9. Configure certificates for your course

This section will present the step-by-step configuration for certificates in an Open edX course.

9.1. Enable the honor mode for your Open edX course

Firstly, You need to enable the honor mode for the course. Go to Studio-settings-certificates.


The button on the certificates page will enable the honor mode for the Open edX course. Below, you will find an explanation of the course modes used in Open edX courses. If your LMS site is integrated with e-commerce, the process is different, and this first step has to be done by the eduNEXT customer support team.



In the Open edX jargon, a “course mode” is the specific track or enrollment status that one learner can have in a particular course. This record mainly affects the way the certificates and e-commerce work.

There are four types of course modes or enrollment tracks:

Audit: When a learner enrolls in the course for free, does not have the right to opt for a certificate. “Audit” is the course mode set by default in all new courses which is the reason why at first you are not able to configure certificates for your course.

Honor: This is a course mode used in cases where you need your learner to enroll in a course for free and still have the right to get a certificate when passing the course. The course mode is called “Honor” because it dates back to the time edx.org offered certificates to non-paying users and there was no way to assure that the user in the certificate was the one that truly took the course and the exams; the certificates with this course mode rely on the learner compliance of the “honor code”.

No-id-professional: This is used when the course is only paid, but there is no ID verification. This mode requires activating the e-commerce module for the site.

Verified: This is a course mode designed for the case where the learner enrolls in the course for free but eventually has to pay to get a certificate. This mode requires enabling the e-commerce module for the site as well as an id verification process. The way edx.org works is unique and its verification procedure is not available to anyone else. Based on this, we have simplified the verification process to have courses free with an upgrade option. In the simple verification procedure, the user may get to upload their id photo and may have to take a webcam picture. However, there is not a real verification process that confirms that the data in the images match.

9.2. Enable and configure the HTML properties for the certificates

You need to go to Studio-Settings-Advanced settings and set the following properties:

Certificate Name (Long)** : “long name of your choice for the certificate”

Certificate Name (Short) : “short name of your choice for the certificate”

Certificates Display Behavior: “early_no_info”, “early_with_info” or “end” depending on the desired behavior. (We recommend using early_no_info which is the option that allows learners getting certificates at their own pace).

Certificate properties

9.3. Create the certificate in Studio

You should go to Studio-Settings-Certificates and fill out the form including the following fields:

  • Course title override.

  • Signatures:
    • Name for the Certificate signatures(the person who signs and approves the certificate).

    • The title for the signatures of the certificates (position).

    • Organization.

    • An image file in PNG format which contains the signature(the current template supports up to 4 signatures).

9.4. Activate your certificate

Once you have created the certificate, you must click on the “activate” button on the upper right corner to make it available for learners.

9.5. Preview your certificate

You can use the Preview option to see how your certificate looks so far. It might seem simple and without an established style, but in the next steps, you will learn how to customize it. In the meantime, this option can be useful to verify that the configuration for the certificate is correct. It is important to note that to be able to see the certificate preview, it is necessary to be logged in to the LMS platform.

9.6. Customize your certificates’ variables

Now, you can customize some variables of the certificate according to your specific needs.

  • You must go to Settings-Advanced settings-Certificate Web/HTML view overrides.

  • You can include a JSON string that overrides the certificate’s template.

The following example is the simplest certificate configuration string you can build. The JSON string produces, as a result, a template like the one below, and all you will need to do is to replace the captions and URLs for your own.

  "document_title": "CERTIFICATE",
  "certificate_logo_large": "https://via.placeholder.com/350x150" ,
  "certificate_description": "This caption goes first above the learner's name",
  "accomplishment_copy_description_full": "This caption goes below the learner's name",
  "accomplishment_copy_course_description": "This caption goes below the course name",
  "course_number": " ",
  "course_number_separator": " ",
  "logo_src": "https://via.placeholder.com/100x50",
  "logo_url": "https://YOURLMSDOMAIN.com"

If you require extra customizations for the certificate, you can build your own configuration string in a JSON format by using any of the variables listed and exemplified below:

  "certificate_logo_large" : "https://mydomain.com/mylogo.jpg",
  "certificate_url_large" : "https://mydomain.com/",
  "certificate_logo_large_alt" : "Alternative text",
  "logo_url": "http://mydomain.com/",
  "logo_subtitle": "logo_subtitle_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_banner_opening": "accomplishment_banner_opening_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_banner_congrats": "accomplishment_banner_congrats_overwritten",
  "document_banner": "document_banner_overwritten",
  "document_title": "document_title_overwritten",
  "certificate_description": "certificate_description_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_name": "accomplishment_copy_name_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_description_full": "accomplishment_copy_description_full_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_course_org": "accomplishment_copy_course_org_overwritten",
  "course_number": "course_number_overwritten",
  "course_number_separator": "course_number_separator_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_course_name": "accomplishment_copy_course_name_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_course_description": "accomplishment_copy_course_description_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_more_about": "accomplishment_copy_more_about_overwritten",
  "logo_src": "http://mydomain.com/mylogo.jpg",
  "recipient_img_override": "recipient_img_override_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_username": "accomplishment_copy_username_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_separator": "accomplishment_copy_separator_overwritten",
  "platform_name": "platform_name_overwritten",
  "certificate_id_number_title": "certificate_id_number_title_overwritten",
  "certificate_id_number": "certificate_id_number_overwritten",
  "certificate_id_number_separator": "certificate_id_number_separator_overwritten",
  "certificate_date_issued_title": "certificate_date_issued_title_overwritten",
  "certificate_date_issued": "certificate_date_issued_overwritten",
  "company_about_title": "company_about_title_overwritten",
  "company_about_description": "company_about_description_overwritten",
  "company_about_urltext": "company_about_urltext_overwritten",
  "company_about_url": "https://mydomain.com/about",
  "accomplishment_copy_about": "accomplishment_copy_about_overwritten",
  "certificate_info_description": "certificate_info_description_overwritten",
  "company_honor_url": "https://mydomain.com/honor",
  "company_honor_urltext": "Code of honor",
  "company_tos_url": "https://mydomain.com/tos",
  "company_privacy_url": "https://mydomain.com/privacy",
  "copyright_text": "copyright_text_overwritten",
  "course_number_separator": "course_number_separator_overwritten",
  "accomplishment_copy_separator": "accomplishment_copy_separator_overwritten",
  "certificate_id_number_separator": "certificate_id_number_separator_overwritten",
  "recipient_img_override": "http://mydomain.com/mylogo.jpg"

Make sure you reload your certificate preview every time you change your HTML overrides configurations so that you can see how your certificate looks with the applied changes.

9.7. Configure how learners will get their certificates

The final configuration step is to set how learners will get their certificates. This is not done in STUDIO, but the instructor dashboard in the LMS.

If the course is instructor-paced, you can set it either for learners to generate the certificate themselves upon completing the course requirements or so that the instructor generates them in batch at a certain moment in time.

To allow your learners to generate the certificates by themselves, you can go to the LMS platform - instructor tab - Certificates - “Student-Generated certificates” and click on the button: Enable Student-Generated Certificates.

If you prefer to have your learners wait until you generate the certificates for all the learners in batch, you will need to disable the Student-generated Certificates, and proceed with the manual generation.

If the course is self-paced, the only option is for learners to generate their certificates once they completed the course, but to allow that to happen, you need to configure the course as “instructor-paced” and make sure to “Enable Student-Generated certificates” first, and then change the course back into self-paced.