My name is Andrea Velasquez, and I am a doctoral student at Brigham Young University. For the last four years, I have been an instructor of an undergraduate class that teaches pre-service teachers how to use technology effectively in elementary and secondary education settings. One of the principal frameworks that we use to teach pre-service teachers how to distinguish between all the facets of designing effective instruction with technology is TPACK, or Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). This framework states that in any effective technology mediated instruction, technology, pedagogy and content are three components that not only co-exist, but also interact and have an impact on each other. The research examining TPACK can be useful to the field of evaluation by applying it to evaluations of technology-mediated instruction. Distinguishing between these three components- technology, instructional content, and instructional strategies- can help evaluators identify appropriate questions and alleviate the complexity of evaluating e-learning.
Hot Tip: When designing an evaluation of technology-mediated instruction, after determining context and stakeholders, consider technology, pedagogy and content as evaluands. Then, identify criteria and questions for judging each evaluand. Before continuing the evaluation, also identify criteria and questions that take into account how each component impacts the others. These questions should address the compatibility between these components. For example, if an online high school uses video technologies to communicate with students, an evaluation of such a program should take into account the video technologies, the strategies the teacher uses to teach the class (i.e. group work, field experiences, presentations), and the content of the instruction he is teaching. Besides addressing each of these three components, the evaluation should address the relationships that exist between each of these components at each stage of the evaluation process. This approach to evaluation ensures a more holistic evaluation of the technology use in relation to the context and the needs of the students and stakeholders.
Rad Resource: This site is a resource that is maintained by the developers of the TPACK framework. It has updated research articles and many other resources for understanding the practical applications of the framework http://www.tpck.org/tpck/index.php?title=Main_Page
This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Want to learn more from Andrea? She’ll be presenting as part of the Evaluation 2010 Conference Program, November 10-13 in San Antonio.