2 points. In many cases, you will be responding to other student's posts. To encourage discussion, you will be given credit for up to two posts most weeks (provided the content of these posts is significantly different). While it is not necessary to participate in the discussion board every week, you will need to respond to more than half of the prompts, so I encourage you to not get behind on this. Late comments on the discussion board are allowed, but you will not earn full credit for these. There is a roughly 10% reduction for each day late, so no credit can be earned unless posts are made withing 10 days of the due date.


Office Hours/Instructor Access

For most students, e-mail will be the most convenient method for contacting me. There is an answering machine on the phone in my office, so feel free to call any time at this number. I will generally respond to email messages and phone calls within 24 hours during the week, and within 48 hours over most weekends.

In addition, I will hold physical office hours at the times listed on my schedule page. Students near the Stark campus can come at any of these times without an appointment. If you are not in the area, these would generally be good times to call.


Learning Outcomes

The following Learning Outcomes were created and approved by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the structure and properties of matter at a basic level.
  2. Characterize chemical compounds according to type, name chemical compounds, and write formulas for chemical compounds.
  3. Perform calculations relating to chemical relationships.
  4. Discuss the role played by chemistry in everyday life, with particular emphasis on topical issues such as ozone depletion, global warming, alternative fuels, and water quality.
  5. Discuss selected topical issues critically, with reference to the underlying scientific principles.


Additional Information

In addition to the information on this page, the links listed below provide information about various University policy statements (Academic honesty, Students with disabilities, etc.), and other general information (email accounts, posting of grades, etc.).