Exceed's new Awards experience combines all the functionality that was available as microdegrees, certificates and certifications, and creates a Student experience that is fast and flexible!
With the new Awards experience, we have eliminated the confusing, three-headed nomenclature beast of microdegrees, certificates, and certifications, and replaced those concepts with Awards. While virtually the same in functionality, there are some important differences with Awards that will make it easier for administrators to manage and maintain them in the system.
To define an Award for an activity, you will now click on the "This activity gives an award on completion" checkbox in the Award section of Activity Properties.
Similar to before, at the heart of the Awards experience are three components: badges, award templates and celebration types. While none of these are completely new concepts, badges and award templates are being handled in an improved way. Let's take a look at each of these components in order:
Prior to the Awards Experience, although every activity could include a badge to be earned when the activity was completed, you would need to upload the badge individually for each activity, even if all of your activities used the same badge! We've addressed this by allowing the admin to upload a default award badge that will be used if a custom badge isn't uploaded for an activity. A new "Default award badge" field on the Account Properties page is where the default badge image can be defined.
Badge images should be square, in PNG or JPG format, and will be resized to 400 x 400 pixels in size. If you don't want to upload a default badge or don't want to use it for a particular activity, you can upload a custom badge image as before for any activity.
The old functionality had a separate section on the Activity Properties page where an admin could choose a certificate. These were PDF-based documents that had to be uploaded by Intellum, and they would all appear in thumbnail view for the admin to select from. They rendered slowly and weren't adaptable to small devices. We've now transitioned to HTML which allows the award to display quickly and responsively, no matter the display size.
To achieve this, we've eliminated the Certificate section on the Activity Properties page, and in its place is a field to select an Award Template. To create a new template, on the Account Properties page, click on the Award Templates tab. Here, you can define the name as well as the Top and Bottom Background Images for the template. The images should be in PNG or JPG format, with a width of 2550 pixels and a height of no more than 3300 pixels. At least one of the top or bottom images must be uploaded. Once created, that award template can be used for any activity.
One area that's unchanged in the Awards Experience is the Celebration Type. You may choose an animated confetti or firework effect that displays after a Student completes an activity and the award is presented on screen.
Defining an Award
Once a default badge and award templates are defined, it's very easy to define an award for an activity, since all of the award field choices are in the same section (Award) on the Activity Properties page:
The Description Field is an additional (optional) text field that will display at the bottom of the award. If you'd like the award to expire after a certain number of months, enter a number in the "Expires after" field. The Award Type field does not display to the Student - it exists to help administrators differentiate the award in case many need to be defined in the system.
When a Student completes an activity with a defined award, they will immediately see the award display with any animation overlaying the award text and graphics: