Putting TPACK on the Radar: A Visual Quantitative Model for Tracking Growth of Essential Teacher Knowledge

Jan. 10, 2015

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 15(1), 68-84.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this article, the authors were interested to investigate two questions.
First, does exposure to TPACK radar diagrams improve preservice teachers’ understanding of the TPACK framework?
Second, do preservice teachers who have been exposed to TPACK radar diagrams have a better understanding of their immediate next steps for gaining knowledge and skills for classroom success?

The participants were 24 preservice science and mathematics teachers at a large public university in the mid-Atlantic area of the United States.
They were assigned randomly to two groups, and asked to watch one of two videos explaining the TPACK framework: group A watched a video (Video 1) that the authors created (Colvin, 2014), while group B watched a video describing the original TPACK framework (Kimmons, 2011).


The authors found that many students used “TPACK” to refer to both the knowledge domain and the overall model in their reflections.
While this improper use of terminology could be construed as a lack of understanding of TPACK, they believe this is another consequence of the video script, and not of the model.
A common theme from the reflections gathered from treatment group A was that the TPACK radar diagram model was about growth and improvement.
In contrast, some students in treatment group B mentioned growth, but they were less able to connect it to their current effectiveness.
While there may have been some cross-contamination of the treatment groups, students in treatment group B seemed to demand in their reflections a better way of representing their fit in the TPACK framework.

The authors argue that the findings support the need for a better model of the TPACK framework, and the evidence suggests that TPACK radar diagrams may fit the needs of preservice teachers.
They conclude that by providing teachers with a model for tracking and assessing their knowledge, skills, and daily lesson preparation within a framework that incorporates technological instruction, they hope to raise awareness about how these domains impact classroom instruction on a daily basis, as well as promote increased awareness of developing teachers’ responsibility to provide authentic and content-specific technology instruction.

Colvin, J. C. (2014, April 14). TPACK 2.0 [YouTube video].
Kimmons, R. (2011, March 22). TPACK in 3 minutes [YouTube video].

Updated: Aug. 10, 2015