Learning Adventures – Another Example

Sometime ago I wrote a post about a simple rhetoric shift from ‘assigments’ to Learning Advetures and thought I would share another example. It involves finding a satellite image and having students perform imagery analysis.

Imagery analysis is a discipline which uses some of the most sophisticated science and technology available. An Imagery Analyst is a person with a well-rounded education, an inquisitive and analytical mind, and a highly developed mental skill and knowledge set.

The following Learning Adventure is deep, rich, has inherent cross-curricular opportunities and promotes all of the 21st century skills that have been talked about so often.


Assuming the image is oriented with the top towards north, in which hemisphere is the facility located? (Can we assume this? What happens if this is not the case?)
At what approximate time of day was this image taken?
What led you to this determination?
In which season was this image taken?
What led you to this determination?
Is it a working day?

What is the approximate length of the large white dome?
What do you think the large dome is part of?
What type of facility is depicted in the whole image?

What function do the 2 triangular buildings to the south-east of the dome serve?

Learning Adventures

In order to model constructivist, non-coercive educational practice, Gary Stager coined the term ‘learning adventures’ to replace ‘assignment’ in describing classroom activity. He argues that this simple rhetorical shift has a profound impact on teachers spirit and effectiveness in teaching.

The notion of a learning adventure is simple:
-start with a prompt or an essential question
-make the task real-world and ensure it is intrinsically motivating
-encourage risk-taking and collaboration
-support reflective practice. Have an online space for personal reflection.
-use a range of skills and technologies in rich ways
-do not create winners and losers
-ensure adequate time

A example of a very simple learning adventure is to find interesting images from Flickr.

Prompt: Who should I vote for?

Can you “Google” the poster?
What are some of the strategies you would use to figure out who you would like to vote for? Do you speak the language used in the poster? Whose campaign poster is this? What is the political party? What sort of election is this? What are the issues in the election?

Have a read of Gary Stager’s Learning Adventures: A new approach for transforming real and virtu… The idea of a learning adventure is the idea of project based or inquiry driven learning and it is one that needs to start finding its way into the psyche of more teachers from both primary and secondary schools.

What is your idea of a learning adventure?