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Digital Badges and Differentiated Instruction: Program Evaluation in Supporting Online Professional Development

Mon, May 1, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Floor: Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 2

Abstract

This paper examines nine practicing K-12 classroom teachers’ learning experiences with an online professional development (OPD) programme supported by digital badging through a large public university in the Southeastern United States as a means of evaluating the programme’s effectiveness. Participants engaged with a module on communicating one’s rationale for differentiating instruction over a five-week period, culminating in the production of a brief individual video showcasing their developed competencies. Within a framework of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978) and using constructivist grounded theory techniques (Charmaz, 2006), this paper provides an initial evaluation of the module’s and programme’s effectiveness in delivering high-quality professional development experiences to practicing classroom teachers in a fully online environment. Implications for teacher education and professional development are discussed.

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