New Kind of Writing Lab

A custom open-source HTML5 (Responsive Web Design) Learning Content Management System (LCMS) featuring a fully-customizable framework. The site architecture is built to enable back-end creation and publishing of a variety of web pages, including landing pages, posts, and embeddable content consisting of any one or more of nine engaging interactive exercise plugins, allowing educators / content creators to produce, as well as continually manage, instructional media, quizzes, and other presentations for the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab (OWL) courseware. Sitemap functionality is designed to fluidly integrate created content so that even users unfamiliar with LCMS mechanics may create and/or update course material as needed on the fly.

This project was built upon, and expanded from, the ESL-WOW project that Konark previously developed for Excelsior College in 2011-2012, which won the prestigious NUTN 2013 DE Innovation Award for "its innovative solution to a critical need" and "as a comprehensive and thorough online ESL resource".

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Owl Homepage

9 Content Sections

An extensive site with nine key content sections, that built around the content and its learning objectives. The site has: 2400 discrete textual pages,101 different quizzes featuring 9 different interactivity types with a Site tree with appx. 600 links. Accessible via desktop, tablet or phone, the lab builds writing skills in areas such as using sources, the writing process, argument and critical thinking, grammar essentials, essays, digital writing, avoiding plagiarism, and the ESL online workshop.

Owl Homepage

Interactive Quizzes

One of the key reasons for the success of OWL is its ability to gamify learning. The multimedia content in the OWL provides students with an opportunity to learn in a variety of ways. From video screen casts of writing process, interactive quizzes to review content, drag and drop punctuation work, interactive PDFs that can also be printed to audio and video content that helps create a fun, engaging and experiential way to education.

Owl Homepage

Check it Out on YouTube or Facebook!

An extremely successful LMS that garnered the Excelsior College multiple accolades. Key success metrics include:

  • In the top 3 online writing labs in the country
  • 10,000 unique users per month during Fall Semester
  • 70 institutions worldwide use OWL
  • An independent study found students who used the lab in five states scored an average of 6.6 points higher on final grades