Managing Badgr in a Canvas course as a teacher

If Badgr has not been added to your Canvas Instance, please follow this checklist to get started.

Managing a Canvas course in a Teacher, Facilitator, or Instructor Role

Some organizations have instructional designers or other content creators build courses which are then facilitated by instructors or other faculty members. This article provides the information necessary to manage a Canvas course that has already been set up and is ready to launch or is in progress. As a Canvas course instructor, you will guide students on earning badges, subscribing to pathways (if offered) and managing their Badgr account.  

Authorizing the Badgr LTI app as a Teacher

If you are a teacher that is new to Badgr, you must authorize the app in Canvas before you can interact with badges. Typically, you only have to do this once, but there are occasions where you might need to reauthorize more than once. To authorize, simply go to the Badges menu in the course navigation and access the Authorize button.


Accessing the course Issuer

There can only be one default issuer per course. Be sure to check in with the course designer(s) if a default issuer has not been assigned.
The issuer is the entity that is awarding badges to students in a given course. If the course designer has already set the default issuer for the course, any teacher who accesses the Badges menu in that course, will be added to the issuer in the role of an 'Owner.' The issuer could be an instructor's name, the course name, a university department, an entire organization, or however else the user chooses to define it. If you are facilitating a course, you should use the default issuer and/or ask the course organizers which issuer should be used. If needed, you can easily change the default issuer. You can also create an issuer and badges right within the course itself. 

Triggering Badge Awards

Although Badgr awards badges automatically in Canvas courses based on module milestone status, Badgr does not maintain a constant connection to each course that uses it. So, instructors and/or students need to send a request to the Badgr server to trigger badge awards in the course. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. We highly recommend awarding badges in modules to keep the award process moving quickly and efficiently.
Teachers can trigger badge awards in two ways:
  1. By accessing the Progress tab from the badges menu and paging through the student list of names. This sends each page (35 students), one at a time to the Badgr server to check for new awards.
  2. Requesting the CSV download Report from the Progress tab to trigger awards for all students in a single request. This is great for MOOCs.
Students can get their own badges in two ways:
  1. By accessing the Badges menu in the course navigation. This sends a request to the Badgr server on behalf of the student to check for new badges to be awarded.
  2. (Optionally set up by course designer) by completing the module requirements and viewing the badge in a module. If a badge is placed in a module and the requirements are met by the student, the badge is awarded immediately. 

External Tool Placement

Teachers have the ability to place an external tool that awards badges in modules, so that students can receive badge right as soon as the module requirements are met. This is like instant gratification for the student.
For each course, the External Tool will likely already be set up. We recommend that instructor leave the "Evidence Required" unchecked unless the course designers intend to use this advanced feature. Here is the teacher view of a badge placed in a module as an external tool.



Troubleshooting Badge Awards
When a student checks their progress by accessing the  Badges menu in a course, Badgr automatically awards all the badges they have earned. If a teacher or student does not see a badge awarded as expected, there are some troubleshooting steps the teacher or student can take. 
Instructors may need to troubleshoot unexpected badge behavior by navigating to the Modules menu in the course navigation and then accessing the "View Progress" button in the upper right to select an individual student to determine if a module is not complete. If Canvas does not report the module as being completed, Badgr will not award the badge.
Teachers should also check that students have accepted course enrollments and/or ensure that Badgr can access student email addresses. This would prevent badges from being awarded.
Pathways Management (Badgr Pro Feature)
Badgr Pathways is a companion app to Badgr, allowing Issuers to combine and connect Open Badges from multiple sources into a meaningful pathway for learners.  What are Badgr Pathways?
The Groups feature in Badgr Pathways is used to organize badge recipients into different segments or cohorts, so that they may be easily tracked along a Learning Pathway. Groups may be subscribed to more than one pathway and any number of groups can be subscribed to the same pathway. When a Pathway LTI is added to a course, any students that access the Pathways menu will automatically be added to the group.
When Teachers access the Pathways LTI in a course, they can use the drop-down menus in the iframe to track each student's progress along the pathway. Students only see their own progress on the pathway. 
Instructors will need to ensure that each student in the course accesses Pathways menu option and authorizes the app if they are going to participate on the pathway.