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Chem 201 - General Chemistry I - Heidi McMahon

Course:General Chemistry I
Professor:Heidi McMahon
  • Hybrid
  • InPerson
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Photograph of Professor Heidi McMahon

Welcome to the (almost!) start of our semester, and our adventure together in CHEM 201. Whether this is your first time taking chemistry in a long time or your just recently finished Chem151, or whether you loved or hated Chemistry in the past, I'm sure that you have some questions, concerns, and uncertainty as we start this semester together. To try to help you all feel more comfortable and prepared for what is ahead, and so you hopefully know exactly what to expect, I have outlined the format/plan for our class this semester, which will hopefully answer questions you may have. Details about your specific section and our required class meeting times will be emailed to you separately, closer to the start of the semester. 

Course Description

Course Description: Welcome to Chemistry 201 – the first semester of the UC transferable general chemistry sequence. This 6 credit course is designed to provide a foundation in the basic principles of chemistry from a molecular approach and provide the prerequisite information required for Chem 202. (Prerequisites: MATH-070 and CHEM-151, or MATH-070 and COC Chemistry Placement Exam )


Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of Chemistry 201, students will be able to:

1. Analyze chemical bonding and properties of materials using atomic theory.

2. Predict chemical reactions and solve chemical problems using stoichiometric methodologies.

3. Formulate conclusions according to scientific inquiry by collecting and interpreting

gravimetric, volumetric, and spectroscopic chemical data.

4. Generate and interpret graphical representation of chemical data.

What to Expect in this Course

Topics Specifically Related to Our Course Being Online:

1. Are we going to have scheduled lecture/lab meetings?

This depends on which section you have registered for - hybrid or traditional. In both cases, we will be meeting weekly IN PERSON for lab AND "recitation" (both on the same day if you are in a hybrid section; on different days for those of you in traditional sections). Attendance in your weekly lab section is mandatory in order to turn in/receive credit for that week's lab.

For those of you who have registered for the hybrid course, these are the only scheduled meeting times for the course - we never meet for lecture (that is handled 100% online). For those of you who have registered for a traditional section, with lecture periods twice a week, we will also be meeting for lecture together, in person, two times a week. 

2. How will the course be organized?

Your Canvas course will be organized as weekly modules, so that you can access all of the materials needed for that week in one, organized place. This will include the lecture notes (PowerPoint and pdf), laboratory files, worksheets, a link to the CHEM 101 homework assignment, and any pre-recorded lectures for that week.

3. How are we going to do labs and recitation?

We will cover this much more in-depth during your first scheduled lab day (which, and this is important, you must attend or you will be dropped from the course!) but essentially the 3-hour lab periods each week will be used to perform experiments of course, but also to sometimes take exams and quizzes. 

Recitation is when we will get a chance to work together on the material you've been covering the past week and an opportunity for you to ask questions on what you've been learning. Sometimes this means I will do a mini-lecture of sorts, but we will also spend the time doing practice problems, group activities, and other active-learning assignments. Important - this part of the class is part of the course you registered for/the is not optional! 

4. How will we submit our assignments? 

This is going to vary by assignment, but I will make sure you have clear, detailed directions for everything you turn in. Briefly:

  • Your homework assignments and some quizzes are turned in through their own website, CHEM 101.
  • Some assignments will be performed within Canvas, and so it will automatically submit your answers to me.
  • Some activities (like labs or worksheets for example) you will turn in paper copies of, in-person, during our weekly recitation and lab meetings. 

5. What materials do I need for the course, in general?

  • Textbook: Chem Libre custom OER textbook; available for free as e-book or as a printed book through the COC bookstore or ChemLibre website


    Lab Goggles: Available for purchase in bookstore. These MUST be purchased by the second lab; without them you WILL NOT be allowed to participate in the laboratory and it will be marked as an unexcused absence/0.


    Lab “manual”: available each week as a printable pdf file or for ~$3.00 fully printed in the Bookstore


    Aktiv Learning Homework Access - purchased directly through Canvas (or bookstore if required but there is no course code; must access directly through Canvas)


    Scientific calculator: Please see me prior to first exam to ensure that your calculator is appropriate for the course. NO graphing or programmable calculators should be used.

6. Do I need any specific materials because we are a hybrid course?

  • You will need regular access to a reliable computer with stable, high-speed internet connection (tablets will work often, but not in all laboratory simulation activities)
  • Access and familiarity with Canvas (for technical support using Canvas, visit the Canvas Tech Support page for students
  • Access to (and frequent checking of!) your canyons student email address
  • You will need the following software on your computer:
    • Internet browser (Chrome works best with Canvas)
    • Microsoft Word (you can download the Microsoft Office Suite for FREE as part of your my.canyons email account)
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader. You need to be able to open, print, and save PDF files. To view PDF files you need a current version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Types of Assessments

Grades will be based on homework assignments, lab activities, in-class recitation activities, quizzes, a lab practical, and exams. Final grades will be determined based on your earned points out of the total possible points, and it is your responsibility to keep track of your overall grade throughout the semester.

Textbook Information

We are using an ZTC (open educational resource/zero-cost) textbook for this course, Textbook: Chem Libre custom OER textbook; available for free as e-book (  or as a printed book through the COC bookstore or ChemLibre website

Lecture notes will be provided that align with the textbook in both pdf and PowerPoint formats.

Other Relevant Course Information

Remember, if you are registered for this class you must show up on the first day or you will be automatically dropped from the class, and your seat given to a student on the waitlist. 

If you are on the waitlist, you will only be able to add the course if a student that is currently registered drops - either sometime between now and the start of the semester (in which case, the system will automatically move students up the waitlist and into the course) or by not attending on the first day. I have no control over the order of the waitlist. Whatever your position is at the time you registered is how far down you are; I cannot make any adjustments or add out-of-order. You are highly encouraged to attend the first day of lecture if you are the on waitlist, to make sure you don't miss any important information.

That covers the very brief, highlight version of our plan for next semester. Once it is available (closer to the start of the semester, generally about a week before), you should head into Canvas and start going through the Introduction Module – it will have far more detailed explanations on the things briefly mentioned here, as well as our course syllabus. Also, keep an eye out for another email from me about a week before the semester too - it will contain more detailed information about your specific section. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 01/11/2024 Sub#: 413