Course Content and Outcomes Guides (CCOG)

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for CH 221 Effective Summer 2020

Course Number:
CH 221
Course Title:
General Chemistry I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores measurements, properties of matter, nomenclature, atomic theory, chemical periodicity, and chemical bonding. Prerequisites: MTH 111, WR 115, and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores, and (CH 151 or pass the CH 151 Competency Exam). Recommended for the following majors and pre-professional degrees: chemistry, natural science, engineering, medicine and dentistry. This is the first course in a three course sequence. For information about the CH 151 Competency Exam see the description addendum in the CCOG. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

For CH 151 Competency Exam information  visit the following website:

Chemistry 221 is the first of a three term chemistry sequence designed to provide a year of general chemistry to science majors (5 credits/term). It will meet transfer school requirements for such science majors as: chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, pre-medicine, and other pre-professional programs. The class consists of lecture and laboratory. The lecture time is used to provide the student with foundational chemical concepts and mathematical applications to chemistry. The laboratory re-enforces concepts presented in lecture and provides the student a hands-on opportunity to explore these. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of this course the students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic ability to use effective written and/or oral communication through the application of general chemistry concepts and reasoning using the language of chemistry.
  • Demonstrate an emerging understanding of how general chemistry impacts the natural and technological environments.
  • Demonstrate a basic ability to use detailed data collection, analysis and collaborative skills in order to explore general chemical principles, critically evaluate models and information, draw conclusions and communicate results in the context of the material covered in General Chemistry I.  
  • Demonstrate an emerging understanding of chemical principles and collaborative skills to effectively solve problems encountered in general chemistry using appropriate computational and reasoning skills.

Aspirational Goals

Core Outcome: Cultural Awareness

Demonstrate appropriate cultural awareness within the general chemistry field.

Core Outcome 6:  Self Reflection

Demonstrate effective self-reflective skills within the general chemistry field.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

PCC Core Outcome Mapping Core Outcome Communication - Mapping Level Indicator 2

Demonstrate a basic ability to use effective written and/or oral communication through the application of chemical concepts and reasoning using the language of chemistry.

PCC Core Outcome Mapping: Core Outcome Community and Environmental Responsibility - Mapping Level Indicator 1

Demonstrate limited  understanding of how chemistry impacts the natural and technological environments.

PCC Core Outcome Mapping: Core Outcome Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - Mapping Level Indicator 2

Demonstrate a basic ability to use detailed data collection, analysis and collaborative skills in order to explore general chemical principles, critically evaluate models and information, draw conclusions and communicate results.

Core Outcome Mapping: Core Outcome Professional Competency - Mapping Level Indicator 1

Demonstrate limited understanding of chemical principles and collaborative skills to effectively solve problems encountered in general chemistry using appropriate computational and reasoning skills.


At the beginning of the course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. The methods may include one or more of the following tools: examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, laboratory write-ups, research papers, small group problem solving of questions arising from application of course concepts and concerns to actual experience, oral presentations, or maintenance of a personal lab manual.

At least two written lecture examinations, including the final examination, are scheduled during the term. Non-scheduled quizzes may occasionally be given at the discretion of the instructor. Written examinations include typical problems encountered in previous class work and laboratory. These examinations may also include challenge problems that ask students to apply concepts learned in class and lab in a new way in order to evaluate problem-solving ability and development of higher level thinking skills.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

CH221 Course Specific Objectives

The following objectives will be demonstrated by the student on written assignments or assessments in  lab or lecture.

