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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Using Web 2.0 in Online Courses: Creating Mystery & Engagement with a Collaborative Story Line

One interesting way to engage students is to put together a PowerPoint presentation that can be shared via social media, and which gives the opportunity to create a response presentation, and which includes a mystery / adventure story line.

In this case, which was for a basics of petroleum geology course, I created a six-slide PowerPoint presentation which I shared using Slideshare.  The story is based on a real-life class action suit in Oklahoma that had to do with the underpayment of oil and gas royalties. 

The learning objective was to discuss royalty payments on oil and gas production. 

To build the presentations, I used photographs I took in Istanbul as background graphics. I used cutout figures from, and I modified graphics using  

I then uploaded it to, and I shared the link via an email announcement in the course, which uses Blackboard. I encouraged students to post responses in the Discussion Board area.

Here’s the concept and call for collaboration:

Incident in Istanbul: The Secret Files & the Case of the Underpaid Royalties 

Zounds! Maria has stumbled across secret files – they have information that shows that a midstream transportation company has been underpaying royalty owners by deducting line charges.
This could be one of the largest class action suits in her state’s history. But, she needs to explain the situation.

Help her explain what is going on and how oil and gas royalty owners are paid for production.
    Who is involved?
    Who pays the royalties? How much?
    How are the payments (and the deductions determined?
    When are they decided?)

We need your expert help! Please create a presentation that helps a royalty owner, or potential jury member (in the case of a Class Action lawsuit) understand what has happened, and also what kind of information Maria needs to collect.

This example was also used in an Instructional Design Certificate program (Rollins College) to provide an example of how simple storyline presentations can be used with Web 2.0 tools, and to boost engagement and collaboration.

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