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D2L Awards Tool at MSU


The D2L Awards tool enables instructors to issue badges and certificates manually or based on release conditions to recognize student achievements. Use this tool to reward students and introduce an element of gamification to your course (e.g., obtaining a high score, submitting a discussion post, helping classmates). D2L provides a library of badges to choose from or instructors can create their own.

Using Badges at MSU

Badges and awards are not academic records. They are intended to provide a fun way to gain recognition of activities, participation and learning. Badges awarded in courses help track learning progress and recognize achievements, but are not considered nor formulated as formal assignment grades.

MSU digital badges focus on the following types of uses:

  • Motivational
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Alternative or Competency-Based Credentials
  • Digital Representation of Type 3 Certificates (Graduate Certificate programs)

Student View of Awards

Students can access the Awards tool from the Assessments tab of a default course NavBar. Students can see the list of awards they’ve earned from the My Awards tab, or view those they have yet to earn from View Available Awards.

screenshot of My Awards view showing an octagonal badge with discussion bubbles

Students will receive a pop-up message with an image of their award when entering/viewing the course, as well as a notification alert in the mini-bar. There is a slight delay of a few minutes for this to occur once the badge is released.

Students can view the details of their achieved awards and print them by clicking on the badge in the My Awards view.

popup saying "Congratulations, Demo Student! including badge details

A student can also let others know what they have earned by sharing their awards to their User Profile, ePortfolio, or Badgr Backpack. At a minimum, it is a good idea for students to share items to their Profile so they have access to the collection after courses are no longer available.

Award sharing option

Instructor View and Management of Awards

Accessing and Issuing Awards

Instructors can access the Awards tool from the Assessments tab or from the Course Admin area. Instructors are able to issue or revoke awards through the Classlist Awards view.

Awards can also be automatically issued based on release conditions, such as participation in a discussion forum or passing a quiz with a high score. Instructors or course editors can issue awards to anyone on the classlist, other than themselves.

Classlist Awards link underlined, check by Demo Student and view of issued course awards

Creating Awards

Instructors can create and make awards available in the Course Awards area. See the training resources for how to create a new award. Instructors can share awards but only the original creator can edit the award details, availability (sharing), and issuer information. Changes made to the award details and issuer information will be reflected in previously issued badges.

D2L Training Resources

View the D2L Brightspace resources below to learn how to use the tool.

Best Practices for Creating Awards

Award Availability (Sharing Awards)

When sharing awards, it is best to make the award available and restrict the award to the specific course it was created in. This allows other editors in the course to see it as an available award to add to the class. The shared award details (name and description) cannot be edited by others, but award properties such as release conditions, can be edited.

Sharing awards without restricting them to the course is only recommended for very general award types that all courses could benefit from, or for sharing across departments or programs for a specific purpose.

Award Availability settings

Expiry Settings

Leave the setting at “Never” in most cases, unless the award needs to be renewed on a regular basis.

Issuer Information

The issuer information will display on badges and can only be edited by the badge creator. The same information is displayed if the award is shared with other courses and when shared by the learner outside the learning environment, such as within Badgr Backpack.

Examples for issuer information:

Brightspace defaults: Brightspace is listed as the default issuer because they keep the credentials on their servers. If you are not certain what to use, leave in the defaults.

Instructor name, course/personal URL, instructor email: Issued by the course instructor. It is best to restrict the award to the course because sharing allows other courses to add the award and the issuer information cannot be changed by the person using a shared award.

Department/program name, URL, email: Issued by a department or program that can be used across courses. Sharing may be useful here but keep in mind the award is still available to all courses in the MSU D2L Learning Environment. Only the creator can edit the issuer information and changes will be reflected in previously issued badges.

Administrator/staff member, URL, email: Issued by noncredit or training sites. It is best to restrict the award to the course because sharing allows other courses to add the award and the issuer information cannot be changed by the person using a shared award.

Award Properties

When adding credits, think of these as points and do not relate them directly to course credits. Best practice is to leave the credit field blank so that the term “Credit” is not displayed when viewing a badge.

See the statement on “Using Badges at MSU” for more on this.

The leaderboard ranking in the Awards Classlist is based on the number of badges regardless of credits (points) given. Students do not have access to this list. When using a shared award, instructors can edit the criteria and/or properties even though they cannot edit the description or issuer information.


Contact the MSU IT Service Desk at or (517) 432-6200 for help with D2L and this feature.

MSU Documentation