Course Management Tools

What are Course Management Tools

Overall, a Learning Management System (LMS) such as OWL includes a variety of tools for supporting course administration, delivery, documentation, teaching, and learning. Course management tools are those tools that serve to support the more administrative or managerial tasks of a course. The focus of this page is upon course management tools specific to OWL.

What is the purpose of Course Management Tools

Course management tools serve a variety of functions ranging from communicating course structure to supporting course schedules, engagement, time management, etc. The purpose of such tools is to support instructors and students alike in understanding and meeting course expectations, accessing course information, meeting deadlines, and/or tracking one’s engagement in course activities.  

How to use Course Management Tools

Overall, course management tools are designed to support instructors in organizing and sharing course-related information with their students. In OWL, each course management tool serves slightly different functionality. When choosing a tool for managing some aspect of your course, make sure that the tool you’ve selected adequately meets your intended goals. Some ‘best practices’ of course management tools include:

  • Using the syllabus tool to offer your syllabus in an alternative format that is easily navigated in OWL
  • Organize Lessons pages by course week, using each lessons home page as an overview of weekly activities, to do lists, links to readings, etc.
  • Connect your course with the Course Readings Tool to set up a list of readings, resources, and multimedia unique to your course
  • Outline expectations for all assignments in the Assignments Tool so that students have quick access to details, due dates, and resources such as rubrics
  • Use the Schedule Tool to communicate important course dates or broadcast changes to scheduled dates

Comparison

Centrally Supported Tool
Announcements Tool - OWL
Centrally Supported Tool
Assignments Tool - OWL
Centrally Supported Tool
Calendar Tool - OWL
Centrally Supported Tool
Course Readings - OWL
Centrally Supported Tool
Lessons Tool - OWL
Functionality functionality rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 2 stars functionality rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 2 stars functionality rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 2 stars functionality rating for Course Readings - OWL : 3 stars functionality rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 3 stars
Accessibility accessibility rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 3 stars accessibility rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 2 stars accessibility rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 3 stars accessibility rating for Course Readings - OWL : 3 stars accessibility rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 2 stars
Technical technical rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 3 stars technical rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 3 stars technical rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 3 stars technical rating for Course Readings - OWL : 3 stars technical rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 2 stars
Mobile Design mobile-design rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 1 stars mobile-design rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 1 stars mobile-design rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 3 stars mobile-design rating for Course Readings - OWL : 2 stars mobile-design rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 1 stars
Usage & Account Set Up usage-account rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 3 stars usage-account rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 3 stars usage-account rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 3 stars usage-account rating for Course Readings - OWL : 3 stars usage-account rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 3 stars
Social Presence social-presence rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 2 stars social-presence rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 3 stars social-presence rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 1 stars social-presence rating for Course Readings - OWL : 2 stars social-presence rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 2 stars
Instructor Presence instructor-presence rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: 2 stars instructor-presence rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 3 stars instructor-presence rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 2 stars instructor-presence rating for Course Readings - OWL : 2 stars instructor-presence rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 2 stars
Cognitive Presence cognitive-presence rating for Announcements Tool - OWL: na stars cognitive-presence rating for Assignments Tool - OWL: 2 stars cognitive-presence rating for Calendar Tool - OWL: 2 stars cognitive-presence rating for Course Readings - OWL : 2 stars cognitive-presence rating for Lessons Tool - OWL: 2 stars
Communicating Expectations, Policies Course Schedule, Important Dates Communicating Assessment Structure Organizing / Sharing Resources Tracking Progress

Resources

(OWL Tool)

Syllabus

(OWL Tool)

Schedule

(OWL Tool)

Lessons

(OWL Tool)

Assignments

(OWL Tool)

Gradebook

(OWL Tool)

Course Readings

Additional Resources

Here are some OWL course organization strategies that you might consider employing

Course Homepage

Use the course overview page in OWL to display important information to students such as:

  • The time and location of the course
  • The instructor(s) names
  • Preferred methods of student contact

Menu Tab Selection & Organization

Choose OWL course tools carefully. Having too many tools listed in the left-hand menu can be confusing to students. Only choose tools that are actually going to be used in the course.

Set Clear Expectations

Make sure that students know what course management tools you will be using in the course.

Lessons Vs. The Resources Tool

Consider posting your course content in an organized fashion using the lessons tool. This will allow for posting information such as text, resources, tests and quizzes, assignments, forums in an organized way, including by unit or by week. This is potentially superior to the resources tool, which is simply a repository for files

OWL Organization Checklist

Within lessons you are able to add checklists which can help your students manage their work