BCH 341 - Fall 2017

Prof. Marcia Levitus

Mastering Chemistry

Purchasing access and registering

You will need access to Mastering Chemistry for homework assignments and quizzes. You can buy a standalone access code kit, or purchase access from the publisher's registration website (easiest method).

Register at www.masteringchemistry.com with Course ID MCLEVITUS60075. If you haven't purchased an access card with the book, you can purchase access to Mastering Chemistry in the same registration page. You will need pay pal or a credit card. You are expected to complete the registration the first days of classes. Use an e-mail address you check regularly, as the professor will use the same platform to send announcements when needed (that is, we will NOT use Blackboard for announcements).

Student Support

If you need help setting up your computer, registering, or using the website, please check the publisher's support web page: http://www.pearsonmylabandmastering.com/northamerica/masteringchemistry/students/support/

The student User Guide contains tips and answers to common questions.

Deadlines for assignments will not be changed, so if you start your assignment too close to the deadline and you have technical issues, you won't have time to resolve them on time. Luckily problems are rare, but just in case be sure you start your homework and quizzes with time to spare.

Dealing with Units

Mastering has strict rules when dealing with units. Be careful or you will lost points even if your numerical answer is correct!

  • Write the unit abbreviation. Do NOT add a period after the unit
  • Units are case sensitive (kJ, Pa)
  • Mastering¬†can accept as correct a¬†unit answer that is equivalent to the correct answer. For example, if the correct answer is 2 V and you enter 2000 mV, you will receive full credit. However, if the question asks you to answer using a specific unit, you must answer using that exact unit.
  • Check http://help.pearsoncmg.com/mastering/student/ccng/TopicsStudent/acceptable_units_list.htm for a complete list of accepted units and instructions of how to enter them

Other tips and issues

  • Avoid rounding errors. Mastering uses a default 5% acceptable rounding error in most problems. If you perform several steps and round in each, chances are you will have more than a 5% error at the end even if your procedure was correct.
  • Don't use commas for large numbers. Mastering will think you input two or more answers separated by a comma.
  • There are obvious disadvantages when a computer grades your homework. You cannot get partial credit, and you cannot get credit for mistakes that are not real mistakes (such as typing joules with a lowercase J). Don't ask us to modify your grade manually. Remember that you have 3 trials/question, so take your time to think about why your answer may be wrong before trying again. Even if you exhaust your three attempts and your answer was indeed correct (e.g. you kept using 'j' for 'J'), remember that missing one problem one time will decrease your grade by a negligible amount.
  • A disadvantage of Mastering Chemistry is that you are not practicing showing your work. You may even have a 'correct' answer that may be incorrect. For example, you may be off by 2% due to a conceptual mistake, but your work is incorrect. You will get your points in Mastering Chemistry, but you will not get the points in an exam when a human grades your work. There is no solution for this other than you taking the initiative to check your work with classmates and TAs. This is especially true when you see that your answer is off by more than 1% even if you didn't round in intermediate steps.
  • It is a good idea that you keep a notebook for homework. Many students solve problems on scratch paper, and then realize they do not have their work to study for an exam. It is not uncommon that students come to office hours asking for help, but they do not have any record of their work. Remember that your goal is not just to enter correct answers, but also to learn how to work through the problem showing all your steps.