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.