SPARK & Assignment Design
SPARK lends itself to the idea of staging the component skills needed to complete a complex assignment and creating exercises associated with each of the components. For example, a critical analysis assignment could be sequenced starting with a reading exercise, followed by a summarization exercise, then a comparison of two articles, etc.
Another example of an assignment that requires coordination of a large number of component skills is the annotated bibliography. Many of the skills required to complete an annotated bibliography can be addressed by means of SPARK modules, such as Research Skills, Effective Reading Strategies, Gathering & Noting Ideas, and Creating Bibliographies. Through SPARK, they can be practiced in a manner that builds as a course progresses, culminating in the completion of the bibliography assignment.
The many worksheets and other resources provided in SPARK are designed to be flexible and adaptable. Some can be used as graded assignments, accounting for a small percentage of overall course marks, or as a participation requirement. Alternatively they can be used without any assessment – for example, an instructor might use the resource as the basis for a workshop, peer discussion, or other in-class activity.