6.3.6. Setting Up Certificates

This section describes how to create and manage certificates for your course.

For more information about certificates, see these additional topics.

For information about awarding badges for your course, see Enable or Disable Badges for Your Course.

6.3.6.1. Overview

Using Studio, you create and manage the certificates that learners can earn in your course.

By default, Studio automatically generates certificates as each learner passes the course for both self-paced and instructor-paced courses.

  • For self-paced courses, certificates are available immediately after Studio generates them.
  • For instructor-paced courses, certificates become available 48 hours after your course end date by default. You can also specify a different date to make certificates available. For more information, see Specify a Different Certificates Available Date.

When certificates become available to learners, a link to the certificate is visible on the learner dashboard and the Progress page.

For more information about issuing certificates, see Issuing Certificates.

The design of certificates for your course, including your institution’s logo, are configured on your instance of Open edX. For more information, see Enabling Certificates in Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform.

Note

If your course is configured to issue certificates, you cannot start the course until the required certificates are activated.

For information about starting the course, see Guidelines for Start and End Dates.

6.3.6.1.1. Enable Certificates

Before you can create certificates, you must enable certificates for your course.

  1. From the Settings menu, select Advanced Settings.
  2. In the Certificate Web/HTML View Enabled field, enter true.
  3. At the bottom of the page, select Save Changes.

6.3.6.2. Create a Certificate

To create a certificate for your course, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, from the Settings menu, select Certificates.
  2. On the Certificates page, select Add your first certificate or Add a new certificate.
  3. Add a signatory for each person associated with the course or organization whose name and title you want to appear on the certificate. You must specify at least one signatory. You can add as many signatories as needed.
  1. Optionally, upload an image file showing the signature of each signatory.

    The image file must be a transparent .png file, 450px by 150px.

  1. When you have finished creating your certificate, select Create.

    You can preview the certificate to see how it will appear to a learner taking the course in the selected mode.

    Your course certificate is not available for issuing to learners until it is activated.

6.3.6.3. Edit a Certificate

You can edit certificates before and after they are activated.

Only course team members with the Staff or Admin role can edit activated certificates.

Caution

As a best practice, do not make changes to certificates in a running course if it is possible that certificates have already been issued to learners, because different learners might be awarded certificates with different details for the same course.

If you must edit an activated certificate, you should deactivate the certificate before making changes to it.

To edit a certificate, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, from the Settings menu, select Certificates.

  2. On the Certificates page, at the top of the certificate form, select the Edit icon.

  3. When you have finished editing the certificate, select Save.

    After you save your changes, you can preview the certificate to make sure it appears as you want it to. You then need to activate the certificate before certificates can be issued.

6.3.6.4. Specify a Different Course Title

Optionally, you can specify an alternative course title to use on the certificate. You might want to use a different title on your course certificates if, for example, the official course name is too long to fit on the certificate.

  1. In Studio, from the Settings menu, select Certificates.
  2. On the Certificates page, at the top of the certificate form, select the Edit icon.
  3. In the Course Title Override field, enter the alternative title for your course.
  4. Select Save.

You can also specify an alternative course number. To do this, see Set a Course Number Override.

6.3.6.5. Specify a Different Course Number

Optionally, you can specify an alternative course number to use on the certificate.

You might want to use a different number on your course certificates if, for example, the official course number is meaningful only within your institution.

  1. In Studio, select Settings, and then Advanced Settings.

  2. Locate the Course Number Display String field. This field contains the course number you set to override the official course number on certificates.

  3. Between quotation marks (" "), enter the course number you want displayed on certificates.

  4. Select Save Changes.

    A message lets you know whether your changes were saved successfully.

6.3.6.6. Specify a Different Certificates Available Date

By default, certificates become available to learners 48 hours after your course ends. You can also specify a different date to make certificates available.

  1. In Studio, open your course.
  2. On the Settings menu, select Schedule & Details.
  3. In the Course Schedule section, enter the date and time when you want to issue certificates in the Certificates Available Date and Certificates Available Time fields.

6.3.6.7. Delete a Certificate

You can delete a certificate that is not activated.

Caution

Do not delete a certificate after the course has started. A learner who has already earned a certificate will no longer be able to access it.

To delete a certificate, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, from the Settings menu, select Certificates.

  2. On the Certificates page, at the top of the certificate form, select the “Delete” icon.

    Top portion of the certificate form showing the delete icon at the top.
  3. In the confirmation dialog, confirm that you want to delete the certificate.

6.3.6.8. Preview Certificates

After you have finished editing your certificate, you can preview a certificate for verification purposes. You select from the available course modes (such as “verified”) to see how a certificate will appear to a learner taking the course in the selected mode.

  1. In Studio, from the Settings menu, select Certificates.

  2. On the Certificates page, select the course mode of the certificate you want to preview, then click Preview Certificate.

    You see the web view for the certificate, as a learner in the selected course mode would see it.

After previewing the certificate, you can edit the certificate further or activate your certificate.

6.3.6.9. Activate a Certificate

When you have verified your certificate, a course team member with the Admin or Staff role can activate the certificate.

Note

Course team members without the Admin or Staff role cannot activate a certificate.

To activate a certificate, follow these steps.

  1. Make sure that you have the Admin or Staff role for the course. For more information, see Course Staffing.
  2. In Studio, on the Settings menu, select Certificates.
  3. On the Certificates page, select Activate.

After certificates are activated, learners in your course who attain a passing grade or otherwise qualify receive certificates.

6.3.6.10. Deactivate a Certificate

In some situations, after you have activated a certificate, you might need to deactivate the certificate to make changes.

As a best practice, do not make changes to certificates in a running course if the course has already issued certificates to learners.

To deactivate a certificate, follow these steps.

Note

Only course team members that have the Admin or Staff role can deactivate a certificate.

  1. Make sure that you have the Admin or Staff role for the course. For more information, see Course Staffing.
  2. In Studio, on the Settings menu, select Certificates.
  3. On the Certificates page, select Deactivate.

The certificate is no longer active and the course team can edit it. No new certificates can be issued to learners while it is deactivated. Learners who have already been issued certificates can continue to access them.

6.3.6.11. Manage Certificate Images

When you add signatory image files to a certificate, the uploaded files are listed in Studio on the Files & Uploads page.

When you delete a certificate, images that you uploaded for use with that certificate are also deleted. However, if you edit a certificate and replace images, the unused image files remain on the Files & Uploads page. You can manually remove unused images. For information, see Delete a File.

6.3.6.12. Enable or Disable Badges for Your Course

Badges provide a way for learners to share their course achievements. For courses that have course completion badges enabled, learners receive a badge at the same time as they receive a course certificate, and have the option of sharing their badges to a badging site such as Mozilla Backpack.

The Open edX platform supports Open Badges, an open standard developed by the Mozilla Foundation. For more information about Open Badges, see the Open Badges web site.

If badging is enabled for your platform, course completion badges are enabled by default for your course. If you are unsure whether badging is enabled for your platform, or if you need help with configuring your course badges, contact your platform administrator.

To stop issuing badges in your course, follow these steps.

  1. In Studio, from the Settings menu, select Advanced Settings.
  2. Locate the Issue Open Badges policy key. The default value is True.
  3. Change the setting to False and save your changes.

To enable badging for your course if it was previously disabled, change the value of the key to True.