What's New?

Latest Update Highlights

  • OWL has an updated look and user interface
  • Organize Favorites: new sites automatically added to your top sites bar
  • NEW Full-screen view mode
  • NEW Rubrics
  • NEW Date Manager
  • Manage Overview: allows site maintainers to change widget display and layout
  • Tests & Quizzes: improved filtering and exceptions feature
  • Rich-Text Editor: New templates
  • Assignments: 24 hour reminder functionality
  • Gradebook: new layout, commenting, grade release and filtering functionalities
  • Site Info: Automatically generating groups has been streamlined for efficiency
  • Bug fixes and improvements

For more information about this update, please see the OWL Release Notes.

Release Information

Build: 20.2-owl1

This update was released on May 1, 2021.

Update Details

OWL User Interface

OWL has an updated look and improved interface.

Screenshot of OWL user interface

Organize Favourite Sites

OWL can now automatically add new sites to your favourite site bar. Use the Organize Favorites tab in the Sites drawer to organize your sites. 

Organize Favorite Sites screenshot displaying Sites drawer.

Full-Screen View Mode

New Full-Screen view mode is available to provide you with more area to focus. This hides the top bar and side tool menu.

Full-screen mode screenshot displays icon to toggle functionality.


The new Rubrics tool allows instructors to create their own custom rubrics for use when grading assignments, assessments, and forums.

Screenshots of OWL Rubrics tool

Date Manager

The new Date Manager in Site Info lists all the tools' dates on a single page, making it easy for instructors and site maintainers to adjust open dates and due dates for things like assignments and assessments all from the convenience of a single page.

Manage Overview

Site maintainers can now control the layout, arrangement, and display of widgets on their site’s Overview page using the Manage Overview option.

Screenshot of Manage Overview tool displaying widget layout features.

Tests & Quizzes

Tests & Quizzes has a number of new features, including:

  1. The new exceptions feature in Tests & Quizzes allows instructors to adjust an assessment's availability dates and time limits for particular users or groups without the need to duplicate that assessment for academic accommodations.
  2. Tests & Quizzes has a new consolidated main page for instructors and quick filtering of active and inactive published assessments and of working copies.

Rich-Text Editor

OWL’s rich-text editor now has new customizable templates, including “Key Idea”, “Instructor Insight Panel”, and “Learning Outcomes”, which can be easily added to your written content throughout OWL.

Screenshot of Rich Text Editor templates added in latest version of OWL.


Instructors can now enable a 24-hour reminder for students in Assignments to remind them of an upcoming assignment deadline.


Gradebook has a number of new features, including:

  1. Gradebook has been updated with a new single-page layout, faster filtering of students, and resizable columns.
  2. Gradebook Items can be released to students separate from including the item in the grade calculation.
  3. Gradebook items now display statistics for instructors and students.
  4. Gradebook comments will now suggest previously-entered comments for faster entry.
  5. Instructors now can exclude a particular Gradebook item for a particular student.

Site Info: Auto Groups

The workflow for creating Auto Groups has been streamlined and is more flexible.

Bug Fixes

The following issue(s) have been resolved:

  • In Lessons, videos will no longer download on page load
  • With the Inline Questions tool in Lessons, if the answers in your question are long, clicking "Show Poll" will no longer create overlap in the text
  • When working in a Gradebook that uses categories, dragging items to change their order will now save correctly in the new specified order