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CHEM-255 - Organic Chemistry I - Gretchen Stanton

Course:Organic Chemistry I
Professor:Gretchen Stanton
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Image of Professor Stanton

Welcome to CHEM 255! I am excited to work with you and find out what experiences you have had that I can build on in the course. With that said, I imagine the past few semesters have felt very different than most. I want to assure you that I plan to provide you detailed information ahead of time to, hopefully, address any concerns you may have. I will be sending an email to each of you that are registered a few weeks before the start of the semester. You will also be able to access Canvas early so you can look at our Orientation Module that has many helpful resources, including a syllabus video that walks you through what to expect.   

Course Description

First semester of a twosemester sequence in organic chemistry for science majors focusing on nomenclature, molecular structure, chemical and physical properties, reaction mechanisms, and synthesis of organic compounds. Laboratory experiments involve using appropriate methods, techniques, and instrumentation for the synthesis, purification, and identification of organic compounds. 5 units CSU, UC transferable (18 hr per week: 6 hr lecture, 12 hr lab). Prerequisite: Completion of Chem 202.


Student Learning Outcomes:


1. Compare and contrast the structures, properties, and reactions of aliphatic hydrocarbons, alkyl halides, alcohols, and ethers.

2. Formulate reaction mechanisms for the synthesis and transformation of functional groups.


1. Perform and justify the separation techniques used in purifying organic compounds.

2.  Interpret experimental data obtained from classical and spectroscopic methods used in characterizing organic compounds.


What to Expect in this Course

Meeting times and format of the course

We are scheduled to meet Mondays and Wednesdays via Zoom (OnlineLive) from 12:30 -1:50 pm for lecture. We will then have a short break and continue in Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 - 3:30 pm for lab (note that the rest of our scheduled lab time 3:30 - 5:05 pm will be done asynchronously). You are required to attend our Zoom meetings on Mondays/Wednesdays. Make sure you are available during these days/times before registering for the course. Here is what our schedule and class structure will be:

  • Learning outcomes: You will be provided the learning outcomes for each chapter at the beginning of the semester to use as a guide to focus your study time. I recommend using these as a guide to know what I expect you to be able to do on quizzes and exams. Our modules in Canvas are organized by week and learning outcomes will also be provided weekly.
  • Start-up assignments: To start each chapter, you will complete a worksheet that guides you through the chapter in the textbook before you watch the video lectures. It contains expected skills going into the chapter, learning outcomes, and practice problems.
  • Video lectures: Our class will be flipped this semester! This means, you will watch pre-recorded videos (and take notes as you would face-to-face) before we meet via Zoom. This will allow time to work on more in-depth problem solving as a class (and in teams) and hopefully give you more flexibility.
  • Our Zoom meetings: This time will be dedicated to problem solving activities. You will make the most of our Zoom meeting time by completing the start-up assignment and watching the video lectures prior.
  • Lab time: We will have pre-lab discussions days prior to lab activity days each week.
  • Exams are scheduled on Wednesdays and will be during lab time (tentatively 2:00 - 4:00 pm). I recommend making note of the dates/times at the beginning of the semester. Quizzes will also be scheduled during lab time. All quizzes and exams will be taken in Canvas. You do not need any additional software.
  • Online homework: In addition to practice problems in our Zoom meetings and problem sets, you will complete problems for credit online using Wiley Plus.
  • If any times/dates (on syllabus or Canvas) need to be adjusted, I will let you know in advance (and will be during our scheduled class time).


What are we doing for lab?

The laboratory component is still an integral part of the course. Even though we will not be able to perform physical laboratory experiments, we will utilize simulations, videos, and exercises to learn organic chemistry laboratory techniques, visualize syntheses, analyze data, and write formal reports.  We will use Beyond Labz software for some lab simulations (at no cost you). If you used Beyond Labz in the spring or summer, you will need a new license. All other laboratory materials can be found on Canvas. Under each module (organized by week), you can find more information about lab activities.


How will the course be organized?

Our course Canvas page is organized in Modules by week. When you login to Canvas, there will be a ‘get started’ button that takes you to the Orientation Module. The remaining modules are organized by week, including learning outcomes, an overview of assignments, lecture videos, practice, and  lab information. You can also find additional resources at the end of each weekly module. Note that you can click on the ‘get started’ button each week and it will take you directly to the new Module.


How will we submit assignments?

All assignments will be submitted directly in Canvas.  You will have detailed instructions for each assignment. Especially for handwritten work, it will be helpful to use a free app on your phone to convert pictures to .PDF format. You can download AdobeScan or download CamScanner.


What can I do early on to be successful in the course?

I want you to be successful in the course! It is important to keep up with the course material, so check Canvas and your email regularly. Expect to dedicate a few hours to practice for each lecture every week. There are several assignments to complete each week before and after lecture. This is not busy work! It is best to split your study time into smaller blocks, often and the number of assignments reflect this. You will improve more by being consistent (working a few problems each day versus long study sessions on one or two days a week). There are study tips in our course syllabus and a more detailed study tips handout posted in Canvas (in the Orientation Module) in addition to many campus resources (listed below). Please review the syllabus and watch the welcome/syllabus video (posted in Canvas) prior to the first day of class. Feel free to email me at with any questions!


Technology Checklist

  • You will need regular access to a reliable computer with stable, high-speed internet connection
  • Access and familiarity with Canvas (see below). A smartphone app is available to download! (Canvas by Instructure)
  • You need the following software on the computer:
    • Internet browser (Chrome works best with Canvas)
    • Microsoft Word. You can download the Microsoft Office Suite for FREE as part of your school My Canyons account (
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader. You need to be able to open, print, and save PDF files. To view PDF files, you should have a current version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your

Types of Assessments

For this course, we will have pre lecture assignments, online homework, and quizzes/exams. Additionally, there will be post lab assignments that include some scientific writing activities.

Textbook Information

I highly recommend waiting until the first day of class so we can discuss textbook options.

  1. Textbook/Online Homework: Klein, Organic Chemistry, 4th Edition e-text with Wiley Plus online homework platform (ISBN-9781119761112 for the Wiley Plus platform with e-text and loose-leaf textbook).

  2. Lab Text: Nichols, Organic Chemistry (Laboratory Techniques, 2nd Edition (2017). This text is an open education resource (OER) and is available for download from the course’s Canvas page.

  3. Laboratory Manual: Lab experiments and activities are downloadable from the course’s Canvas page.

  4. Beyond Labz Software: Access will be provided to you at no cost.

  5. Molecular Model Kit: This will be helpful for studying and completing assignments. This will be provided to you at no cost. More details to come about pick up.
  6. Scientific Calculator

Other Relevant Course Information

You must attend the first scheduled meeting of the semester via Zoom, or you will be dropped from the course. If you are on the waitlist and trying to add to the course, you must also attend the first scheduled meeting to qualify for a seat that opens. If you send me an email prior to the first day of classes, I will send you material for the first week and a link to our Zoom meeting.

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: 08/31/2022 Sub#: 292