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Calibrate Peer ReviewTM: Petroleum Geology of the Persian Gulf Region

Elizabeth Heise, Blinn College
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This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


In this assignment, students explore the origin and distribution of oil and gas in a region of global significance, the Middle East (in particular, the Persian Gulf region), including the geologic history and the socio-political and environmental issues associated with hydrocarbon exploration and production. They walk through an online case study and then write an essay addressing important point of what they learned. The Calibrated Peer Review interface is then used to give feedback on the essays.

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Learning Goals

Students will write an essay that:
  1. Describes the major geologic processes that created oil and gas in the Persian Gulfregion.
  2. Explains the extraction process, economics, and environmental impact of oil and gas exploration.
  3. Discusses the social and political implications of petroleum resource distribution.

Context for Use

This activity is appropriate for use in an introductory undergraduate class on environmental geology, structural geology or earth system science. It may also be useful in a politcal science or Middle East studies class.

Teaching Materials

Assignment Preview: A full version of the activity can be obtained by faculty after they register on the CPR site (more info) .

Teaching Notes and Tips

Information on Calibrated Peer Review and how to make use of it in your classroom can be found on this Starting Point Page: Calibrated Peer Review


The student essays are evaluated using Calibrated Peer Review. Students read and grade a few sample papers, then read and grade some of their peers' papers, and finally re-read and evaluate their own writing.

References and Resources

Ford and Hipple, 1999 , GeoSystems Today: An Interactive Casebook pgs 29-38

CPR Text Rating Guidelines ( This site may be offline. ) : A guide to scoring essays in a CPR assignment.