Todd Watson

The following information comes from the named instructor and should describe characteristics general to courses as taught by this instructor. Individual sections of specific courses will deviate from this description in some respects.

Class Format

Face-to-face sections. Classroom lectures are delivered mainly on the whiteboard, with the overhead projector used primarily for showing tables and illustrations. The course is relatively fast paced, and I constantly ask questions to the class (yes, answers are expected). This gives me the opportunity to: 1) see how much information students are retaining, 2) give students the opportunity to think about the material and how it can be used to solve problems, and 3) demonstrate the process of critical thinking that will allow students to draw upon information that they already know in order to answer questions they have never seen before. Occasionally, five to fifteen miTodnute blocks of time will be devoted to students working in groups to solve problems posted on the whiteboard.

Resource Use

Textbooks. Most of the lecture material comes from the textbook. The text provides another description of the concepts of chemistry as well as different examples of the applications of chemistry. A great way to learn the material is to read the appropriate sections in the textbook beforehand, so that the lecture is the second time the students are exposed to the concepts. It makes the lecture much more clear when students are familiar with some of the material. The lecture can then be spent clearing up confusion and reinforcing the main concepts of the material. Some homework will be assigned from the problems in the textbook

Online homework will be used in most courses, as many students find it useful. Homework problems will also come from other sources, including textbook problems and handouts.


Student knowledge and critical thinking skills will be assessed through four or five unit exams and a comprehensive final exam. For organic chemistry courses, unit exams constitute 40% of the grade, the final exam is worth 20% of the grade, homework and quizzes are worth 10% of the grade, and laboratory work is worth 30% of the grade. Assessment of the organic laboratory component will consist of a written midterm, a practical final, as well as well written lab reports.

The CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry 2 final exam is the American Chemical Society standardized organic exam, which covers both semesters of organic chemistry. It should be noted that students transferring to another institution will most likely be asked their score on this exam in order to determine how the organic courses will transfer.

Homework Policy

Late homework will not be accepted, as the answer key will be posted shortly after the due date. Late lab reports will be accepted, but will face a 20% late penalty before grading if the reports from the rest of the class have already been graded when the late report is turned in. Any late lab reports turned in during final exam week will be given a 50% late penalty.

Attendance Policy

Attendance will be taken during the first two weeks of the class to establish that the student is showing up for the course. Although attendance does not count towards the course grade, it should be noted that students who do not attend regularly do not tend to get good grades.  It should also be noted that if a quiz or in-class assignment is missed, the student will lose those points.

Attendance is required for the laboratory part of the class. This is where students learn proper experimental technique. If students miss an experiment, they lose all of the points for that lab. The instructor may modify this given acceptable circumstances.


I will be in my office during posted office hours, but I am often in my office at other times if you happen to be in the neighborhood and have a question. Appointments can be made for times when I do not have office hours. I check email regularly during the week and reply when I can, but I rarely check email on the weekend.