ICT in het Onderwijs

How do I create certificates and how do I add a certificate to my course?

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If you are already using Awards in Brightspace and have already turned this function on, you can skip ahead to Create certificates and/or add them to your course. Would you first like to learn more about the Awards function? Take a look at this manual.


You can use certificates to reward students for reaching goals or milestones in your course that you do not appraise. You can, for example, use certificates as unofficial proof of completion for a certain course unit. Students can download earned certificates and print them out. Certificates are a part of the Awards function in Brightspace.

You have to turn on the Awards function in Brightspace before you can use it.

  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Course Admin.
  • Then click Tools under Administration.
  • You will see that Awards has a cross behind it instead of a check mark. Click on the cross to turn the function on. Instead of a cross, a check mark will now appear.
  • Refresh the web page. Click Administration in the navbar of your course. Awards will now appear in the list.

Create certificates and/or add them to your course

  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Awards. You will navigate to the tab Classlist Awards, where you will find an overview of all the participants in your course and the awards and certificates they have received.
  1. Click Course Awards (second tab). Here you will find all the awards and certificates you are already using in this course.
  2. Click Add Award To Course to create a new certificate and/or add it to your course.
  • Click Create to create a new award. You will now navigate to the New Award page.

This manual will only discuss the sections that are unique to certificates. Would you like to learn more about the New Award page? Take a look at this manual.

After filling in the other text fields, you can choose an image and upload your certificate at the bottom of the page.

  1. Use Choose Award Image to choose the image for your certificate:
    • Click From Existing Library to use an image from your database.
    • Click Upload New Icon to use an image from your computer. Note that the ideal size is 100x100 pixels.
    • Click Create your own image to create a new image in the Classic Badge Designer.
  2. Use Choose Certificate Template to choose a default certificate template from Brightspace or upload your own PDF template that will be used for your certificate. Learn how to create your own certificate template here.

Finally, click Save and Close at the bottom of the page to save the award and return to the Course Awards page. You will now see the new certificate in your overview.

Linking a certificate to an action or milestone is done via release conditions. You can also manually award a certificate to a student. This works the same way as it does for an award. Learn more about how that works in this manual.

Creating a certificate template

Brightspace has a few default certificate templates available. If these do not meet your needs, you can create your own template.

  1. Create a form. Because of its functionality and ease of use, it is recommended to do this in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  2. Add images, logos, and static text until you are satisfied with the result.
  3. Open the Prepare Form Tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  4. Add a text field for each of the personal details you want shown on the certificate, such as the student's first and last name, the date the certificate was earned, and the course name. You can do this by using replace strings. If you use replace strings, Brightspace will automatically place the correct details for each student on their certificate so you don't have to do this manually. Take a look at the Brightspace website for a list of all available replace strings.
  5. Make sure each text field is named after the replace string that corresponds with what you want to be shown in that text field, such as {FullName} or {CourseName}.
  6. Make sure each text field is large enough to show the required text. You can adjust the font and font size by right-clicking the text field and selecting Properties. Next, go to the Appearance tab.
  7. If you are satisfied with the form, you need to save the template. Give it a fitting file name so you can easily find your template again at a later time, such as 'Certificate template name_of_your_course'.

Please note: to prevent plagiarism and to protect copyrights, earned certificates downloaded by a student in Brightspace are automatically protected with a password. This password is randomly generated and not visible to any user. This way, the downloaded certificate cannot be edited. Thus, you do not have to set your own password when creating a template.

Would you rather immediately get started with certificates without creating your own template? There is a default Radboud certificate template available. Use a PDF editing programme such as Adobe Acrobat Pro to adjust this template to fit your needs. In Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can use the Prepare Form tool to do this. Click the button below to download the template.

Remove certificates from Brightspace

Deleting a certificate in Brightspace works the same way as deleting an award. Learn how to do this in this manual.

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