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Harmonize has added a participation-based Auto-Grading feature to Milestones (multiple due dates) the allows instructors to set participation points for each individual task in an online discussion.  Points will be assigned and populate the LMS grade book as milestones are fulfilled - once the activity is completed or the due date arrives, whichever occurs first.


Setting Up Auto-Grading in Your Harmonize Discussion

Navigate to your Harmonize discussion and click the Edit button.  Select the Milestones & Auto-Grading tab.  Click the Add Milestone button. This will add a configurable Milestone to your discussion and open the Milestones options menu.

Discussion: Topic Settings with Milestones Not Setup


Toggle ON the  "Turn on Participation Auto-Grading" option.  This will provide a text box where you can enter points for each Milestone created.  As you add Milestones a running total of points will appear at the bottom of this screen. Click the Add Milestone button to add additional Milestones.

Discussion: Topic Settings Milestones Tab Auto-Grading Configured


There are some additional options you can consider when configuring auto-grading:

  • By default, students only receive points for the milestone requirements they complete ahead of the milestone due date.  If you would like to allows students to receive credit for completing requirements, even if they're late, you can enable the Give Credit for Late Participation option.  
  • You may also set a minimum word count threshold student posts and comments need to meet in order to count toward Milestone completion. Read more about this feature here: Word Counts Minimums

Once you are finished allocating points for each Milestone you've created, click the Publish button.


Auto-Grading Grade Passback

Students receive participation points for each Milestone requirement completed prior to the Milestone's due date by default or for each completed requirement regardless of the due date when the credit for late participation option is enabled.  Points earned by students will be transferred to your LMS gradebook when the student fulfills all Milestone requirements or the assignment due date elapses, whichever occurs first.


Furthermore, if adjustments are made to the assignment due date or milestone settings that could affect grade calculations, Harmonize will automatically recalculate each student's grade and send an updated grade to the gradebook, if necessary.  The only exception to this rule is if Harmonize detects a grade change in the LMS gradebook, it will not overwrite that grade.


Here is an example of a Harmonize discussion in Canvas that uses Milestones with Due Dates and Auto-Grading:

Canvas SpeedGrader: Auto-Grading Submission


  • Because the student fulfilled all Milestone requirements prior to their respective due dates, full participation points were earned.
  • When the final Milestone was fulfilled, Harmonize submitted full participation points (in this case 50 points total) to the Canvas gradebook.
  • Please note that any auto-grade submitted by Harmonize can be overridden by the instructor at any time.


A Quick Note of Grade Calculation

Harmonize will pass a score in the form of a percentage to your LMS grading system.  If you set the total number of points possible for the assignment in the LMS to be exactly the same as the total participation score created in Harmonize, then you will see the same number of points earned by the students appear in your LMS.  For example: 10/25 points earned by the student in an assignment with 25 possible points will appear in your LMS grade program as a 10.  If the total number is not the same, then a score equivalent to the percentage of points earned will be populated.  For example: 10/25 participation points will populate a score of 40% or 40/100 in the LMS.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Help! I can't figure out why a student did not receive full participation points!

  • Students only receive points for the Milestones they complete prior to each Milestone's respective Due Date. If the student does not receive full points, it's likely they did not fully complete the Milestone on time (ie they completed the Milestone requirements after the Milestone due date elapsed), they only partially completed their Milestones (ie they only submitted one comment of a two comment requirement), or they posts did not meet minimum word count requirements.
  • The student's Milestone Summary in the Discussion Activity report will show exactly which Milestone requirement went unfulfilled.



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