Dual Nature of Light and Matter

Compare the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum (UV, visible, IR, x-ray) in terms of energy, frequency, and wavelength.  (Benchmark 70%)

Interconvert frequency, wavelength, and energy of light.  (Benchmark 70%)

Explain or apply the photoelectric effect - how the threshold frequency supports the particle model of light.  (Benchmark 70%)

Discuss and give examples of wave-particle duality.  (Benchmark 70%)

Electronic Structure of the Atom

Draw a Bohr model representation an atom.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a Bohr model of an atom, identify emission and absorption processes.  (Benchmark 70%)

Calculate the frequency, energy or wavelength of an electron transition in a hydrogen atom.  (Benchmark 70%)

Rank electron transitions in terms of energy, frequency and wavelength.  (Benchmark 70%)

Explain the major limitation of the Bohr model.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a set of quantum numbers, describe what each number identifies.  (Benchmark 70%)

Name and describe the hierarchy of quantum numbers: energy levels, sublevels, orbitals, and spin.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a two- or three-dimensional representation of a subshell, assign appropriate n- and l- numbers or subshell designation.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given an electron in an orbital box diagram, assign quantum numbers to a subshell, orbital, or electron.  (Benchmark 70%)

State and apply the Pauli Exclusion Principle and Hund’s Rule.  (Benchmark 70%)

Periodic Trends

Given a many-electron atom, identify and describe shielding by inner electrons.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a many-electron atom, explain the difference between effective nuclear charge (core charge) and total nuclear charge.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a periodic table, differentiate between the s-, p-, d-, and f-blocks.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a periodic table, state the order of subshells in terms of increasing energy.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given an element or monatomic ion, write the electron configuration in standard and noble gas notation.  (Benchmark 70%)

Define and explain the periodic trends in atomic size, ionization energy, and ionic size in terms of electrostatics, shielding, and effective nuclear charge (core charge).  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a series of ionization energies for an element, identify valence and core electrons.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given an element, electron configuration, or orbital box diagram, interpret the electronic structure and describe the element as either diamagnetic or paramagnetic.  (Benchmark 70%)

Chemical Bonding

State why chemical bonds form.  (Benchmark 70%)

Identify the three types of bonding that occur between metal and nonmetals - metal with nonmetal, nonmetal with nonmetal, and metal with metal.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given two ionic compounds, predict the stronger ionic bond based on the charges and the size of the ions.  (Benchmark 70%)

Demonstrate or explain physical properties of ionic solids (mechanical properties, thermal and electrical conductivity).  (Benchmark 70%)

Sketch or describe the attractive and repulsive forces that create a covalent bond.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a potential energy curve for the formation of a covalent bond, discuss the absolute and relative changes in attractive and repulsive forces as a function of internuclear distance.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a potential energy curve, identify the bond length and energy.  (Benchmark 70%)

Predict the bond order, energy and length of a series of covalent bonds.  (Benchmark 70%)

Predict bond strength in a series of covalent bonds based on the periodic trend of atomic size.  (Benchmark 70%)

Classify a covalent bond as a single, double, or triple bond and identify the number of electrons present.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a periodic table of electronegativities of elements, differentiate between nonpolar covalent, polar covalent and ionic bonds.  (Benchmark 70%)

Designate a polar covalent bond with the proper charge notation (δ+ and δ-).  (Benchmark 70%)

Lewis Structures

Given a periodic table and chemical formulas, draw Lewis structures to represent molecules and polyatomic ions in two dimensions.  (Benchmark: 70%)

Define the terms resonance structure and resonance hybrid and explain how they differ.  (Benchmark: 70%)

Evaluate Lewis structures with the octet rule, formal charge and electronegativity to select the resonance structure that contributes the most to the resonance hybrid.  (Benchmark: 70%)

Identify and draw molecules that are exceptions to the octet rule (electron-deficient, expanded octets, odd number of electrons).  (Benchmark: 70%)

Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) Theory

Know the electron group arrangements and the resulting molecular geometries predicted by VSEPR for central atoms with 2-6 electron regions.  (Benchmark 70%)

Identify and name the two nonequivalent positions, the equatorial and axial positions, in the trigonal bipyramidal structure and predict the placement of nonbonding electrons.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a formula and periodic table, draw a Lewis structure and identify, name, and draw both the electron domain geometry (aka. electron group arrangement) and molecular shape for any structure.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a molecule, predict the shape and the resulting bond angles.  (Benchmark 70%)

