Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Smart Sparrow

Welcome to the Smart Sparrow help page.

About Smart Sparrow

Smart Sparrow is an adaptive learning technology for creating interactive online lessons or tutorials.  Smart Sparrow works by integrating learning material/content with tests of knowledge (i.e. questions and quizzes).  It then allows the instructor to create different pathways through the learning material that are responsive to students' performance on those questions.

For example, a student's pathway is determined by their answers to a question – not just whether they got the question right or wrong, but how they got it wrong.  Students can be guided through a pathway that helps them correct their particular misunderstandings or knowledge gaps.

Overview of Smart Sparrow

Overview of Smart Sparrow

Smart Sparrow is particularly effective where the learning content is based upon mathematical, scientific, engineering or business (e.g. accounting, economic) concepts, and/or where students need to learn processes or procedures.

Through well-designed questions and pathways, it can also be useful for highly-conceptual learning content, where there is not likely to be clear right or wrong answers.

Smart Sparrow can support rich multi-media simulations and provides excellent analytics on student performance and activity in the lesson (e.g. so you can see how students move through the lesson and where they get caught).

Designing and Building Lessons

Building high-quality adaptive lessons takes time and expertise.  Staff in the Division of Learning & Teaching are well-trained in Smart Sparrow and available to help you.  You can now request assistance through the DSL Service Request System via the dedicated Smart Sparrow option.

We recommend that you allow at least three months to fully design and build a Smart Sparrow lesson.

The starting point with Smart Sparrow is to consider how it fits within your subject.  From there, the lesson needs to be story-boarded.  An Educational Designer can work with you through this process.

Lesson Flow

Once the design work is complete, the building of the lesson can commence.  The DSL Learning Resources Unit can support you with this process.  Alternatively, online help resources are available.

If you are using Smart Sparrow for the first time, we strongly recommend logging a job through the DSL SRS and working with DSL staff.

Deploying Smart Sparrow in Subject Sites

Smart Sparrow is integrated with Interact2 to allow for direct access by staff and students through subject sites.

Once a Smart Sparrow lesson has been created, you deploy that lesson in a subject site in the following way:

  1. Check that Smart Sparrow is "switched on" in your site.  Go to Customisation in the left-hand Control Panel, then open Tool Availability.  Find Smart Sparrow in the list of i2 tools and ensure that the box is ticked for "available in content area".
  2. Go to the content area where you want the Smart Sparrow lesson to appear and under the Tools menu select Smart Sparrow.  Work through the on-screen options and this will place a link in your content area.
  3. Open this new Smart Sparrow link and then select the lesson you wish to "associate" with the link (as per below).  Then just work through the on-screen options to set your preferences for the lesson.  Once this is done, you're lesson is ready to receive students.  They simply click on the link in the content area and will be passed straight through to the lesson.

Smart Sparrow

If you have any problems with lesson deployment and access/log-ins, simply log a job through the DLT SRS via the dedicated Smart Sparrow option.