Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Neil Mathur, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Janice Powell, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Kallen Dace, Ed.D.


digital badges, literacy, second grade, reading achievement


School leaders are continuously searching for innovative educational practices such as the use of digital badges to curtail illiteracy. Digital badges are electronic representations of academic achievements that offer a more cohesive and comprehensive account of learning. The purpose of this quantitative quasi-experimental research study was to determine the impact of digital badge acquisition on reading level growth of second grade students in a K-2, Title I, rural, public elementary school in the southeastern United States. The results revealed that the elementary students who earned digital badges (experiential group) for reading outperformed the students who did not earn badges (comparative group). Consequently, the null hypothesis which stated that there would be no difference between the reading level growth of the experiential and comparative group was rejected. The acquirement of digital badges impacted reading achievement. The digital badge program led to increased learner motivation with reading activities, which may have led to higher reading achievement. The results of the study may increase the use of digital badges in elementary classroom settings promoting reading instruction.

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