eClass Support
Creating a Custom Certificate for Students to Download
Last modified on 29 June 2023 10:34 AM

In non-credit and training course situations, it may be desirable to allow students to receive and print a custom certificate upon completing any requirements set by the course instructor/designer. Certificates can also be added to credit courses, but it must be communicated clearly to students what the purpose of the certificate is and whether it has any academic weight or value.

Certificates can be set to be released for the completion of an entire course or for specific activities within a course. For instructions on how to configure the release of items based on specific criteria please see the article on Completion tracking.

The Custom Certificate activity in eClass allows instructors to configure a custom certificate that displays any necessary course information as well as information specific to each student. There is also some flexibility in terms of the overall design and display of the certificate as well as some useful notification and reporting tools that track the delivery of certificates.

Add an activity or resource

To create a custom certificate for your course, first activate Edit mode, and then click Add an activity or resource,

Then click on Custom certificate to add the resource:

Activity chooser



You must give your certificate a Name. You can optionally add a Description and check the box to show the description on the course page.


The available options for the certificate are as follows: 

  • "Delivery options" - You can choose whether to force the certificate to be downloaded as a PDF file or whether students have the option to download the certificate from their browsers.
  • "Email students" - Choose "Yes" if you want to notify students of the availability of a certificate.
  • "Email teachers" - Choose "Yes" if you want to notify other instructors of the availability of a certificate.
  • "Email others" - Supply the email addresses of other people you may wish to notify of the availability of a certificate.
  • "Allow anyone to verify a certificate" - Allow students to view their certificates.
  • "Required minutes in the course" - The number of minutes a student must be in a course before they are allowed a certificate
  • "Set protection" - checking these options would allow you to prevent the students' ability to Print, Modify, or Copy the resulting PDF file

Common module settings:

While creating your certificate, you may wish to hide it from your students until you have finished setting it up. Under Common module settings, you can set: 

  • "Availability" - This setting has 3 options:
    • 'Show on course page' - The activity is available to students (subject to any access restrictions which may be set).
    • 'Hide from students' - The activity is only available to users with permission to view hidden activities (by default, users with the role of teacher or non-editing teacher).
    • 'Make available but now shown on course page' - A link to the activity must be provided from elsewhere, such as from a page resource.

Restrict access:

  • This would be the most common mechanism to release your certificate to students - eg. students would be able to access the certificate once the acheieved a certain score in the course or completed a summative quiz. See this article for more information.

Once these settings have been confirmed, click Save and return to course or Save and display.


Creating the certificate structure

To start building your certificate, click the certificate activity (if you did not click 'Save and display') and then on the Edit certificate tab:

The default dimensions are set to fit on an A4 sheet of typing paper. The numbers (in millimetres) can be adjusted as desired and can be swapped to change the display between Portrait and Landscape orientation. A white border can be added to the certificate by specifying margin widths (but there is also an option to add a coloured border in the certificate elements below.)

At any time when constructing the certificate you can Save changes to finish editing, or Save changes and preview any changes you have made.

Adding Certificate elements:

A range of elements can be added to a certificate, some being pulled automatically from data in the eClass course and other custom design elements that are added through the interface.

- Elements that are drawn from course and user settings in eClass: course category name, course field (a selection from the course full name, course ID number, or course short name), course name, date (the current date), date range (a date selected from a range of options), grade (the course final grade), grade item name (a specific grade selected from a list), student name, user picture, user field (a selected item from the user's profile), and teacher(s) name.

- Elements that are uploaded or are specific to the current certificate: background image, border (an uploaded border image file), code (a random number/letter code generated for the certificate), digital signature (an uploaded image of a signature with a name entry field), image, QR code, and text.

To add an element, select it from the dropdown list and click Add element, then enter its specific values and click Save. Each element has a range of options such as font, font size, colour picker, width, "+" reference point, and alignment. The reference point is useful for aligning elements vertically to the centre, left or right side of the certificate. For example, a centre-aligned "+" reference point will make it easier to align items centred on the page.

Arranging elements:

Click Reposition elements to begin organizing the layout of the certificate:

Initially after creation, elements will be stacked in the top left corner. Click and hold your mouse pointer on the stack to start dragging elements into their correct position in the certificate.

Elements stacked in top left corner

Once you have positioned elements, you can Save and close editing, Save and continue editing, or Cancel to abandon any changes made since the last save.

Preview the finished certificate:


- Students will see their custom certificate if they click on the activity in your course so do not make these freely available without some form of access restriction if you do not want this to occur.
- If using more than one Text element, use the pencil icon to rename the Text element to make it easier to find.
- Some formatting, such as borders, may not be visible in all previews.

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