OWL Tool - Resources

What is the Resources tool?

The Resources tool serves as a compilation of all materials to be used in the course/project site.

What is the purpose of the Resources tool?

The Resources tool allows instructors to upload content into a folder structure on their OWL site. This tool is great for organizing your materials within a site and also sharing them across multiple owned sites. A well organized resources tool will allow easier navigation through your site during its construction.

How to use the Resources tool

Upload files to the Resources tool to share them with students. Create folders to hold your materials/links/videos and other content. 

Link to your resources from other tools, such as Lessons (but be careful not to move them after linking them or you will have to re-link them). 

Tool Evaluation

Evaluated: October 2016

Functionality overall rating: 2 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 3 stars


The Resources Tool can be scaled to accommodate any size class

Ease of use rating: 2 stars

Ease of Use

The Resources Tool has a learner interface that may be confusing to some; ease of use is dependent on how the resources space is organized. A well organized resources tool will allow easier navigation through your site during its construction.

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating:3 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

Western technical support/help documentation is readily available. See the Resources page in OWL Documentation Wiki or contact the Helpdesk

Hypermediality rating: 3 stars


The Resources Tool allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) and allows for non-sequential, flexible/adaptive engagement with material

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 2 stars

AODA Friendly

The Resources Tool itself meets functional accessibility standards (AODA and the W3C WCAG 2.0 standards). However, the documents uploaded to the Resources tool are only as accessible as they are made to be. Documents can be made more accessible by following these guidelines.

Assistive Technology rating: 3 stars

User-focused participation

Given the wide range of file formats that can be uploaded to Resources, In this way, the Resources Tool is indirectly designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, thereby widening opportunities for participation in learning

Required Equipment rating: 3 stars

Required Equipment

Proper use of the Resources Tool does not require specialized equipment

Technical overall rating: 3 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
Integration/Embedding within OWL rating: 3 stars

Integration/Embedding within OWL

The Resources Tool is native to OWL

Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Operating Systems

Users can effectively utilize the Resources Tool with any standard, up-to-date operating system (i.e. Windows, OSX, etc.)

Web Browser rating:3 stars

Web Browser

Users can effectively utilize the Resources Tool with any standard, up-to-date web browser (i.e. Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, etc.)

Additional Technical Requirements rating:3 stars

Additional Technical Requirements

Users do not need to download additional software or browser extensions

Mobile Design overall rating:1 star Mobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

The Resources Tool is accessible in OWL on all mobile devices through a browser. There is no native app for OWL, however you can access OWL through the WesternU app on both android and iOS devices.

Mobile Functionality rating: 2 stars

Mobile Functionality

There is little to no functional difference with the Resources Tool when accessed on mobile systems

Offline Access rating: 1 star

Offline Access

The Resources Tool cannot be used in any capacity offline

Usage and account set up overall rating: 3 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 3 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

Use of the Resources Tool does not require the creation of an external account or additional login beyond a Western Identity and access to OWL

Cost of Use rating:3 stars

Cost of Use

All aspects of the Resources Tool can be used free of charge to Western account holders

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating:3 stars

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

Users can archive, save, or import and export content or activity data in a variety of formats

Data Privacy and Ownership rating:3 stars

Data Privacy and Ownership

Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; the user can keep data private and decide if/how data is to be shared

Social Presence overall rating: 2 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: 3 stars


The Resources Tool can be configured to allow students to upload content. Access can be controlled through permissions, and given to groups or individuals.

User Accountability rating: 3 stars

User Accountability

Instructors can control student anonymity; The Resources Tool provides technical solutions for holding students accountable for their actions

Diffusion rating: 2 stars


Student familiarity with the Resources Tool is likely mixed, some will lack basic technical competence with its functions. Instructors often choose to hide the Resources Tool from student view, particularly when it is being used for background organization. See Hiding, Renaming, and Organizing Tools in the OWL Documentation

Instructor Presence overall rating: 1 starInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating: 2 stars


As a resource organization space, the Resources Tool has indirect functionality to effectively support an instructor’s ability to be present with students via active management, monitoring, and engagement

Customization rating: 3 stars


Tool is adaptable to its environment: easily customized to suit the classroom context and OWL site design

Learning Analytics rating: 1 star

Learning Analytics

The Resources Tool does not support the collection of learning analytics

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 2 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 2 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

Considering the role a well-organized Resources space has in improving student interaction with a course site, the Resources Tool may indirectly enable improvement to engagement in cognitive task(s)

Higher Order Thinking rating: N/A

Higher Order Thinking

As a resource organization space, the Resources Tool is not intended to engage students in higher order thinking skills

Feedback on Learning rating:N/A

Feedback on Learning

As a resource organization space, the Resources Tool is not intended to enable the giving or receiving of feedback on learning

View the rubric for an explanation of this evaluation
Leave feedback to comment or request that the tool be re-reviewed

Related Information

Additional Resources

  • Check out our OWL Documentation on Resources for comprehensive details about using the tool.