5 Ways Harmonize Benefits Students

Harmonize checks every box on a student’s tech wishlist: Mobile-friendly. Fast. Easy-to-use. Accessible.

2 students using technology

Today’s students — both undergraduates and nontraditional — have high expectations for your institution’s technology. And not meeting those expectations can lead to frustrations, disengagement, and eventually, attrition.

Harmonize is built to help you not only meet, but exceed the expectations of today’s students by providing them with a modern, easy-to-use set of online discussion & collaboration tools that make them excited to interact online. Institutions who use Harmonize see an improvement in student engagement and participation, leading to improved student retention and outcomes.

The Top 5 Ways Harmonize Benefits Students

Here are the top five ways you can use Harmonize to provide students with a more engaging learning experience.

1. Every student feels excited and empowered to participate.

Education technology hasn’t always kept up with the needs of its audiences — especially within online discussions. Most course discussion boards offer one way to participate: Text posts. That’s a limiting format that makes many students feel left out. In return, students lack interest or ability to engage meaningfully online.

With Harmonize, students have access to fully accessible and mobile-friendly tools that make it easy for every student to participate in course discussions. For example:

  • Shy students, or those struggling to participate, need low-commitment and low-risk ways to engage. In Harmonize, these students can confidently engage with instructors and peers using polls, reactions and anonymous posts.
  • In some cases, students have a hard time expressing themselves in written discussions. And rightfully so — that’s not how many students are used to communicating these days. That’s why Harmonize offers the ability to collaborate using video or audio recordings. Harmonize also has auto-captioning for videos, ensuring that all individuals have equal access to content.

2. Students feel comfortable and confident engaging in a familiar social-media inspired interface.

Students are used to consuming visually-engaging content on Instagram, TikTok and SnapChat — and it should be no surprise it’s how they expect to interact in online courses, too. Unfortunately, most traditional discussion boards look like they came from the 90s and endless scrolling through text-heavy posts leaves students struggling to contribute.

Harmonize looks and feels like the apps your students use every day, making it easier for them to chime in and gain more from every discussion.

With Harmonize, students can: 

  • Easily discover and engage with content with our modern social-media like interface 
  • Use rich multimedia tools to share content and express themselves in the ways that feel most natural to them – whether that’s through audio, video, text, or images
  • Engage with their peers using tagging and reactions 😍
  • Participate in conversations on-the-go in a mobile-friendly interface

3. Students build a learning community with their peers, with more opportunities to learn and connect.

Studies show that students who learn in isolation are 1.5 times more likely to fail than those who participate in active learning with peers.

Students can connect in new ways in blended, online, or hybrid learning environments by:

  • Driving the conversation in student-led facilitation
  • Breaking off into small groups with peers
  • Sharing their knowledge on Q&A Boards
  • Discussing ideas with one another 1:1 in group chats
  • Critiquing their peers’ work using annotations
  • Tagging each other in posts to encourage meaningful conversations

4. Students have the guidance and structure they need to succeed.

If your institution uses discussion boards, the following scenario is pretty familiar: An instructor posts a prompt with a single due date. Then, at 11:59 PM, they see a flurry of discussion topics roll in just in time to check the box on participation. No one learns this way, because no one is actually reading or engaging with discussion posts.

Harmonize provides structure to encourage students to stay engaged from day one. Milestones (the ability to set multiple due dates for a single prompt) help students remember deadlines and contribute to discussions now instead of at the last minute. They can be used in conjunction with notifications to set clear expectations, remind students of approaching due dates, and pull them back into the conversation.

Through these richer conversations, students have more opportunities to learn from their peers and improve their understanding of the course material.

In one example from Meridian Community College, in online math courses, students are prompted by multiple due dates to contribute to course discussions and take part in practice equation sessions. These milestone practice sessions have increased student participation and collaboration in a discipline not traditionally known for collaborative work — proving versatility across disciplines.

5. Students have richer learning journeys and improved understanding of course material. 

Research proves that when students discuss, analyze, and evaluate course material, they, in turn, have a deeper understanding of it — improving learning outcomes.

Harmonize is built to empower students to get more excited, curious, and engaged with course material. The more students engage with the course material, their peers, and instructors the more likely they are to improve their understanding of it.

And for the universities using it, the results speak for themselves.

For example, at SAU Tech, students were 5x more engaged and collaborating 10x as often after implementing Harmonize.

“Our students practice deep collaboration, and in the process, get better engaged in their learning journeys.” -Traci Rushing, Instructional Designer at SAU Tech.

Why Students Love Harmonize

Don’t just take our word for it. At Fayetteville State, 81% of students using Harmonize said it was easy to use and many provided positive feedback on how it made their courses more engaging.

“Harmonize makes my courses more interesting and makes me more eager to actually do the discussion.”

“Harmonize is simple, and you can easily click on someone’s assignment to read and give feedback.”

“It’s fun to use and helps create more interaction between my peers and instructors.”

Students have higher expectations than ever. Gen Z students, in particular, are digital natives and accustomed to communicating with one another online. That’s why institutions like Brown University, Chaffey College, Fayetteville State University, and the Virginia Community College System are using Harmonize to support more vibrant and inclusive discussions that engage their students.