In the ever-growing push to turn all of our nation’s universities into over-priced trade schools, the University of Massachusetts is doing its part by going national with its online-homework system. The Online Web-based Learning tool, or OWL as it is affectionately known, will now be offered to students across the country as part of textbook packages.
“It’s a labor-saving device for faculty and it’s a more effective way to learn,” says David Hart, director of the center and one of OWL’s creators. OWL was designed to encourage what educators call mastery learning, says Hart. Students work as long as they need to master each concept and must be able to demonstrate that they have a handle on it before moving onto the next unit. The exercises encourage critical thinking and analytical skills.
That’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever heard.
OWL is the least inspired and most poorly executed educational tools I’ve ever come across. The only thing(s) students will master by using OWL is looking up answers directly from textbooks and/or finding creative ways to outsmart the system.
Professors claim it’s popular with UMass students. Of course it is, the system promotes laziness and easy A’s; your average UMass student is going to love it as much as they love getting puked on at Barsie’s (which, surprisingly, is a lot).
As a warning to students across the country—-stay away from any software product created at UMass.