Teach the Earth > Online Games > Workshop 08 > Sam Swanson

Sam Swanson

Department of Geology, University of Georgia

What is your experience with on-line games or environments?
My 18 year old son is an avid gamer. I look over his shoulder enough to try and hold conversations with him.

What do you hope to learn from the workshop experience?
How to apply the technology and methodology of interactive gaming to a learning environment.

What specific aspects of on-line games and environments in geoscience education are you interested in discussing with other workshop participants?
I want to consider the time aspects of running an online geoscience "game". Also the issue of assessment and learning outcomes interests me. Current Schedule of Introductory Geology Lab Exercises 5 weeks of mineral and rock identification 1 week topographic map exercise 1 week volcanic hazards 1 week coastal hazards 1 week groundwater 1 week streams and flooding 1 week petroleum resources The topographic map exercise is a good candidate for Google Earth and the new topo overlay. For the last five exercises students do a web assignment for extra credit prior to their classroom lab. These web assignments vary from real time data analysis to the comparison of archived images for process determination. The petroleum resource exercise is done as a in-class board-game. I would like to make the web assignments more interactive where a group of students could collaborate online. The petroleum game is the candidate to do online in an interactive format. I welcome suggestions on how to approach these problems.

Sam Swanson --Discussion  

I like your idea of web assignments prior to lab. Would you be willing to share some of your resources that you have found particularly beneficial?


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Sam- can you tell us more about the petroleum resource game-- (do you by anychance know if this is the same game that Scott Bair is interested in). What do you like about it? What impact on learning can you see? etc. Why do you think it would be better on line?


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Hi ---

I do not know if this is the same game as Brian's. Ours is a modified version from a old lab manual. Students form corporations and then buy information and or drilling rights to lease blocks. The corporations that make the most money, do the best. We modified the game to include the option of combining with other corporations, if you go broke. We also use the instructor/banker as a consultant; providing suggestions about what a corporation might want to do (drill, by some geophysics, strat well data, etc).

Our online bonus work involves stream gauges and comparisons to the historic record, petroleum prices and the relation to current events, volcanic eruption data, and NOAA information on hurricanes and coastal damage.

Cheers, Sam


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Hi Sam,
I mostly consider games that last a lab period or two. What would you think of a game that augmented some of the content of your course but lasted all semester?


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Sam, can you point me at the online bonus work?


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