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D2L Awards Tool

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.

Note: To prevent plagiarism and protect an organization's intellectual and branding copyrights, all earned certificates downloaded from the Awards tool are password-protected from editing. Each certificate is generated with a random password that is not displayed to users, preventing anyone from editing the certificate in Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe Reader®. This makes it unnecessary to manually add password-protection to uploaded certificates.

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

To create a new award

  1. Within the course, do one of the following:
    • On the navbar, click Awards.
    • From the Assessments tab, select Awards.
    • Click Course Admin and select Awards from within the Assessment section.
  2. Click Add Award to Course.
  3. Click Create Award.
  4. Enter a name and description for the new award.
  5. Select an award type from the drop-down list.
  6. Select the appropriate check boxes to indicate if you want the award to be available to other award managers, and where it is available within the org structure.
  7. Select the expiry options:
    • If the award will not expire, select Never. Examples of awards that never expire are certificates of merit for passing a course, or badges for perfect attendance.
    • If the award will expire on a specific date, select Fixed date. Examples of awards that will expire on a specific date are certifications for a skill that must be renewed, such as first aid training.
    • If the award will expire on a day relative to the day the award was granted, select Relative Day of the Month. Examples of awards that expire on a relative date are badges for Learner of the Week or for having achieved 100% on a test or assignment.
  8. If you want to notify the award recipient before an award expires, select the check box and indicate the number of days of lead time.
  9. In the Choose Award Image area, do one of the following:
    • If the image already exists in the image library, click From Existing Library.
    • If you want to add a new icon to the image library, click Upload New Icon.
    • To launch the OpenBadges website, click Create your own award image. OpenBadges is a free website that allows you to create custom icons.
  10. If you are creating a new certificate, in the Choose Certificate Template area, do one of the following:
    • If the PDF template already exists in the image library, click From Existing Library.
    • If you want to add a new template to the image library, click Upload New Template.
  11. Verify that the Issuer Information is correct.
  12. Ensure that the Associate this award to the <current course> on creation check box is correctly set.
  13. Click Save.

MSU Documentation