Predict the effect of nonbonding electron pairs on the resulting bond angles.  (Benchmark 70%)

Evaluate the shape of the molecule and the contributions of the polar bonds or nonbonding electron pairs to determine if a molecule is polar, thus having a dipole moment.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a Lewis structure, draw a three-dimensional structure employing the correct wedge dash notation.  (Benchmark 70%)

Covalent Bonding Theories (Valence Bond Theory and Molecular Orbital Theory)

Given simple diatomic molecules, explain bonding as the overlap of atomic orbitals.  (Benchmark 70%)

Given a molecule such as methane, discuss the differences between the observed molecular geometry and the molecular geometry based on the overlap of atomic orbitals.  (Benchmark 70%)

Identify the atomic orbitals that are mixed to form the hybrid orbitals consistent with a given molecular shape.  (Benchmark 70%)

Describe the spatial overlap (end-to-end or side-to-side) of atomic orbitals that result in the formation of a sigma or pi bond.  (Benchmark 70%)

Predict the hybridization of the central atom in a molecule.  (Benchmark 70%)

For simple diatomic molecules, explain and illustrate the bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals.  (Benchmark 70%)

Identify the bonding and antibonding molecular orbitals that result from overlap of two s or p atomic orbitals.  (Benchmark 70%)

Predict stability and bond order of a molecule from its molecular orbital energy diagram.  (Benchmark 70%)

Organic Chemistry

Name straight-chain and branched hydrocarbons (methane through decane).  (Benchmark 70%)

Draw skeletal and condensed organic structures.  (Benchmark 70%)

Relate basic organic molecules to bonding theory (hybridization and Lewis structures).  (Benchmark 70%)

The following list of topics may be covered in CH 221, 222 or 223 depending on which campus you take the respective course at.


Use the Electron-Sea Model to explain the properties of metals such as low melting and high boiling points, mechanical properties, electrical and thermal conductivity.  (Benchmark: 85%)    

Redox Reactions

Identify the oxidation state of any element in a given formula for a compound or polyatomic ion.  (Benchmark 85%)

Given a balanced chemical equation for a redox reaction, identify the species oxidized, the species reduced, the oxidizing agent, and the reducing agent.  (Benchmark 85%)


Rank solutions of given concentrations in order of increasing or decreasing osmotic pressure, boiling point, or vapor pressure.  (Benchmark 85%)

Given two aqueous solutions of ionic compounds, predict the solubility of the resulting products with a solubility table.  (Benchmark 85%)

Write a total and net ionic equation that describes the reaction between two aqueous compounds.  (Benchmark 85%)

Organic Chemistry

Identify at least four of the following functional groups: alcohols, amines, esters, carboxylic acids, aldehydes, ketones, alkenes, alkynes.  (Benchmark 85%)

Identify structural isomers and geometric isomers.  (Benchmark 85%)

Kinetics (Particle View)

Define the rate of a chemical reaction in terms of the rate of consumption of reactants and the rate of formation of products.  (Benchmark 85%)

Use collision theory to explain chemical reactions and their rates.  (Benchmark 85%)

Nuclear Chemistry

Identify and describe alpha, beta, gamma, and positron emission.  (Benchmark 85%)

Use changes in the values of A and Z to write and balance nuclear equations.  (Benchmark 85%)

Predict the mode of decay of a given unstable isotope.  (Benchmark 85%)

Given the rate constant or half-life for a reaction, determine the other variable.  (Benchmark 85%)

Given the half-life and initial amount of radioactive material, determine the time required for a specific amount of that substance to decay.  (Benchmark 85%)

Describe the process of fission and fusion and their differences.  (Benchmark 85%)

Describe how radioactive isotopes are used in modern medicine.  (Benchmark 85%)