Awarding badges and certificates

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About this article

This article describes how to create, award, and manage badges in certificates in a Brightspace course. It is intended for instructors.

Awards tool overview

From the Brightspace Help system:

The Awards tool enables instructors to provide merit-based awards to students. There are two types of awards: Badges, and Certificates.

Badges are awarded based on any criteria determined by the instructor. They are meant to provide digital markers that represent accomplishment throughout a course or program. Badges do not contribute to achieving a passing grade; however, badges are awarded for achievements that also can contribute to the type of work ethic that results in a passing grade. For example, an instructor might create a badge that is based on posting 15 discussion posts in the first month of a course, or on perfect attendance, or on academic excellence. These items are the types of trends that can help a learner to succeed in a course or program.

Certificates are also awarded based on criteria determined by the instructor. Certificates are similar to Badges, however, they include a PDF that users can print. Certificates typically indicate an official statement of certification or award at the end of a program, but can be awarded during the course for other criteria as well. Certificates can be awarded based on achieving a milestone that a learner can use for further academic or career success, such as passing a practical exam. Certificates also do not contribute to achieving a passing grade.

Badges and Certificates can be automatically awarded based on release condition criteria, or can be manually awarded.

How to use the Awards tool in your course and your program

There are many ways to use the Awards tool. Typically, badges are used to connote accomplishments that demonstrate mastery of a smaller content while certificates are used to document larger bodies of mastery, but in the end, the call is completely in the court of the teacher.

Here are a few examples of things that can be done. This is not meant to anything more than a few concepts to spark further thought and creativity.

  • Grammar Badge - The student is awarded the grammar badge if she has written three theme-based papers for her composition course, each free of grammatical errors.
  • Civic Action Badge - Once a student performs 20 hours of community service and writes a paper documenting the experience for class, he is awarded the badge. There may optionally be a minimum score required on the paper.
  • Human Anatomy Expert Certificate - Complete the anatomy and physiology class, successfully complete a set of anatomy-based labs from the nursing program, and spend 25 hours taking courses like first aid and CPR from the Red Cross to earn the certificate.

Badges and certificates are viewable in the students D2L Brightspace profile. They can view their achievements at any time. Certificates, because they are PDF's, can be exported, printed, or attached to a portfolio.

Adding badges and certificates to your course

Badges and certificates are created within the Awards tool itself. (For step-by-step instructions, view the videos or link to Brightspace Help below.) Once created, the teacher can manually award them to the students or define release conditions that cause the award to be granted when the release conditions are met.

Brightspace comes with a set of badge and certificate art you can select for your awards. If you want something more custom, you can design your own art and use it within the Awards tool.

Instructions and additional information

Creating badges


Creating certificates

Managing your badges and certificates

Awards can be displayed to the students as incentives or can he hidden from view until they are earned. As the teacher, you can configure awards to be hidden until earned.

Teachers can view the badges and certificates earned by the all students in the course from within the Awards tool.

Instructions and additional information

Issuing and revoking badges and certificates

You decide on the criteria a student must complete to earn an award. Once that criteria is met, you can grant the award automatically or manually. You also have the right to revoke any award at any time.

Instructions and additional information


Manually issuing an award

Setting release conditions on an award


Revoking an award

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