Many students are strangers to the conventions and expectations of the academic community. For example, students are often unclear about the difference between the resources freely available on the web and those indexed in scholarly databases. Many have little experience with processes such as the analytical reading and writing expected in university. Many find the conventions of APA and MLA style baffling. SPARK addresses such uncertainties and lack of experience.
In addition to helping their students understand the disciplinary content of their courses, many instructors are also eager to assist students with the processes and skills implicit in academic reading, writing, and research. By helping instructors make these skills more explicit, SPARK enhances an instructor’s ability to provide the attention and practice that students need in order to improve.