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This is one of many help and support pages that are available about the University of Nottingham's Moodle online learning environment. If you have any questions or queries concerning Moodle then contact information is at the bottom of every page.

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This refers to Moodle 3.11 from September 2022 onward

Moodle Help & Support 


The most up to date version of this page is at:

How to: use badges in Moodle 

Introduction to badges

  • Badges are used in many types of courses and modules. We use them a lot in NOOCs and courses related to compliance. A badge can be issued for completion of one or more activities. Normally we use a badge per unit, with perhaps one for the introductory activity (to increase motivation to continue) and there may be special badges (e.g., for students who carry out extra tasks such as contributing a lot or mentoring others).

There are two reasons to include badges.

  1. The acquisition of badges helps you easily work out who has completed units and thus the whole course, to assess entitlement to credit.
  2. In Moodle, students can see their badges on their profile. The idea is that badges can motivate students to take part in activities and complete units. Badges can also be exported to external sites such as Mozilla Backpack or LinkedIn to add to an online CV.

For credit bearing modules, Open Badges tend not to be appropriate unless there are competencies to be achieved over and above the module outcomes.

What are badges? See the blog post Open Badges in Moodle

How to add a badge to your Moodle module

Decide on badges to include

It's important not to make badges too easy. These badges represent and are issued by the University of Nottingham (the equivalent of a certificate) so should not be too easy to get. For example, a badge might be given for

  • completion of a short course
  • completion of one (substantial) unit of a long course or module (e.g., Your University Journey)
  • completion of a special (substantial) task eg Facilitating an online course or supporting peers to an extraordinary degree.

First create a badge image (i.e. the graphic you will use as the badge)

You can use any graphics program or go to The graphic should include some word or phrase that explains what it is: e.g., “Resource collector” or “Sustainability Week 1”, and it should also include the University logo.


Second – add it to your module

  1. In your module enable completion tracking. 
    1. Click on the 'Cogwheel actions' icon and select 'Edit settings'
    2. Under Completion tracking, in the "Enable completion tracking" dropdown, select 'Yes'
    3. Click on 'Save and display'
      For full instructions:
  2. Make sure you have at least one resource set up with some completion tracking.
  3. Now click the 'Cogwheel actions' icon and select "More..."
  4. Scroll down to Badges and click Add a new badge

Add a new badge link

5. Give the badge a "Name" and a "Description" (include a summary of the badge criteria here)  

6. Upload the badge image you designed and saved earlier by dragging and dropping into the "Image" area

Adding information on badge

7. Add your details as the person who created the badge image

8. Check the issuer details are correct (University of Nottingham Moodle)

9. Enter a badge expiry date if needed or leave on Never  if no expiry is needed.

10. Click “Create Badge”

Adding further details on badge

11. Now you must choose your badge criteria by clicking on the 'Trophy' icon (in other words, what does the student have to complete in order to earn the badge)

12. You can set the badge to be awarded manually (Manual issue by role) – i.e. you can award it to whichever students you judge to have earned it (this is assigned to a certain role, eg Editing Teacher) – or on module completion (which must be defined in Moodle), or completion of other badges - OR set Activity completion (likely to be the most common)

13. Choose “Activity Completion” and on the next page select the activity or activities that have completion checking enabled in your course.  If no activities have completion checking enabled then you won’t be able to progress.

14. Ensure it is set to ALL of the activities not ANY or the badge will be too easy to get!

15. Click 'Save'

16. Once this is done, you need to “Enable Access”.  This activates the badge and it is ready for use.

If it is awarded by activity completion, then it is automatic: whenever a  user completes the activity or activities you picked they will be redirected to the badge where they can download a copy of it. It is also attached to their Moodle profile.

To manually award the badge, in the module:

  • Click the 'Cogwheel actions' icon and select 'More...'
  • Scroll down to Badges and select Manage badges
  • Click the 'Trophy' icon to award the badge

You can award it to multiple users at the same time.

Badge winners can also “Push” the badge to an external "Backpack", such as Badgr, which is an external tool that stores all open badges and can be used to demonstrate the badges gained.

Adding your badge to Badgr

  1. Create an account at
  2. Go to your Moodle 'Profile' from the dropdown beneath your name

3. Scroll down the Profile page to the Badges section


4. Click on the badge you wish to add.

5. In the next screen, click the 'Download' button

Downloading a badge

The badge will be downloaded.

6. Go to Badgr and sign in

7. In your 'Backpack', click 'Add Badge'

Adding a badge to Badgr

8. Drag in the downloaded badge file

Dragging badge into Badgr to add it

9. Click 'Add badge'

Clicking to add badge

Your badge now appears in your backpack - it includes all the details about the badge including the issuer and the criteria for issue.

You can Share the badge in a number of different ways.

How to use Badges to enhance student engagement

For further guidance on using badges for student engagement, visit this Xerte project

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