Virtual Oil Well Game
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This resource received an Accept or Accept with minor revisions rating from a Panel Peer Review process
These materials were reviewed using face-to-face NSF-style review panel of
geoscience and geoscience education experts to review groups of resources addressing
a single theme. Panelists wrote reviews that addressed the criteria:
- scientific accuracy and currency
- usability and
- pedagogical effectiveness
Reviewers rated the resources:
- Accept with minor revisions
- Accept with major revisions, or
They also singled out those resources they considered particularly exemplary, which are given a gold star rating.
Following the panel meetings, the conveners wrote summaries of the panel discussion for each resource; these were
transmitted to the creator, along with anonymous versions of the reviews.
Relatively few resources were accepted as is. In most cases, the majority of the resources were either designated as 1) Reject or 2) Accept with major revisions.
Resources were most often rejected for their lack of completeness to be used in a classroom or they contained scientific inaccuracies.
This page first made public: Mar 10, 2005
This material is replicated on a number of sites
as part of the
SERC Pedagogic Service Project
This online strategy game has the player as a prospector trying to find oil, working off a limited budget. The player collects and interprets seismic data to search for oil traps. They are required to file environmental impact statements before drilling and use drill logs to determine when to start pumping. The player has access to a library, with several pages on how oil is trapped and how to find the traps using seismic data.
This game motivates students to learn some of the geological issues involved with oil exploration, particularly about interpreting seismic data. It also emphasizes the costs entailed in the exploration, in working with consultants, and in meeting regulations.
Context for Use
This game can eat up a lot of time (especially if students are guessing), so it may be useful to show it to them, give them the URL, and be prepared to answer a few questions about seismic stratigraphy and well logging during the next class. The players will need a fast Internet connection and a Java-equipped browser.
Players will need a fast Internet connection and a Java-enabled browser. The applet is available on AGI's Earth Science World web site and is surprisingly fast and stable.
Teaching Notes and Tips
This game is most useful to students who are fairly competent at interpreting seismic diagrams as the consultants and other help provided with the game are not likely to give the students enough information to win without guessing.
Formal assessment not recommended. See if your students will try it on their own and measure the game's value in terms of the questions it generates.
References and Resources
The University of South Carolina has an entire USC Sequence Stratigraphy
including movies, exercise modules, and enough hyperlinked instruction to constitute a textbook. This could be used for actual instructional material, with the game as the "hook" to interest the students.
Fossil Fuels, Geoscience:Geology:
Grade LevelCollege Lower (13-14):
Ready for UseReady to Use:Meets Peer Review Standard:
Anonymous Peer Review, Ready to Use
Earth System Topics
Solid Earth, Human Dimensions:
Human Dimensions/Resources, Solid Earth