What is SPARK?

SPARK (Student Papers and Academic Research Kit) is a modular, online tool which helps students to identify and develop the skills required to write academic essays. SPARK is divided into thirteen modules, each taking 8-10 minutes to complete, and describes strategies for such skills as time management, library research, academic reading, and revising draft essays.

While SPARK can be used by students working independently, instructors can enhance its effectiveness by incorporating it into their courses. For example, directing your students to specific SPARK modules at appropriate points in a course can assist them to recognize and use the skills required for successful completion of your writing assignments. The modular form makes it easy to select and sequence the specific SPARK content that aligns best with your course goals and assignments.

Each SPARK module contains resources that can be assigned to students to help them develop the skills most relevant to your particular course. This module, Teaching with SPARK, is designed for faculty and describes each of the modules and their associated resources, indicates the skills they are designed to facilitate, and provides tips on how the modules and resources might be used in a course.

The resources made available in SPARK take the form of worksheets or activities, and these may be selected, sequenced, or adapted to align with specific course goals and disciplinary contexts. See the Instructor’s Guides in Resources for a description of each resource along with suggestions for its use.