What Smart Sparrow says:
“We believe adaptive courseware shouldn’t be some sort of magic, super complex, black box algorithm. Instead you have complete control over how your teaching adapts to individual students. You can target what your students are doing at any given point in your lesson and decide on what action to take – either provide feedback or direct them down an adaptive pathway”.
Sorry, we have no any adaptive, magic, complex courseware. Instead we have you, teachers, who can do this adaptive, magic, super complex job manually by using our ancient branching tool.
The main features of Smart Sparrow presented as innovative ones seem to be pretty ancient:
- “Adaptive Pathways” means just manual branching of Content items using a “Conditions-> Actions” table
- “Adaptive Feedback” is manual connecting student’s possible choices to relevant Feedback Items by using the same “Conditions-> Actions” table
- “Knowledge Analytics” automatically collects learning data and populates them on the teacher’s dashboard. So, teachers can see and decide how to refine their course/lesson
- “Simulations” developed by programmers can be added to courses/lessons. Good Simulations are good by themselves and can add value to any other course not to Smart Sparrow course only.
In Smart Sparrow, teachers have a big deal of freedom to manually program how the course will works with learners, which is good. But it is extremely labor/time-consuming and error-prone, which is bad. Not many teachers have necessary programming skills.
In Knewton platform, the situation is quite opposite. A big part of the course is already pre-programmed for teachers, so it is easy for teachers to complete the course, which is good. But teachers have no freedom to define how the course will works with learners, which is bad.
The best solution is supposed to combine the best features of both platform, exclude bads and be flexible enough to go anywhere in between. It should not ignore the legacy of Instructional System Design and Intelligent Tutoring Systems.
Smart Sparrow is a low-tech solution, which overloads course/lesson authors with enormous and error-prone programming (bad), but give a few (bad) of programming teachers a freedom to program what they want (good) with questionable quality (bad).
Knewton, in contrast, is a high-tech solution, which automates a course design (good) and takes control away from teachers (bad). Even worse, Knewton’s courses are limited with drill and practice for test passing. It also ignores Instructional System Design principles (bad). See our more detailed analysis.
In comparison with these 2 platforms, CLARITY is that best solution. It visualizes and simplifies authoring by filling in the blanks of the general Activity framework, prevents many errors, verifies and assures quality of courseware. Its Tutoring Engine uses created Courseware and a Personal Dynamically Updated Profile of the learner to automatically plan and recommend the next Content/Test item to the learner. It visualizes a learning progress in detail, transforming a learning into an achievement game, it let a learner drive, …. and does much more to assure learning joy and success.
Moreover, CLARITY is based on strong foundation of general Systems and Activity theories, latest in Instructional System Design and Intelligent Tutoring Systems.