Energy Policy

Mike Phillips
Illinois Valley Community College
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Students research and make recommendations regarding the petroleum energy policy of the U.S. with respect to other countries.

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Undergraduate environmental science and environmental geology courses. (100-200 level)

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Interplay of environmental ethics, science, economics and politics.
Use of internet for research.

How the activity is situated in the course

Culminating project.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Apply concepts developed over the course of the semester to an analysis of a foreign policy issue.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students must analyze a variety of data regarding petroleum supply and the characteristics of foreign governments. Students must evaluate data that often leads to conflicting conclusions and recommend and support a policy conclusion.

Other skills goals for this activity

Web research, oral presentation, group work (face-to-face and on-line), preparing a presentation.

Description of the activity/assignment

Students are placed into groups and assigned one of the U.S.'s principal oil suppliers. Groups research the answers to a series of questions and must then conclude and defend a decision whether or not to continue to purchase oil from that country. A web site with key questions and a website with basic resources is provided as a starting point. Groups are given class time and an on-line discussion space to work on their project. Reports to the class are limited to 15 minutes.

Determining whether students have met the goals

A grading rubric assessing participation content and conclusions is used. Group members assess each other with respect to participation.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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