How can I reward students with achievements (badges and certificates) in Blackboard?

About achievements

Students can be rewarded with achievements in the form of badges and certificates in their Blackboard sites. Instructors can specify criteria that students must fulfil or demonstrate (e.g. achieving a certain score in a Blackboard test or completing certain course activities) in order to automatically be issued with a badge or certificate.

If students use Mozilla Open Backpack, badges can be published to their backpack. Students must ensure that they set up their Mozilla account with a primary or secondary email address that matches their student email address in Blackboard. Students’ email addresses in Blackboard normally take the form of {firstname}.{lastname}, though this can also include middle initials and a numerical suffix to distinguish between students with the same name. Students can find or check their own student email address using the Find staff and students tool found on shuspace.

Create a menu item to contain the badges and certificates that can be earned in your site

Step 1. To allow students to see all the badges and certificates that they could earn within your site, consider setting up a new tool link in the site menu to contain these, and choose the Achievements type tool. Provide a Name for the link, ensure that it is Available to Users, and click Submit

Step 2. Your new tool link will appear at the bottom of the site menu, and can be re-ordered to a different position on the site menu if you prefer. The Achievements tool  link allows students to filter and display All Achievements, Earned Achievements or Unearned Achievements.

Create your achievement

Step 1. Criteria for achievements can be set up in any content area. Go to the content area where you wish to hold the achievement.

Step 2. From the Add Interactive Tool menu, choose Achievements.

Step 3. Enter the Name for the achievement.

Step 4. The Achievement Location is automatically set to the current content area. You should not need to change this.

Step 5. Choose the Achievement Type

  • Course Completion – a certificate is awarded, a badge can optionally be awarded. Certificates are intended to be viewed online or printed. Badges can be viewed online or published to Mozilla Open Backpack
  • Milestone – a badge is awarded
  • Custom – choose whether a certificate or a badge will be awarded

Step 6. Use the Visible to students before receiving option to either make students aware of this achievement before they have earned it or to keep it hidden until it has been awarded.

Step 7. Optionally provide a Description for the achievement.

Step 8. Click Define Triggers.

Step 9. Define the rules that must be met in order to earn the achievement. Multiple rules can be defined, but note ALL must be met. Each rule is created one at a time. Enter a Name for the rule, and define the criteria.

  • Specify a Date after which the achievement will take effect, or leave blank for the achievement to be created at any time


  • Membership – restricts the achievement to specific users or groups (where groups have already been created in your site)

  • Grade – specifies a grade that the student must achieve. If a rule is made based on a grade, the assessment item/grade column must already have been set up, and click Add Item to set the criteria


  • Review Status – choose a content item that the student must review. If a rule is made based on review status, the review status must already have been set on those items selected, and click Add to set the criteria


If you wish to set a further rule, click Add Another Rule and repeat Step 9, otherwise click Select Reward.


Step 10. Set the Issuer Name. This would normally be Sheffield Hallam University. And optionally set an Expiration Date or Validity period.

Step 11. Select the Certificate or Badge image you wish to award from the certificate or badge catalogue, or optionally you may upload your own badge image by selecting Browse My Computer next to Attach File.  Important: Only badges in the default badge catalogue can be exported to Mozilla Backpack.

Step 12. If you wish students to be able to send their badge to Mozilla Open Backpack, set Publish to Mozilla to On. (Note: if permitted, students must use Google Chrome or Firefox to publish badges to Mozilla Open Backpack. This feature is not supported in Internet Explorer).

Step 13. Click on Save and Exit.

Step 14. Students are now able to begin earning their achievement(s). Once earned, students will see their certificates and badges and if permitted publish earned badges to Mozilla. (Note: students must use Google Chrome or Firefox to publish badges to Mozilla Open Backpack. This feature is not supported in Internet Explorer. Only badges in the default badge catalogue can be exported to Mozilla Backpack).





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