LDX Design

How to Award a Certificate on Completion of Multiple Courses (Certification Track)

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I’ll briefly outline below how I made this happen, but here’s a video explaining how I set up a certification track in LearnDash. If you need to offer a certificate after the completion of multiple courses, this is for you.

Award a certificate after completing multiple courses in LearnDash

With LearnDash, it’s easy to award a certificate upon completion of one course. You can also easily provide a certificate upon completion of a quiz.

However, if you need to award a certificate upon completion of multiple courses, it’s not as easy. Here’s the best way I found how to award a certificate after completing several courses.

Creating a New Course for Just the Quiz

  1. Create a new course that just contains one quiz
  2. Set the course to FREE (this makes the course page viewable to everyone, but you have to be logged in to access it)
  3. Set course prerequisites for this course (in my case, 3 courses had to be completed in order to take a final exam to get the certificate)
  4. Apply your certificate to this course

Creating the Quiz

  1. Now create the quiz and place it within this course
  2. No prerequisites for the quiz
  3. DO NOT apply any certificates to the quiz
  4. (optional) Add in a completion percentage in order to pass the quiz (ex: they need to score a 70% or higher to pass the quiz)

This prevents them from accessing the certificate until they have scored a 70% or higher.

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Use Shortcodes to Enhance the Experience

I also used some shortcodes & messages to help enhance the experience.

Place a message at the top of each prerequisite course that only shows up for those who have completed it [course_complete] message [/course_complete].

I provided a link to the final exam course, as well as a link to purchase any other courses that they might not have bought yet (example: If they only bought 1 of the 3 courses in the certificate track, they’ll have a link to buy the other 2).

If you have another way of setting this up, or any creative idea for achieving the same thing, I’d love to hear it. Please share in the comments.


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  1. Greg

    Hi David, how can i set up course so that a certificate is awarded based on completion of course with a minimum total score for all quizzes and a manually-graded assignment ?

  2. Greg

    A bit more details to follow from previous question:

    Learndash seems to only have options where certificate is issued based on ‘successful completion of course’ (unclear what definition of ‘successful’ is; it seems to be defined as simply marking ‘complete’ in all lessons/topics) or ‘upon passing a quiz’ (1 quiz…, as opposed to a series of quizzes, for e.g.).

    Passing or failing the assignment (manually graded) doesn’t appear to have any effect on whether or not certificate gets issued.

    • Hi Greg,

      LearnDash has the ability to offer a certificate based on: 1) the completion of a course, and/or 2) the passing of a quiz. You can offer a certificate for several quizzes, as well as a final one for the course in which those quizzes reside. Or just simply offer one cert for the completion of the course. It’s up to you.

      For what you’re describing, I’d probably add a “Final Quiz” to the course, and within that quiz, included an assignment that needs to be manually graded.

      Then you have two options for how you offer the certificate. If you assign the cert to the final quiz, set the quiz settings to award the certificate for 100% score. It’s the “Certificate Awarded for” setting. And then make sure you have some points assigned to the assignment. This will require them to get the points for that assignment in order to get the cert, and you’ll need to manually award those points.

      Alternatively, you could just set the “Passing Score” for the final quiz to be 100%, and again, make sure the assignment has some points assigned to it (even 1 point will do). Then assign your certificate to the course (instead of the quiz). This means they HAVE TO pass the final quiz to complete the course, and they only get the cert when they complete the course.

  3. Greg

    Thanks David,

    Gradebook plugin (https://realbigplugins.com/docs/learndash-gradebook/) appears to aggregate total score for quizzes and assignments. Maybe this can be used to determine whether or not to issue course certificate. Greg

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial. It’s helped me create a certified course with multiple courses. Unfortunately, Learndash has added a red notice because of my Course Prerequisites in place of my course description.

    I notice that you have created your own notice. How did you over ride the Learndash notice and create your own please? Thanks!

    • You’re welcome, Victoria 🙂.

      It’s been over 2 years since I set this up so I don’t remember all the details, but after re-watching the video…

      I don’t think I overwrote LearnDash’s prerequisite message. That still shows up if you haven’t completed all the prereqs. But on the individual courses (that are prereqs for the final exam course), I used the [course_complete] shortcode to show a custom message to only those users who finished the course, and I told them they need to complete the other 2 courses in the series before they can take the final exam to get their certificate.

      LearnDash docs for those shortcodes →

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