Improve Blended Learning with Modern Tools Students Love

With Harmonize, instructors and students
can’t help but stay engaged.

Want to create vibrant blended learning environments?

Harmonize makes it a cinch.
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Increase student

Encourage more frequent and thoughtful engagement with tools that get students engaging online in blended learning environments.

Multimedia discussion tools help students contribute in ways that feel familiar and natural. Milestones and notifications keep students on track and help them stay organized around instructors’ expectations for the class.

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Promote social &
inclusive learning

Create a social blended learning environment that is inclusive of diverse learners.

Fully accessible discussion options give students of all abilities a way to participate. Instructors can also run polls, set up small groups, or enable anonymous posting to include students who otherwise might not contribute.

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Promote social & inclusive learning

Save time for instructors

Eliminate tedious tasks and help instructors identify students who need support.

From plagiarism detection and LMS gradebook integration to autograding, Harmonize saves hours of valuable time for instructors implementing blended learning. Use Engagement Insights to see which students are excelling — and which ones are struggling.

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A full suite of tools to build engaging blended learning environments

rich multimedia icon Rich multimedia

Help students express themselves by posting images, video, audio, or text

flag icon Milestones

Help students see what’s expected of them, and when, so they make substantive, on-time contributions

student annotation icon Streamlined grading

Save time for instructors with LMS gradebook integration and autograding

Student facilitation

Give students control of discussions with tools that encourage them to contribute.

reactions & tagging icon Reactions & tagging

Improve participation with tools that bring everybody into the conversation


Provide interactive feedback and help students engage more deeply with content

Plagiarism detection

Integrate Harmonize with your plagiarism software to auto-detect unoriginal content


Enable students and instructors to communicate privately or in groups


Assess comprehension and knowledge with polls that engage the whole class

Q&A Boards icon Q&A boards

Let students answer each others’ questions with public boards

Blended learning has never been more engaging
10 x

increase in student-to-student collaboration

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56 %

increase in student engagement

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100 %

of instructors satisfied with discussions

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Benefits Of Blended Learning

The boost of asynchronous learning came with the development of internet-based technologies, only to be accelerated by the pandemic. The normal delivery of education at institutions changed worldwide, and from this experience came the opportunity to embrace and apply what we learned to instructional design and effective online course development processes for what’s sure to be the future of education: blended learning.

The phenomenon of blended learning has its roots in online learning and represents a fundamental shift in instruction that has the potential to optimize online student engagement in higher education in ways that traditional instruction might not. Although colleges and universities have been using technology for some time, until recently they haven’t generally used technology to provide students with a true blend of instruction that gives them some element of control over their learning.

What is blended learning?

  1. First, blended learning is any formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.
  2. Second, students learn, at least in part, in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. In other words, students attend a physical school with instructors. Often it’s a campus, but in other cases it could be a satellite or learning center. Blended learning means that students have at least some in-person, non-virtual component built into their schedule.
  3. Finally, each student’s learning path within a course or subject is connected to provide an integrated learning experience. This means that if students are learning U.S. history in a blended way, the online and face-to-face components work together in a coordinated way to deliver an integrated course — combining and using both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities to reinforce course material. The key idea is that blended learning involves an actual “blend” of formats.

Benefits Of Blended Learning In Higher Education

Many wonder, is blended learning effective?

The answer is yes. The benefits of blended learning in higher education and the benefits of blended learning for professors are wide ranging. In general, participants in blended learning courses experience efficiency, accessibility, and engagement.

Efficiency: Years ago, an instructor may have spent days explaining a complex math concept. It was difficult to assess student understanding and engagement. Today, blended learning can help instructors more quickly and accurately assess the student’s knowledge and teach concepts more efficiently. It is said that blended learning improves the efficacy and efficiency of the entire learning process for both instructors and students.

Accessibility: With traditional teaching methods, educational materials were only available during classroom hours. Students may have been able to take their textbooks home with them, but they didn’t have a way to actually interact with or engage the material. With new learning apps and other technological advances, they have more flexibility to access and engage with course material from home. This accessibility along with the opportunity to self-pace the learning could translate into more successful outcomes.

Student Engagement: Blended learning also presents more opportunities for students to connect with their peers and instructors. They can connect via chat, feedback, or on discussion boards. Courses with an online component is an effective means for instructors and students to become more engaged with one another outside of the classroom. In the end, the benefits of blended learning are powerful. Instructors can keep a better pulse on student progress and engagement, while students can ask more questions, collaborate more frequently with classmates, and gain deeper knowledge.

Let’s dive deeper. What are the benefits of blended learning to students?

