Digital Library of Interactive Simulations and Activities Simplifies Online Course Development for Faculty and Instructional Designers

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New Smart Sparrow interactive course components and course authoring features developed in response to faculty demand for a simplified “drag and drop” approach to instructional design

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By offering a library of simulations and widgets, faculty can incorporate really high-quality, interactive activities into courses — without diving into code.

Smart Sparrow, today, announced the release of a digital library of simulations and other course activities that will enable faculty and instructional designers to quickly and easily incorporate interactive and engaging learning components into their online courses.

“Consumer software like PowerPoint and Photoshop democratized content creation by making it possible for anyone to create an engaging presentation or graphic; we’re applying a similar premise to make the process of creating smart and engaging courseware more accessible to faculty,” said Dror Ben-Naim, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Smart Sparrow. “By offering a library of simulations and widgets, faculty can incorporate really high-quality, interactive activities into courses — without diving into code.”

Designed to maximize pedagogical control for faculty, Smart Sparrow’s instructional design platform now incorporates the library of over 30 learning components — from common widgets such as Drag-and-Drop and Question Banks all the way to advanced 3D simulations — to help instructors easily design engaging courses. Because the authoring platform utilizes intuitive WYSIWYG functionality, faculty can develop their own courseware without reliance on coding or IT support.

“The hallmark of a great learning experience is that it’s both engaging and personal,” said Amanda Newlin, Learning Design Studio Director at Smart Sparrow. “One of the core tenants of our design philosophy is ‘guided active learning’ — the idea that students learn best by doing, not just passively reading or watching a video, while being guided by personalized feedback. That’s why we created the library and the features.”

The digital library includes recently-developed course components such as:

  • Into the Cell simulation, which allows students to dive into a cell, look around, and learn how it works, and then demonstrate their understanding to their instructor.
  • Concept Map widget, which helps learners create a map of linked ideas related to a central topic in order to represent and conceptualize relationships between ideas or objects.
  • Expression Builder widget, which enables learners to create mathematical expressions using basic math symbols, as well as pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry functions. Faculty are able to see the student’s work to understand if they’ve mastered the concept, or figure out where students are getting stuck.
  • Text Highlighter widget, which lets learners highlight text from a sentence, paragraph, or entire passage, enabling faculty to actively test reading comprehension skills or ask students to identify errors in a selection.

To date, Smart Sparrow has helped over 8,000 educators worldwide create more than 20,000 simulations, digital lessons, and blended courses. Earlier this year, Smart Sparrow launched the Learning Design Starter Kit, a free set of tools to help academics apply cutting-edge learning science, create rich, interactive, and adaptive courseware, and capture user data to evaluate student engagement.

About Smart Sparrow
Smart Sparrow is an educational technology company that helps higher education institutions and companies create better courses by making them more active and adaptive. Working with Smart Sparrow, anyone can create amazingly engaging and adaptive learning experiences and then continuously improve them using learner analytics. Learners are better supported and more motivated to succeed. Smart Sparrow believes in designing tools that support great teaching and learning solutions that excite learners. Visit us at http://www.smartsparrow.com.

Media Contact:
Sarah Herring
sarah(at)whiteboardadvisors(dot)com
202-479-7149

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Smart Sparrow
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