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      5 Ways to Gamify Your Canvas Course in 5 Minutes (or Less)

      It's never been more important to recognize a lifelong learning journey. Whether learning occurs in the classroom, on a job site, or online, recognizing traditional and non-traditional educational experiences has become an invaluable investment that has the potential to shape the future of learning. During last year’s InstructureCon keynote, Instructure's CEO shared the news that Canvas currently serves over 30 million users. Today, any user on the Canvas platform can use the Badgr integration to transform coursework into a gamified experience that motivates learners and scales assessment.

      In just a few minutes, educators can recognize their learners with digital, skills-aligned badges that can be further scaffold into stackable credential pathways that connect learning outcomes across courses, between institutions, and beyond. This all might sound a little intimidating, so the Badgr team has curated a few strategies to get your digital badging ecosystem off the ground quickly.

      Tech Tip: Before implementing a digital badging solution, you’ll need to add the Badgr integration to your Canvas instance. It only takes five minutes to get started!

      Getting Started With Badgr’s Always-Free Option

      Badgr’s powerful free option is a great place to get started. Here are two ways to get started right away with the Badgr for Canvas integration.

      1. Translate learning modules into digital stepping stones

      The simplest way to get started with digital badges in Canvas is to reward learners for completing the learning modules that you’ve already created. Module-aligned digital badges provide discrete milestones that can help you and your learner’s monitor and measure their progress while allowing everyone to make informed decisions about what to do next.


      • Once you’ve installed Badgr, select the “Badges” tab on the Canvas interface’s left-side navigation bar.
      • Using the drop-down option next to each of your modules, select the badge you'd like to award learners once the module is complete.
      • Optionally, awards can be issued based on module requirements, including submitting assignments that could serve as badge evidence that makes your learning experiences more rigorous and your awards more personal.
      • Detailed walkthrough: Learn more about this solution.

      2. Motivate your learners with leaderboards

      Leveraging Badgr’s built-in leaderboards can help you intrinsically and extrinsically motivate your learners while helping you keep track of their progress. While learners compete, teachers use Badgr’s leaderboard option to get real-time impressions of exactly where each learner is in their learning journey and enable teachers to celebrate their progress. Since each digital badge is connected to the learning experiences you’ve designed, this may also become an invaluable tool for teachers looking for additional ways to differentiate and personalize their instruction.

      Tech Tip: You may choose to make the names of the learners anonymous or allow your learners to share their awards outside of Canvas.


      • Once you’ve installed Badgr, select the “Badges” tab on the Canvas interface’s left-side navigation bar.
      • Locate the “leaderboard” option on the right side of your screen in the secondary navigation menu.
      • Select “Enable leaderboard” to turn the leaderboard feature on.
      • (Optional) You can “Enable Name Sharing” or “Enable Badge Award Sharing” options. These options will allow you to make your learners’ names private and provide them with the ability to share their awards outside Canvas.
      • Detailed walkthrough: Learn more about this solution.

      Upgrade Your Learning Ecosystem With Badgr Pro!

      Once you’ve hit the ground running with Badgr’s free option for Canvas, it’s a good idea to start thinking about a more robust solution that will help scale your efforts. Below are three ways Badgr Pro helps prepare your classroom, institution, or organization to take your learning management system to the next level.

      Note: All of the features below are included with Badgr Pro.

      3. Your ecosystem, your data

      Each time one of your learners successfully completes a course module and shares their awards online, it gives your organization an opportunity to make a digital impression. After upgrading to Badgr Pro, your organization will be provided with a powerful analytics dashboard that reveals how your awards are shared across social networks without compromising the privacy of your learners. When whole institutions leverage this powerful functionality, this feature becomes part of a more broad strategy for measuring brand impressions and measures the efficacy of your institution's digital badging.


      • Visit the “Badges” tab after subscribing to Badgr Pro.
      • Navigate to the “Analytics” tab in the secondary navigation bar on the right-hand side of the interface.
      • Here you can see the total number of badge awards, unique badge recipients, anonymized badge sharing data, module-aligned badge completion rates, and the top awarded badges!
      • (Optional) Hover your mouse over any of any of the visual diagrams to get more information. You may also view any available data over the past week, month, or all time.
      • Detailed walkthrough: Learn more about this solution.

      4. Track external awards, including achievements from Microsoft Teams and Portfolium

      Learning happens everywhere, and Badgr Pro makes it easy to recognize learning wherever and whenever it occurs—even if it’s outside your Canvas course. This can be especially helpful when you’re tracking awards from pre-requisite learning experiences, co-curricular activities, or extra-curricular activities recognized by digital badges. External awards awarded directly from Badgr, through QR or Claim codes, and even those awarded directly through our API endpoints can be displayed alongside awards issued from inside your Canvas course. Connecting these learning experiences using open and portable digital badges can help instructors recognize and activate prior knowledge while facilitating a culture of collaboration where any kind of learning experience can be recognized.


      • Visit the “Badges” tab once you’ve installed Badgr.
      • Navigate to the “objectives” tab on the right-hand side of the user interface.
      • Select the “Add New Objective” option below the module table. This will add a new row with a “Type” that reads “External Award” instead of “Complete Module.”
      • Use the drop-down menu to select an award from the list of available badges you wish to track, or create a new badge.
      • In the progress tab, you'll find the new badge you’ve added, allowing you to track whether your learners have earned the award.
      • Detailed walkthrough: Learn more about this solution.

      5. Put your learners' journey into perspective with Pathways

      With Badgr Pathways, digital badges become keys that unlock the next chapter of a learning journey. Badgr Pathways allows you to create powerful, limitless credential pathways that seamlessly stack across courses, programs, and organizations. Awarding digital badges for individual skills and competencies is a great way to recognize individual steps of a learner’s journey, and pathways connect those dots for teachers and students.

      Our team has compiled a series of pathways in our pathway gallery to illustrate some of the ways this exciting technology is being put into practice.

      (Advanced) Setup

      Setting up the pathways LTI connection within a Canvas course only takes a few minutes. Visit our walkthrough to get started!

      To learn more about Badgr Pro, visit

      Robert Bajor is a former technical project manager, high school sciences educator and microbiologist. He currently serves as the digital credentialing evangelist for Concentric Sky, working primarily on Badgr. Robert holds a bachelor of sciences degree in biological sciences from Cook College (Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences) and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Robert can be reached at rbajor@concentricsky, by visiting Robert’s LinkedIn profile, or by connecting with him on Twitter @Misterbajor.