Examining TPACK Among K-12 Online Distance Educators in the United States

Mar. 28, 2009

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), p. 71-88. (2009).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

With the increasing popularity and accessibility of the Internet and Internet-based technologies, along with the need for a diverse group of students to have alternative means to complete their education, there is a major push for K-12 schools to offer online courses, resulting in a growing number of online teachers.

Using the Tailored Design survey methodology (Dillman, 2007), this study examines the knowledge of K-12 online teachers with respect to three key domains as described by the TPACK framework: technology, pedagogy, content, and the combination of each of these areas.

Research Questions

The methodology of this study is detailed in order to answer the following research questions:

1) What is the perceived knowledge level of those who teach in an online environment specific to technology, pedagogy, and content, including the combinations of these domains?

2) What do teachers’ ratings of their perceived knowledge levels related to TPACK say about the framework itself?


A nonrandom purposeful sample was used to gather as many online teacher responses as possible.
In this case, criterion sampling was used to select participants based on predetermined characteristics, specifically, educators who currently teach at least one class in a state-sanctioned K-12 virtual school. The survey was sent to as many K-12 online distance educators in the United States as possible from as many states as possible.
A total of 596 responses from 25 different states were gathered.


Findings indicate that knowledge ratings are highest among the domains of pedagogy, content, and pedagogical content, indicating that responding online teachers felt very good about their knowledge related to these domains and were less confident when it comes to technology.

Correlations among each of the domains within the TPACK framework revealed a small relationship between the domains of technology and pedagogy, as well as technology and content.

However, there was a large correlation between pedagogy and content, calling into question the distinctiveness of these domains. This study presents a beginning approach to measuring and defining TPACK among an ever-increasing number of K-12 online teachers.

Dillman, D. A. (2007). Mail and Internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010