Submitted by Paul Smith / Valparaiso University on Wed, 07/21/2021 - 10:42
My Notes
Specific Course Information
Course Area and Number
Valparaiso University
Valparaiso IN
Housecroft and Sharpe. Inorganic Chemistry, 4th edition
Course Meetings and Time
Number of meetings per week
3 meetings / week
Time per meeting (minutes)
50 min / meeting
Number of weeks
14 weeks
Lab Associated
Yes, optional, concurrently or following
Average Class Size
5 to 15
Typical Student Population
Senior chemistry and biochemistry ACS majors take this course, either having had PChem or concurrently.

A one-semester study of advanced topics in inorganic chemistry with emphasis on structure and bonding, transition metal chemistry, organometallic and solid-state chemistry.

In the Housecroft text, we cover Chapters 1-3, 5-7, 19-21, 24-26 and 28.

File attachments
Learning Goals

Students should be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of electronic structure of atoms, specifically atomic orbitals and electron configurations, and their effects on periodic trends.


  1. Be familiar with the relationships between bonding and structure in covalent and ionic compounds, and understand the limitations in using these two terms to describe interactions between atoms.


  1. Be able to identify symmetry elements in the structures of chemical compounds and other objects, and classify them into point groups.


  1. Have a working knowledge of molecular orbital theory in its application to simple molecular compounds.


  1. Understand how crystal field theory and molecular orbital theory are used to explain bonding, magnetic properties, and spectroscopic characteristics in transition metal coordination compounds.


  1. Be familiar with the nomenclature, structures, and different types of isomerism in transition metal coordination compounds.


  1. Have a basic understanding of organometallic chemistry, including the different classes of ligands, electron counting methods, the common types of reactions, and their application to catalytic cycles.


  1. Have an understanding of the basic crystal structures and applications of these materials in modern nanotechnology.
How the course is taught
The first 10 minutes of each class are student presentations of homework problems and any discussion about them. The remaining 40 minutes are more often than not lecture, but there are a number of "case study" or literature days driven by discussion.
Grading Scheme
Homework presentations: 20%
Generally, 1/1 for an honest effort on a day's homework Q's and 0/1 if incomplete, not turned in, or if student cannot present when randomly picked; grade is normalized to 20%.

Minireview article: 10%
I have students pick an article from Inorganic Chemistry sometime during the semester and write a minireview summarizing it. Out of 10 pts I generally grade as:
6 pts for following all directions requested; 1 pt each for:
-Turning in on time -Containing ≥2 Figures, Captioned, from distinct references
-Containing ≥5 References In Correct Format -Being ≤6000 words
-Article was published within September-November of the semester of interest -Having all sections requested
And the remaining 4pts are writing quality.
In 2021, I'm choosing to spend ~2 classes having the students present their articles 3 weeks ahead of the article due date in order to provoke some discussion on the topic, so they can have a theme in mind when they write.

Two midsemester exams: 20%
Inclass, timed, no notes

Final exam: 30%
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