There is a significant difference between collaboration and collusion. Collaboration is working jointly with others and is often encouraged by course instructors. Collusion is working jointly with others when it is not permissible or when the instructor does not authorize working in a group.


Permissible collaboration includes:


group work that clearly follows the course director's instructions

sharing research findings or discussing course materials with other students when these contributions are fully acknowledged in one's individual work


In contrast, collusion includes:


working with another student on an assignment when working in groups has not been approved by the instructor

dividing sections of an assignment or project among a group and then presenting it as work having been completed individually

splitting the tasks for group assignments unevenly where some students do most of the work while others do very little


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.