OWL is a comprehensive, web-based, homework system which can be used for distance learning courses or for extending curriculum of locally taught courses. Instructors and students interact with the system using any of the standard web browsers available today.
- Delivery and grading of electronic homework assignments
- Course, homework and question authoring
- Integration of rich multimedia with content and questions
- Inclusion of course content materials
- Student rostering
- Course and student management tools
- Student progress tracking and grade reports
- More on OWL features
Students log into OWL through a web browser and complete assignmentscreated by their instructor. When students submit a response to an assignment question, OWL automatically grades their response and displays the correct answer alongwith instructive feedback written by the instructor. Student answers and scores are stored in a database, and grades areposted for students and instructors to see. Students may repeat assignments as desired to try and better their grade. OWL can generate a new question set each time the student repeats an assignment. Thus students can also come back to their assignments to study for exams.
OWL is particularly effective in science and mathematics classes because it can do appropriate evaluation of submitted material. In organic chemistry, for example, students can be asked to submit molecular structure diagrams, and OWL will evaluate these for correctness. In mathematics, students may be respond with algebraic expressions, with are evaluated by the WebMathematica symbolic algebra system. However, OWL is also used in a wide range of subjects including Art History, Music and Dance, Accounting and Psychology, and incorporates digital multimedia along with Java, Flash and Shockwave interactivity to provide a rich learning environment for the student.
The result of more than ten years of development, OWL currently serves more than twenty departments at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. About 20% of all coursework for freshmen and sophomores is supported by OWL-based automated homework.
Basic OWL development is supported by the University of Massachusetts Office of the Provost.
OWL Logins: http://owl.oit.umass.edu/