  1. Blended learning programs provide a safe learning environment.

By having students complete some coursework at home, instructors can create a safe space that allows students to reflect, branstorm, and share new ideas in a way that doesn’t feel as high stakes as a classroom setting.

  1. Flipping the classroom improves comprehension.

When students are more engaged in the class session, their comprehension naturally increases. Blended learning calls for what many term a “flipped classroom” approach, where students learn theory remotely and practice what they learned at home during in-person class sessions with instructors present to assist. Instead of spending the time students and instructors have together listening to a lesson, the in-person portion of blended learning is spent actively practicing skills and getting hands-on training from instructors.

  1. Students have more autonomy over their learning.

In a blended learning model, students can participate in the online portion of class and look over class materials anywhere they have internet access, allowing them to choose where and when they work. In addition, students can complete the online portion when it fits their schedule, enabling them to more effectively balance schoolwork and external obligations. For adult learners especially, a sense of autonomy and control over their learning experience is essential for success.

In addition to instructional efficiency, the blended learning benefits for teachers include greater insight into how their learners are doing. With digital learning tools, instructors have real-time insights to see whether students are engaging with the content and keeping on track with learning goals. They can see what’s working, so they can offer a more effective learning experience. The same goes for the organization’s learning departments. With blended learning, they have real opportunities to deliver faster outcomes at lower costs, as well as reach a much wider audience through the use of blended learning platforms.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Blended Learning

There are also some disadvantages of blended learning.

Disadvantages of Blended Learning

Student Engagement In Blended Learning

Student engagement in blended learning environments can be challenging. But with more and more components of learning moving online, whether it be through flipped classroom models or fully online courses, designing highly engaging learning experiences is paramount for learning success.

And the importance of student engagement in online learning should not be underestimated. Research shows that active and engaged learning leads to better outcomes in courses and reduces equity-related performance gaps. One of the most impactful ways to engage learners is by blending asynchronous and synchronous learning activities. Doing so fosters better inclusion among all learners, and that often translates into more engaged students.

The question becomes: how to improve student engagement?

To improve student engagement in online and blended learning environments, instructional designers and instructors have turned to online discussion and collaboration tools — often used as asynchronous tools for learning. Research shows that student participation in online collaboration and discussion are related to better course outcomes in traditional courses. In fact, in a pilot study conducted by WGU Labs, the College Innovation Network (CIN) found strong promise for increased course engagement and improved learning outcomes at Piedmont Community College, when online discussion forums were used both in the classroom and asynchronously outside the classroom.

Asynchronous Online Learning

The silver bullet: asynchronous online learning. Asynchronous online learning is a key component of blended learning because of its flexible nature. Asynchronous online learning is commonly facilitated by email and discussion boards, and promotes relational awareness among learners and with instructors, especially when participants cannot be online at the same time.

In fact, many people take asynchronous courses because of their flexibility, combining education with work, family, and other commitments. Asynchronous online learning allows students to learn on their own schedules but within a certain time frame. They can access and complete lectures, readings, homework, and other learning materials at any time.

The Benefits of Asynchronous Online Learning:

Far too many programs consider asynchronous (online) – synchronous (in-person) a binary choice based on instruction method, with the latter assuming lecture-based courses. But when combined, the effectiveness of synchronous and asynchronous learning is powerful. With the right mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities in your course, coupled with the kind of technology built to facilitate both in-person and online learning, you’re able to increase the quality and quantity of interactions — all of which improves student engagement.

Blended Learning Platform

One of the most impactful ways to engage students in blended learning environments is by mixing asynchronous and synchronous learning activities using a blended learning platform. Using this kind of distance learning platform can foster better inclusion among all learners, and that often translates into more engaged students.

To achieve this, instructional designers are turning to a suite of online discussion and collaboration tools. These tools focus attention on the activities that drive engagement, including:

These tools increase the quality and quantity of student-to-student, student-to-content, and student-to-instructor interactions and include:

In fact, by helping to foster virtual connection, distance learning technology like this works to reduce the common barriers that often prevent students from fully engaging in their online learning, including minimizing the sense of isolation online learning can cause.

Using technology for blended learning to incorporate an effective mix of synchronous and asynchronous online learning activities provides increased opportunities to engage — leading to higher likelihood of student engagement, retention and success.

Harmonize provides a suite of online discussion & collaboration tools that helps instructors increase student engagement in their courses. Built to integrate seamlessly with the LMS, Harmonize enriches the learning experience with tools that boost engagement, promote inclusive learning, and save valuable time for instructors.

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