Smart Sparrow wins silver at Learning Impact 2013, San Diego

18 July 2013

An Australian eLearning platform that emulates the educational benefits of one-on-one tutoring has won a major global award for learning impact, jointly awarded to the University of New South Wales and the educational technology “spin out”, Smart Sparrow.

The Smart Sparrow adaptive eLearning platform, a world-first intelligent tutoring system invented at UNSW, received the Silver Award for new technologies at Learning Impact 2013 in San Diego, California. Learning Impact is an annual global awards program recognising innovation in eLearning that improves learning outcomes for students and address the educational challenges of access, affordability and quality. Online educational tools are opening up new opportunities to reach students affordably worldwide.

Smart Sparrow is a content creation and delivery platform that allows teachers and instructors to create rich interactive and adaptive online courseware. It promotes ‘learning by doing’, enabling students to interact with educational content, to test concepts and to receive personalized adaptive guidance as they work. Students’ interactions with the content are analysed to produce valuable pedagogical insights that are incorporated back into the content, changing the way it is is taught and adapting it to the students’ levels of understanding.

The Smart Sparrow adaptive eLearning platform was invented in 2005 at the UNSW and commercialized in 2011. Using games/quest-like designs emphasising active-learning, adaptive tutoring functions guide students individually through difficult content – and incorporate social features to encourage interactions between peers and with teachers/instructors, with promising learning outcomes. Smart Sparrow promotes the adoption of its platform by giving the teachers full control over the content, its deployment, analysis and sharing.

Learning Impact is run by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a global non profit organisation that promotes technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment worldwide.

The Smart Sparrow platform has been successfully deployed in 10 universities in Australia and the US, and is currently being used by more than 30,000 students every year. It is also the underlying technology platform in two large Australian healthcare education projects.

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