Introduction To D2L Awards and Leaderboard
There are two types of awards in D2L: Badges and Certificates. D2L Awards tool enables instructors to issue either badges or certificates to students to recognize completion and accomplishments.
Badges are digital icons or images that represent accomplishments throughout a course or program. Badges could be issued to students with credits based on criteria designed by instructors. The accomplishments awarded by D2L Badge could be at a more granular level than assignments, grades, or course credit. It could be, comparatively speaking, easier to achieve but significant for student learning. For example, an instructor notices that the students tend to post in the online discussions last minute before the deadline. When most students post late, the online discussions are more likely to turn into separate threads rather than interactions between students. The instructor may create a badge to encourage students to post early. With the deadline on Friday, those who post before Tuesday will be awarded with a D2L Badge. This badge does not contribute to student final grade; however, it might motivate students to actively participate and as a result, improve the overall class engagement.
Leaderboard is created to accompany D2L Badges to help create a friendly competition by displaying ranks in comparison to peers. Leaderboard is a customizable widget that can be added to course navbar or the homepages of course offering. Leaderboard could be set and viewed as individual or group, competing for the highest number of badges or credits associated with the badges. Leaderboard will display the top 10 student names. All students are able to view where they rank in the class. Leaderboard may provide an incentive for students to improve as it invites students to participate, engage, and play as well as gives many students a sense of superiority or accomplishment. It is a great tool to assist with gamification or game-based learning.
D2L Certificates are also awarded based on criteria determined by instructors. D2L Certificates not only have all the same details as D2L Badges, but they also include a downloadable PDF file that students can print. Certificates at the University of Calgary typically means an official statement with a printable copy to recognize accomplishments of learners who have completed and met criteria in a certified program. D2L Certificates provide more flexibility and allow instructors to award students for achieving a milestone or other competencies during or at the end of a course or program. For example, safety is critical during conducting experiments in labs and fields but might not get evaluated as lab reports. In order to bring more awareness of safety and motivate students to complete safety training, D2L Certificate could be designed and awarded to students who complete the safety training module before lab work in a course. D2L Certificates do not contribute to final grade but may motivate students to further develop essential skills for academic and future career success such as safety awareness, collaboration and communication skills etc.
D2L Badge and Certificates can be awarded automatically based on release condition criteria or can be awarded manually. Students can decide which badges and certificates they would like to share with pubic or to social media platforms to demonstrate their learning and capabilities.