TPACKed and ready to go! The discerning investigator’s guide to educational technology research

Year: 2016

Author: Strohfeldt, Timothy, Meyers, Noel

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Using the Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model we investigated preservice teachers’ perceptions about educational technology and its relationships to secondary school classroom practice and student learning. TPACK conceptualises, articulates, and provides evaluations of the knowledge base required to integrate educational technologies into classrooms and specifically teaching practice (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). A multitude of research instruments gather data in TPACK formats (Abbitt, 2011; Voogt, Fisser, Roblin, Tondeur, & van Braak, 2013). Researchers frequently include TPACK as a model of choice in their research toolkit, using the TPACK conceptual framework for instrument design and data analysis. Others remain disenchanted. Critics argue that TPACK instruments lack validity and/or the capacity to resolve clear delineations between factors such as pedagogical, content, and technological knowledge (for example, Archambault & Barnett, 2010). We use our study of pre-service teachers’ TPACK to evaluate claim and counterclaim. We offer a guide to TPACK methodology that improves the validity of research using TPACK instruments based on our research. We offer several opportunities to enrich instrument design, save time, reduce analytical complexity, and improve data reliability. Using these efficiencies we note no reduction in the resolution of the tests to discern differences.