Learning that Prepares Students for the Workforce

Brief Abstract

Learning isn’t just what fits into a course. Students are also using this time to strengthen their soft skills. At Smart Sparrow, we've created a myriad of learning experiences to help students through the full college experience — work with us to create custom solutions, or adopt what already exists. www.smartsparrow.com


As the Director of Academic Communities at Smart Sparrow, Jon works with educators to help them leverage active, personalized eLearning solutions in order to get the results they need. Before coming to Smart Sparrow, Jon Monahan served in higher education publishing and educational technology. He has worked with Cengage Learning, later moving into the Educational Technology space with Sapling Learning and Macmillan New Ventures, working with projects such as i>Clicker and Late Nite Labs among many others.

Extended Abstract

Learning is about more than memorizing facts and amazing final projects. We can prepare students for the workforce and life with learning experiences that teach foundational skills in relationship management, resiliency, and critical thinking. Using adaptive learning technology gives each student a personalized experience; it utilizes their specific prior knowledge, providing hints and remedial learning pathways based on their performance, in order to provide more effective learning experience.

Join us to experience and play with learning experiences colleges and universities have created to support learning outside of the classroom. For example:

1. At California State University East Bay (CSEUB), nearly 1,000 students transfer to their campus each semester, and reorienting new a new set of requirements, rules, and buildings is overwhelming. They built an adaptive online orientation course that prepares transfer students with information on graduation requirements, on-campus success resources, work study options, extracurricular activities, as well as virtual tours of campus facilities and an academic planner. After successfully deploying the transfer orientation course and receiving positive feedback from students, CSUEB created an adaptive student success course for all incoming students, and they made it mobile-friendly. This course included more information on effective studying, time management, and other college-necessary skills.


2. The Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC) created a set of adaptive resiliency education lessons instructors can integrate into the classroom, at any course level, to prepare students for the workforce. Lessons use game-like mechanisms to help students develop their active listening, planning, flexibility, logic, problem solving, application of prior knowledge, reflection, conflict resolutions, self-efficacy, and identification of personal strengths & weaknesses. All instructors can visit www.nrc-hub.org to get access to the lessons, read suggested activities to integrate the lessons into regular classes, and share the lessons with their students.

3. The Online Competencies Curriculum (OCC) is a set of lessons developed to help students learn how to read and write scholarly articles, analyze data, prepare a presentation, overcome nerves, improve their speaking skills and delivery, and more. Just like the NRC lessons, K-12 and postsecondary instructors from any institution can use these lessons in their courses to supplement learning and help students develop skills necessary for any course.

4. BioBeyond, an adaptive introductory biology course for postsecondary education, begins with four lessons that teach basic science skills — and any instructor can use these four lessons to teach students how to use the scientific method, take accurate readings and measurements, think critically about information, and more.

Contact the Smart Sparrow team to create custom learning solutions based on what your students need, or adopt lessons that are already helping students prepare for life after graduation. Reach us at contact@smartsparrow.com.