New in Blackboard for Spring 2014 – Achievements

SHSU Online - Blackboard Service Pack 13

The achievements tool allows instructors to designate criteria for issuing rewards to students. Much like the Early Warning System, rules can be set as the criteria for issuing achievements. Unlike the Early Warning System, the achievement tool rewards students for their accomplishments, rather than punishing or identifying detrimental behavior. Students can see which rewards they’ve earned and what is required of them to receive additional rewards.

Achievements - Badges


Faculty can motivate students with a form of “gamification” by incorporating badges into their courses. The achievements tool can provide…

  • a rewards-driven incentive for learners
  • a framework for designing a badge system to encourage your students to explore and participate more
  • insight into learning progression toward defined competencies so students can see what they need to do to achieve

Achievements come in 2 forms:

Achiement Types

Practical Applications

Instructors can award badges for the completion of a project, mastery of a skill, or to signify the achievement of levels of experience. A collection of badges can represent the key learning milestones that have been met. They can show a complete view of a person’s skills and achievements.

In the Classroom

Want to reward your learners for holding a 90% or higher in all their Assignments? Want to award a badge for students who displayed mastery in their Midterm? How about rewarding your learners for participation in the discussion forums? These opportunities are possible by utilizing the Achievements tool. As you brainstorm ways to reward your learners, keep in mind you can set rules based on Grades/Performance, Dates, Group Membership, and Review Status.

Outside the Classroom

Instructors can also award badges for skills and knowledge acquired outside of the classroom setting, such as:

  •     Extra-curricular activities and after school programs
  •     Volunteer programs and community service
  •     Work-related projects
  •     Military experience
  •     Study abroad
  •     Student government
  •     Membership in a club, group, or other organization
  •     Internships and mentoring
  •     Job training
  •     Soft skills, such as collaboration, leadership, and community-building

Basically, you can allow students to combine a diverse set of badges to tell the story of their accomplishments, in and out of class. Together, you can create badges to spotlight skills that will help students work toward a specific goal. Whether the goal is to gain admittance into graduate school or finding the perfect job, you can collaborate with your students to design the pathways.

How to Create and Issue Achievements

  1. Access the achievements tool from the Control Panel > Course Tools -OR- from a content area > Tools on the action bar.
    Course Tools - Achievements achivements_actionbarachivements_actionbar_link
  2. On the Create Achievement page, provide a name.
  3. Create Achievements pageSelect a presentation location. Choose a place in your course where students are likely to earn the badge or certificate. Students are presented with the content item and a notification of the new item.
  4. Select the type of achievement.
    • Course Completion: The certificate reward is required. An additional badge is optional.
    • Milestone: The reward can only be a badge.
    • Custom: The reward can be a badge, certificate, or both.
  5. Determine if students can see the existence of the achievement before earning it.
    • Choose Yes, if the reward is meant to motivate all students.
    • Choose No, if there are special rewards that will only be granted to specific students that should not be seen by everyone.
  6. Optionally, type a description. This description should clearly define what you expect students to complete to earn the associated reward. Optionally, use the functions in the content editor to format the text and add attachments.
  7. Click Define Triggers to continue.

Note: An achievement is not be presented to students in the student view of the achievements tool until a trigger rule is defined and a reward is selected.

Define Criteria Triggers for AchievementsFor an achievement, you can define one or more rules that will trigger the release of the reward. You must define at least one rule.

The achievements tool is built upon the content adaptive release technology of Blackboard Learn. This currently includes the following:

  • Attempts on test, surveys, and assignments
  • Grades on tests, surveys, assignments, graded discussion posts, graded wikis, graded blogs, and graded journals
  • Manual Grade Center columns
  • Marked reviewed statuses on course content
  • Group membership or specific users
  • Starting date for earning an achievement

    Note: Setting a Display After date means that students cannot earn the reward before that date, even if they have already met the criteria. Display After is not the same as an end date and is not a deadline.

To create a rule, name it, and set each criterion necessary for fulfilling the requirements of the achievement. You can create additional criteria for grade and review status by clicking the add functions.

Example: If students must complete four exams in your course and have a final grade of 70%, you will create the following:

  1. Attempt on exam A
  2. Attempt on exam B
  3. Attempt on exam C
  4. Attempt on exam D
  5. Grade for the running total column of at least 70%

In circumstances where different criteria are possible, click Add Another Rule to create another rule. For example, you have a group of learners who need accommodation and have different performance requirements to receive the reward.

To manually award an achievement, use the membership criteria options to select the recipients. For example, you can award a mayor badge for leading discussions.

Click Select Reward to continue.

Add Criteria

Choose Reward

On the final page, choose the reward. Depending on the achievement type, you can choose from different options.

  • Course Completion: The certificate reward is required. An additional badge is optional.
  • Milestone: The reward can only be a badge.
  • Custom: The reward can be a badge, certificate, or both.

You can preview how a certificate will appear to students. It includes the issuing institution as specified by the administrator, the user’s name, the course name, and the date the criteria of the achievement were met.

For badges, you can select an image from the catalog or upload a custom image. An uploaded badge image is available for reuse within your course. If you uploaded an image and need to remove it, you can delete the file from Course Files in the achievements directory. Uploaded images are automatically resized.

The issuer name is prepopulated based on the administrator’s settings. If appropriate, and allowed by the administrator, you can modify the issuer name. You can specify an expiry date for the badge and, if allowed by the administrator, the badge can optionally be available for publishing to recipients’ Mozilla Badge Backpacks.

Select Submit to issue the achievement.

Choose Reward

Student View

Students can access the achievements tool on the Tools page, from a tool link on the course menu, or from a link in a content area.

You can see a student’s My Achievements view by clicking a student’s name in the Recipients pane. The page will appear exactly as it will to that student.


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