Summer Adventure: The Visual Metaphor

I am always looking for and thinking about visual metaphors (I also love taking/finding photos to use in projects).

We’ve already seen in the Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure introductions, without much prompting, shared photos of pets and bread.

So as something to do next, think about what comes to mind as a metaphor for Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure? It need not be bungee jumping, river rafting, or mountain climbing-- what does adventure mean to you? What suggests the feel of it?

Share an image here that suggests that metaphor. Now you can find someone else’s image, but please only share one that is open licensed (and share the source link and license).

Or, use the approach I often suggest to people working on projects- make your own images. if you share your own photo, decide on a license that you would like to share it under.

I just happened to see my friend and colleague Todd Conaway (instructional designer at University of Washington-Bothell) share this image which fits well:

Todd’s Lunchtime Motivational Poster flickr photo by Todd Conaway shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

The image is meaningful because (a) Todd is a friend; (b) we hiked and biked many places together, including the one in the photo when we both lived in Arizona; and (c) we have yet to see what is around the corner here.

Who is game to share a visual metaphor?

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I’ve chosen balloon blowing (and ultimately popping). No matter what age, balloons make people happy because they indicate something festive, something to celebrate. However, adventure – especially in Open – involves hard work, lots of labor–hence lots of puffing to blow up a balloon. And there’s always the element of surprise when it pops, same with adventures!

“Highspeed Photography - Balloon Popping” by Jeremy Johnstone is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Well done on the metaphor making and image choice!

My metaphor for the Open Pedagogy Summer Adventure is berry-picking. Every summer, at least once I like to visit a local pick-your-own farm to gather my own blueberries. Sometimes I make a pie. Sometimes I make preserves. And at other times, I just eat the blueberries raw in my smoothies or morning oatmeal. This process is little like open pedagogy because one resource provides so many possibilities – there’s bound to be at least one that appeals to everybody.


“blueberries” by Greg_e is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Here’s a near-decade-old image of my grandson and dog. I apologize for its low resolution, but it’s content carries the message. For me, it serves as a metaphor for this OER adventure by suggesting the promise of thoughtful shifting of boundaries.

I will be looking for opportunities and techniques that permit students in this 100% asynchronous OER course to proactively influence and contribute to course content and direction (within constraints of the official course outline!)


I am ready to believe open pedagogy is high in antioxidants!


Okay technically I am not using an open licensed image, but I think that what I made will fall under fair use. If this isn’t okay, feel free to take down or tell me to edit if it doesn’t work!

I don’t know how to alt text here (plus some of the text is hard to read), so the image I posted is three books from the Choose Your Own Adventure series which I’ve renamed “House of Renewable Assignments,” “The Mystery of Open Licenses,” and “You Are a [sic] Open Scholar!” In a gamer font, it also says “Open Pedagogy: Choose Your Own Adventure”!

I tend to describe a lot of my work as “choose your own adventure” and open pedagogy summer adventure is no different. Even though I’m actually very into planning and organization, I like to have enough room to go with the flow and do what feels right and makes sense when the time comes. So I have a general idea of what I want to do this summer, but I’m also super open to going in another direction as appropriate.


I love these book cover remixes, Cynthia. We are not going to police image licensing, the choose is always up to the author, aka you.

This is one of my side passions, to redo book covers, albums, posters. I did a batch long ago based on science fiction for an EDUCAUSE presentation. I firmly believe in the creative power of remixing as a form of expression, or pretty much understanding from Kirby Ferguson that Everything is a Remix.

The bounds of fair use are far from well defined, but I try to make it clear that it is done in parody or to create a different form of expression from the original. For me, the edits are obviously for a new purpose.

The choose your own adventure approach is something I am intrigued by, and have been interested in recent work the creative things people have done with the H5P platform’s branching scenario capability. For that project we are hosting a webinar in late June featuring KPU’s Arley Cruthers who uses this approach for a recent keynote and as well in her fiction writing.

If anyone has an interest in branching scenarios (and platforms like twine and others), chime in-- the interests expressed here are what drives the adventure.

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Alan, I love this album! I’m also a big fan of remixing, just not great at it. Every summer I take community college classes–this summer it’ll be some art classes–so maybe it’ll be my year to level up my remixing skills.

While I won’t be able to make the webinar, I’m really interested in the topic and excited to learn more!

I am always excited to talk about remix. The leveling up is always ongoing, but most important to me is that you get an idea and just see what you can make happen, great or not.

I learned most in teaching/participating in the open digital storytelling course/community DS106 (it’s like 11 years old). A most useful activity is it’s small daily creative challenges, the Daily Create.

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Those are fabulous book covers :star2:

Comparing OP to a “Choose your own adventure” is perfect! Giving students choice makes the story “theirs”. You analogy helped me come up with one of my own (thank you, I was a bit stuck on this).

There are cooking shows where the contestants are asked to create different meals with the same ingredients. With OP, the “ingredients” are the course SLOs (those don’t change). But, students get to pick how they meet those outcomes. So, for a picture, I’m choosing “empty notebook with healthy food ingredients” by Marco Verch, CC BY 2.0.



My adventure can be like the waterfalls. I feel like I am under the waterfall.
Image of Cumberland Falls By Aaron Vowels - CC BY 2.0, File:Cumberland falls 2015 1.jpg - Wikimedia Commons


That’s a great picture! It’s been really hot, so I’m feeling refreshed just looking at it :slight_smile: