Study examines effects of credentialing, personalization

October 23, 2014, Pennsylvania State University

Chris Gamrat, a doctoral student in learning, design and technology, recently had his study—completed alongside Heather Zimmerman, associate professor of education; Jaclyn Dudek, a doctoral student studying learning, design and technology; and Kyle Peck, professor of education—published in the British Journal of Educational Technology. The study findings supported a professional development design that focuses on decision-making and customization of experiences.

The study examines the use of credentialing personalized professional learning through a digital badge system. The badge system was designed by Penn State, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Teachers Association.

"There is still a relatively small body of literature looking at badges and this work helps to extend that aspect," Gamrat said. "The study also helps to support professional learning by understanding how individuals can make use of opportunities for personalizing their learning experiences."

The purpose of this study was to better understand how teachers make decisions about and how to make these experiences personally relevant, according to Gamrat.

Data came from 36 teachers who completed 154 professional development activities over a three-month period. A case study was developed from an in-depth analysis of eight teachers' artifacts and interviews.

Explore further: Combating bullying in New Zealand

More information: Gamrat, C., Zimmerman, H. T., Dudek, J. and Peck, K. (2014), "Personalized workplace learning: An exploratory study on digital badging within a teacher professional development program." British Journal of Educational Technology, 45: 1136–1148. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12200

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