If you wished to build in recognition for Moodle users within a particular course who contribute well to forums, you can mimic what the Moodle.org site does and use Groups and Group icons.
You don’t have to set up groups within your forum to make this work. A forum can be a no groups forum and the icons will still show up.
All you have to do is
- enable Groups in your course settings
- create your group or groups
- upload icons that will display well as 20 x 20 pixel icons
- add users to the appropriate group or groups
Here is what the group icon looks like in the forum:
Here is what students see when they hover over the icons to see what they are:
And here is what students will see if they click on the group icon:
I could not see badges in other activities where user pictures appear such as Chat and Wikis.