Digital Badges for Teacher Professional Development: Exploring Possibilities for Their Design and Implementation in India
As teaching quality has become recognised as a crucial component of student learning, we have seen an increasing emphasis on teacher professional development. Numerous studies explore the characteristics of effective teacher education programmes in low - and middle - income countries but few pay attention to how teachers’ professional learning is evidenced and recognised outside the award of formal qualifications. Most professional development programmes merely distribute certificates of participation or completion. However, capturing and validating improvements in teachers’ classroom practice is important. It rewards teachers who engage actively with professional development, supports their planning of future learning and provides evidence for career advancement. Digital badges awarded on completion of online open courses can give focus and motivation to in - service and pre - servic e teachers alike. But does such use of digital badges simply substitute one means of recognition – a hard copy certificate – with another – a virtual badge? Could digital badges be integrated into a learning design so as to support formative assessment and engagement with authentic professional tasks? How might badges be operationalised outside high income contexts to inspire and recognise effective classroom practices, while meeting each teacher’s professional learning needs? Our paper draws on findings f rom a recent three - day workshop held in Delhi with key education stakeholders from three Indian states as part of the TESS - India teacher education initiative. We bring together views from teachers, teacher educators and software developers to explore possi ble responses to these questions. In particular, we discuss potential structures and designs, assessments, and support and facilitation mechanisms for awarding badges in professional learning courses for teachers. Analysis of the workshop outputs highlight s the need for digital badge frameworks that are nuanced, embedded and participant - informed , and for an accompanying shift in how evidence of practice is recorded and assessed.//Paper ID 235
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