The original SPARK was developed by a multidisciplinary team in the late 1990s at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). In 2003 Associate Professor Mark Freeman, Professor Keith Willey and Dr Darrall Thompson began building a new version of SPARK that would provide more functionality, features and provide students with better feedback.
In developing this version circa 2007 our focus changed from making group work fairer (something the tool does automatically) to using it to produce both formative and summative learning-oriented feedback to complete the learning cycle and encourage the ongoing development of skills (see references Willey, K. & Freeman M, 2006 a and b).
In 2008, Professor Keith Willey assisted by Mike Howard began to expand the available functionality to include additional features to support and facilitate collaborative and flipped learning and assessment activities, including self and peer assessment of individual work, benchmarking, in class collaboration (clicker) and multiple-choice multiple attempt functionality. This development was informed by research conducted by Professor Keith Willey (University of Sydney) and Associate Professor Anne Gardner (University of Technology Sydney).
The new tool was called SPARKPLUS.
Since 2016 the SPARKPLUS team led by Professor Keith Willey and Mike Howard have added additional functionality and support tools, including an LTI, to improve the usability, learning gains and student outcomes. This development has again been informed through evidence-based research.
SPARKPLUS has been used internationally to improve teaching and learning groupwork practice at 53 Universities.
SPARKPLUS distribution is licensed to SPARKPLUS Hosting and Support whose team includes both Professor Keith Willey and Mike Howard. Fees for using SPARKPLUS are available under the licensing tab. If you would like to know more about SPARKPLUS please contact us at SPARKPLUS Admin