What is Independent Learning in Sparx?
Independent Learning is a student area in Sparx, that allows them to practice topics from our extensive content library, at any level whenever they want.
What is it used for?
Independent Learning allows students who want to carry on working on their maths, to do so without their teacher needing to set additional work.
We recommend that students use Independent Learning after they have completed all of their homework, including Compulsory, XP Boost, and Target questions. Whilst Independent Learning will always be available for students to use even if they have not completed their homework, they should be expected to complete all of their homework questions before moving on to using it.
That is because questions in Sparx Maths Homework are carefully structured to guide learners through topics, and also include consolidation and practice of previously visited topics. Doing an hour of Compulsory homework in Sparx has proven links to improved progression in Maths so this work should always be prioritised.
How do students access and use Independent Learning?
When logged into their account, and accessing homework, students will see an Independent Learning option at the bottom of the left-hand menu.
Choosing an overall curriculum and level
Once on the Independent Learning page, students will have the option to choose both the curriculum they want to work on and the level the questions will be set at using the dropdown options at the top right of the page.
These choices will affect the strands they are shown, and the level they see, when they enter any of the main topic strands.
Note: When students first log in the default curriculum will be the same as the base curriculum that is set on their class’ scheme of learning, and the level will be set to 2 for KS3 content and 3 for GCSE content.
Choosing what topics to work on
Students can choose to work on any topic by searching for keywords or by clicking on one of the 6 topic areas and then by looking through the dropdown menu of sub-strands.
For example, I could choose to Look at Number then Adding and finally Adding Whole Numbers:
Choosing what level to work at
Students will initially see questions at the level they chose on the Independent Learning homepage. Within each level the questions are split into 3 sets: Introduce, Strengthen and Deepen.
If they are finding questions too easy or too tricky, students can change the level of each topic*. This won’t affect the overall level of questions in all other topic areas so they can tailor what they see to their strengths and weaknesses.
*Some topics won’t have higher or lower levels depending on the subject chosen.
There are two ways for students to see what they have been working on and to track their progress:
1. Once a student answers any questions within an objective, a count will appear in the objective list to show what has been done:
2. The My Activity tab also shows a full list of all topics that a student has been working on, and at what level, if it differs to their default level:
How do I see if a student has done some Independent Learning?
On the Student rewards page, you will see a new XP column called Independent Learning XP which will show you XP that students have earned using Independent Learning in the last 7 days.
Students earn 100XP for each task (set of questions) they complete within an objective.
Please note: XP earned in Independent Learning will also be included in the total XP column on the Student rewards page.
Bookwork and Bookwork Checks
Bookwork checks are disabled in Independent Learning but we still encourage students to write down bookwork codes and their workings.
Can I see Independent Learning from a student perspective?
Yes, you can view what Independent Learning looks like for a student by going to the More tab in Teacher Portal and clicking on Independent Learning. There you will see an option to log in to Independent Learning, or view a list of all of the topics that students will have access to.