Achievements tool — digital badges and certificates

The Achievements tool allows academics to provide rewards to students in the form of digital badges and certificates when they have met certain criteria such as passed tests, accessed readings, and completed activities. Students can see which rewards they have earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards, providing encouragement and insight into learning progression.


What is a digital badge?

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Create an achievement

Step 1
Navigate to the area where you want the achievement to be located (e.g. a particular folder within your Learning Materials). Select Tools from the action bar at the top of the page and then click Achievements from the dropdown menu.

Step 2
Give your achievement a name.

Step 3
Set the basic information about the achievement:

  • Location — The location will already be filled in with the folder where you came in from. If you got to this point through the Achievements area or you want to change the folder then simply use the Browse button to select the area of the module where you want the achievement to sit.
  • Type — Select the type of achievement. Custom is generally the best option.
  • Visible to students before receiving — Set to yes or no depending on the needs of your module. Hidden badges may provide exciting surprise rewards encouraging students to try all kinds of activities. Visible achievements help them to understand what they need to do to get the rewards.
  • Description — use this area to set out what students must do/have done to gain the achievement.

Step 4
Click the Define Triggers button to move onto the next page.

Step 5
The second page is where you define the rules that a student must meet to trigger the achievement to be released. Set the following fields:

  • Rule Name — give your set of rules a name.
  • Date — if you want to restrict students to meeting the requirements after a set date, specify that date here and tick the box. If no restriction is needed, leave the tick-box empty.

Step 6
You can then set requirements using the Membership, Grade and Review Status options. You can add multiple rules, e.g. grade of at least 50 on the week 1 test AND has viewed each reading in the week 1 folder. When you have set the rules, click the Set Reward button to continue.

Step 7
Enter an Issuer Name (e.g. the module/topic/your name) and, optionally, set a restricted date on the achievement (e.g. so it is valid for a set period only).

Step 8
Select a digital badge (or upload your own badge image from your computer). Do not use the certificate option as the default text implies completion of the module (regardless of achievement rules).

Step 9
Click the Save and Exit button when you are done. You will then be taken to your Achievements area where you can see all the Achievements that have been set up and get a quick view of how many students have been awarded the different rewards.

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Monitor progress

There are two ways of monitoring progress: the achievements area and the achievement itself.

Achievements area

Click Communication & Tools on the navigation menu.

Select Achievements from the list of tools.

You will see a list of all achievements and the number of students who have received this reward. Click the number to see which students have succeeded.

Check individual achievement

Step 1
Navigate to the achievement in the Learning Materials folder where the achievement is located. Hover over the achievement to reveal the grey action circle. Click it to reveal the dropdown menu and select User Progress.

Step 2
This will show you a list of students — those who have received the achievement will be showing an open eye symbol in the visible column.

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Student view

The visibility of achievements depends on the settings applied by the tutor. If an achievement has not yet been reached it may be unavailable to students until they meet specific criteria or it may be visible to students to show them what they need to do to earn the badge. This is defined by the tutor when setting up the achievement.

Students are notified as soon as they receive the achievement. They will see a notification at the top of whichever page they are on within the course. If they are offline the notification will appear when they next access the module. They will also receive a new Update message in My Blackboard indicating that they have earned a new achievement in their courses. The badge or certificate itself will be accessible in the folder where it was placed by the tutor.

Students can also access the Achievements area to see an overview of which achievements they have been rewarded by going through the Communication & Tools link in the navigation area and then selecting Achievements.

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