General Organic Chemistry II

CHEM 285/3.0

A continuation from CHEM 281/3.0 intended for students in biological sciences, and other plans taking no further courses in organic chemistry. Organic molecules and their reactions; relevance to biological systems. Illustrations using biomolecules such as carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. The virtual laboratory provides knowledge of elementary organic syntheses.

Learning Outcomes

Textbook sections covered (Organic Chemistry, Solomons and Fryhle, 11th ed.)

Unit 1

Chapter 13 - Conjugated Unsaturated Systems

Unit 2

Chapter 14 - Aromatic Compounds

Unit 3

Chapter 15 - Reactions of Aromatic Compounds

Unit 4

Chapter 12 - Alcohols from Carbonyl Compounds

Unit 5

Chapter 10 - Radical Reactions

Unit 6

Chapter 16 - Aldehydes and Ketones: Nucleophilic Addition to the Carbonyl Group

Unit 7

Chapter 17 - Aldehydes and Ketones II: Enols and Enolates

Unit 8

Chapter 18 - Carboxylic Acids and their Derivatives

Unit 9

Chapter 19 - Synthesis and Reactions of Beta Dicarbonyl Compounds

Unit 10

Chapter 20 - Amines

Unit 11

Chapter 20 - Carbohydrates

Unit 12

Chapter 23 - Lipids

Unit 13

Chapter 24 - Amino Acids and Proteins


Chemistry 285/3.0 continues the material covered in Chemistry 281/3.0 by introducing more advanced topics of relevance to the biological and life sciences. Topics include organic molecules and their reactions; the organic chemistry of biological systems; illustrations using biomolecules such as carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins, lipids, and amino acids and peptides. The virtual laboratory affords experience in the theory of elementary organic syntheses.

CHEM 285/3.0 has a significant level of interaction with the instructor and TAs to support students in mastering the course material.

This online chemistry course:

  • is intended primarily for students in the biological sciences and for those considering pursuing careers in the health sciences/medical sector
  • may be used by Queen's students towards the plan requirements of programs in Biology and in the BSC General Life Sciences
  • should not be taken by Queen's students in chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering/engineering chemistry or in the BSCH Life Sciences Major or Specialization plans. 
  • with successful completion of CHEM 282 wet lab in Jan-April, may be taken and used as a credit for CHEM 282/3.0. Contact Meredith Richards ( in the Chemistry Department for permission.

Students from other institutions pursuing chemistry, biochemistry or similar programs should check with their home institution regarding the suitability of this course towards their degree programs.


Proctored Exam65%
Virtual Labs
Virtual Lab Report
WileyPlus Online Assignments15%

** Subject to Change **

Students must pass the exam to pass the course.

Course Activities

Virtual Labs (15%)

Virtual Lab Report (5%)

The five (4 examined, 1 virtual lab report) interactive, web-based labs introduce basic techniques and experiments and illustrate properties of organic compounds. The labs are a series of online tutorials and videos explaining an experiment or an experimental technique for which small reading and practice problem assignments are also incorporated. Assessments of the labs will examine concepts related to experiment design and the practical aspects of a science course via questions in a section of the final exam.

One of the virtual labs will be assigned as a lab report which will be delivered using the Moodle system partway through the course. A sample lab report will be given so students can see what is expected of them for this component.

WileyPLUS Online Mastery Assignments (15%)WileyPLUS online materials are designed to help you expand your knowledge in the concepts discussed and act as a supplementary virtual tutor. The assignments provide an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge to a mastery level before moving onto another topic. Practice questions are also available to help you to check your understanding of the material and increase your skill at completing organic calculations.
Final Examination (65%)The final exam will be made up of a multiple choice section of 30-40 questions, long answer questions, and virtual lab questions.

Web-based Tutorials

Regular, interactive, recorded web-based tutorials (with screen sharing and virtual whiteboard) will be held between student groups and tutors/instructor to keep students to milestone syllabus achievements. The tutorials will be both topic-based and free-form in order for questions to be asked and solved. Tutorials will be held every week.

Virtual Office Hours and Moodle Discussion Forum

Virtual office hours (recorded) with the instructor/TAs will be available at least once a week using web-based video chat functionality. The Moodle discussion forum will be available every day. A response to questions posted in the Moodle discussion forum is guaranteed within 24 hours.

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Exam Preparation

A trial midterm exam with answers will be posted after Week 3 along with solutions so students can monitor their progress. The exams will not be marked but there will be online tutorials devoted to them (see Web-based Tutorials above). The online mastery assignments in WileyPLUS will also allow students to identify their strong and weak areas as the course progresses.


Portrait of course instructor Dr. John Carran Those with a phobia about organic chemistry can relax. Adjunct Professor John Carran understands the fear and will do his utmost to help. Those without the fear will benefit too. New online courses CHEM 281 and CHEM 285 will provide a means for students to study organic chemistry both independently and remotely, but with ample opportunity for one-on-one help.

Carran, who holds an undergraduate degree in applied chemistry from the University of Salford, and a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Sheffield, says that his experience in the UK made him understand the potential of online courses.

I'm interested in providing an education for all students. I come from the UK where we have the Open University and I’m aware of the vacuum that model of learning can fill. Virtual courses offer non-traditional students the same opportunity as a student on campus. Even difficult, high demand courses should be accessible to those students who are seeking career change, retraining, or just need to fit organic chemistry into their curriculum somehow.

The online course is geared at least in part, to those students who need to take organic chemistry for medical or other health sciences studies.

Online CHEM 281 and 285 courses share the syllabus with the regular second year organic chemistry course held on campus. The laboratory component of the course is done through online virtual labs. Carran uses Moodle, discussion forums, a virtual lab site, Elluminate business communication software (chat and virtual white board), and email to interact with students. It is his aim to have answers to all student enquiries within 24 hours, but he says, “Our experience is that we can often provide answers within a couple of hours.”

John Carran teaches a variety of university chemistry courses from first year through to graduate level courses, but he is especially enthused about the potential for CHEM 281 and 285. “We have a tremendous opportunity right now,” he says, “I want this course to be the leader in this field, to be the best.”

Time Commitment

Students are advised to allow at least 16.5 hours per week to complete all components of the course (online assignments, virtual labs, online tutorials, reading, and practice problems).

Course notes and readings

6.5 hours per week (approx. 2.2 units per week @ 3 hours per unit)

WileyPLUS, assignments and other activities

6.5 hours per week (approx. 2.2 units per week @ 3 hours per unit)


1.5 hours per week for each of 6 weekly tutorials


2 hours per week (4 labs @ 3 hours per lab over 6 weeks)


16.5 hours per week

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.