How to Build Effective Harmonia Assignments For Your Students, Part 1
Best Practices for Teachers:
How to Build Effective Harmonia Assessment Pages for Your Students, Part 1
Switching to Harmonia-delivered rather than paper-based assignments has many advantages for both teachers and students. One of the most important benefits for students is that homework can be delivered as a series of short targeted assessments, one assessment per document, each of which concentrates on just one concept or skill and contains very few elements to complete. This allows students to concentrate on one concept per document and, more importantly, the grade they receive applies to just that skill. Their homework will also seem to "go faster" because they grade themselves relatively frequently, after completing just a small number of items, rather than waiting to complete several pages of problems. The very rapid grade turnaround also allows students to examine Harmonia's feedback for each exercise quickly without having to first complete numerous items that contain many different sorts of material as paper-based assignments typically feature. Additionally, if you enable multiple submission of assignments, students only have to focus on what they miss, rather than spend time redoing work they did correctly the first time.
So, how to get started?
Option 1: select any page from the Harmonia Content Library (HCL) and add it to your course. With the exception of chord spelling/identification pages, most HCL files feature only one assessment per page. Group the desired page along with any other pages you’d like students to complete for homework in a single Assignment Set in your course dashboard.
Create an Assignment Set and add content from the Harmonia Content Library
Option 2: create your own assessment using the Harmonia Score Generators or your own content uploaded in Music XML. Add one assessment to a page, a title and some directions, and upload the file to your course dashboard. Check out documentation support pages to learn more about building your own assessment pages.
In your course dashboard, create a new Assignment Set and configure it to your specifications:
- Show in cloud menu after due date: click whether you want students to be able to see an Assignment Set after the due date
- Assign Date: enter the date/ time students may see an Assignment Set in their Harmonia Cloud menu
- Due Date: enter the date/ time students an Assignment Set is due
Add Content and/or Configure an Assignment Set
For individual pages within an Assignment Set, you have more options to configure:
- Practice Mode: students get unlimited submissions, but submissions are NOT saved. NOTE: if Practice Mode is not selected, the page will be treated as an Assignment, where submissions and feedback are saved on both the student’s computer and on the Harmonia server
- Incremental Grading: students can fill in all or some of an assignment, but Harmonia will only grade what is filled in by students.
- Allow Multiple Submission: students may complete the assignment as many times as desired before the due date; all attempts are saved and available for review, but the highest grade is recorded in the Harmonia grade book.
- Delay Showing Grade to Students: if you do not want students to see their grades immediately, such as for testing periods, select this option and fill in the reveal date/time.
- Timed Document: select the desired minutes/seconds for any timed exercises
- Override Set Due Date: everything in Assignment Set has the same due date, but you can use this feature to change the date/time for a single file.
Configure individual files within an Assignment Set
So how do you use Harmonia in your classroom?
As the Senior Content Developer for Illiac Software, Inc., I’ve been using Harmonia for years in conjunction with my university learning management system (LMS). I use the university LMS to post homework assignment directions and due dates and I enter grades for completed Assignment Sets in the online gradebook.
In Harmonia, I generally create Assignment Sets containing lessons (set to Practice Mode since some contain short “Try Me” assessments) and exercise pages from the Harmonia Content Library, which generally consist of one assessment per page. These part-writing or analysis assessments may include accompanying multiple-choice questions, but each page is relatively short since it will be combined with several other exercises in a set. I configure all assignments to allow for multiple submission so that students may engage with an exercise as many times as desired. Once students complete the Assignment Set, I average together the individual scores of the set and record the grade in my university’s LMS. However, because I want students to keep engaging with the material, such as when preparing for exams, I usually set all due dates in my Harmonia dashboard as the final day of the course.
How do you use Harmonia in your classroom? Let us know. We’d like to hear from you.