Purdue University Graduate School

Providing English Language Learner Teachers Professional Development through Digital Badges

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posted on 2019-08-21, 12:24 authored by Rodolfo RicoRodolfo Rico
This study investigated the viability of a Digital Badge system to deliver professional development to teachers working with English language learners. The study asked several research questions to determine if Purdue’s Passport system was effective at delivering ELL teacher PD. First, the study asked, is a digital badge system a viable tool for delivering professional development to in-service teachers of English language learners? This question helped determine if the in-service teachers participating in this study would be able to obtain the training materials and navigate the online system on their own to obtain the digital badge.

Then, the study asked, what types of training do ELL teachers think could be converted to digital badges? This question was asked to identify the types of trainings the participants in this study believed could be transferred to an online system such as Purdue’s Passport system and delivered as individual badges teachers could complete with little to no assistance. This question also helped investigate how teachers perceive the current training they attend in face-to-face sessions.

The final question the study asked was, what are ELL teachers’ perceptions of digital badges and their role in professional development? The final question was asked to determine if the participants’ attitudes toward digital badges changed throughout the study and what the participants believed digital badges’ role could be in delivering ELL teacher professional development.

The data collected in this study included the participants’ written reflections within the digital badge system, pre and post-surveys and interviews after they completed the running record badge. The results of this qualitative study suggest that for in-service teachers there are some benefits to delivering ELL teacher PD through digital badges. Results indicate that the participants enjoyed the ability to complete the training on their own schedule and had no issues viewing the content within the running record digital badge. The participants also had numerous recommendations for the types of training they believed could be converted to digital badges and how a digital badge system could be implemented at their school.


Self Funded


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Curriculum and Instruction

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Tim Newby

Additional Committee Member 2

Wayne Wright

Additional Committee Member 3

Jennifer Richardson

Additional Committee Member 4

Sunnie Watson