August 29, 2019
The TPACK framework is an effective approach to the implementation of educational technology or eLearning practices. It was developed by Mishra and Koehler to guide the integration of technology into education settings, and focuses on the concepts of Technological Knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Content Knowledge (CK). TPACK outlines how content (what is taught) and pedagogy (how the educator communicates the content) should form the foundation for successful eLearning. This framework is extremely useful for instructional designers who are interested in using technology to develop captivating and versatile lessons.
The technological tools employed by educators must convey the content and support the pedagogy to enhance the learning experience. Digital tools may be either a suitable replacement for analog tools, or used as a method for delivering content which may not be possible in traditional learning contexts (source SAMR Model, Dr Ruben Puentedura). Educators should be aware that each approach is valid, and the strongest execution is dependent on the education context and learner profile. Within the TPACK model is recognition that its execution will differ depending on different learning circumstances.
The model positions effective e-learning as intrinsically linked to one’s understanding of three broad categories:
Content Knowledge (CK)- Educator’s knowledge about the subject matter to be learned
Pedagogical Knowledge (PK)– Educator’s knowledge about practices of teaching and learning.
Technological Knowledge (TK) – Matt Koehler describes TK as an educator’s knowledge of ways of working with technology.
TPACK relies not only upon knowledge of the three key concepts, but how each can interact to develop meaningful interactions between learners and technology. Crucial to the success of TPACK is the utilisation of the adjacent secondary sections of the framework, which are listed below. These position eLearning as a strongly integrated and unique platform for education, rather than education with an added technology element.
Below are some useful questions and considerations for Instructional Designers implementing and employing eLearning.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – ability to tailor the content and instructional materials to learners.
Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) – understanding of how content and technology can influence and change one another.
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) – understanding of how teaching practices and learning methods can change through the impact of technology.
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