Voogt, Fisser, Roblin, Tondeur, and van Braak (2012) and Chai, Koh, and Tsai (2013)

Two literature reviews about TPACK have recently been published, in Educational Technology and Society (Chai, Koh, & Tsai, 2013) and Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Voogt, Fisser, Roblin, Tondeur, & van Braak, 2012). In this post I discuss, for each, the need, purpose, and sample, methods of analysis, results, and discussion.

Taken together, the following needs for further research were identified:

  1. The nature of TPACK in specific subject domains
  2. The assessment of TPACK in specific subject domains
  3. The relationship between TPACK, teacher practical knowledge, and teacher beliefs
  4. The design of technological environments based upon TPACK and the effects of different contexts
  5. Student outcomes as a result of teaching and learning informed by TPACK
  6. The connection between TPACK and other theoretical frameworks

Voogt, Fisser, Roblin, Tondeur, & van Braak (2012)

Need and Purpose

Increased interest in TPACK warranted a systematic evaluation of the evolution of TPACK and its applications. The purpose of this literature review was to investigate the theoretical basis and practical use of TPACK.

Sample and Method

61 journal articles (44 empirical, 17 theoretical) made up the sample. The 61 articles in the sample were pre-coded along three dimensions: 1) consistency, 2) data collection, and 3) data analyses. Six articles exhibited poor quality and were not analyzed further, resulting in 55 articles about TPACK (44 empirical and 11 theoretical) subjected to further analysis. These articles were coded for 1) characteristics of the study (research questions, target group, etc.), and 2) contributions with respect to theory and practice. The contributions with respect to theory were coded further along the following sub-dimensions: 1) development of the concept, 2) views on TK, 3) development of TPACK as a concept in specific subject domains, and 4) TPACK and teacher beliefs. The contributions with respect to practice were coded further along the following sub-dimensions: 1) measuring TPACK and 2) strategies for developing TPACK.


Theoretical Contributions:

1. Development of the concept: Three different conceptualizations of TPACK have been presented in prior research: 1) TPACK as extended PCK, 2) TPACK as a unique body of knowledge, and 3) TPACK as the interplay between the three domains of knowledge and their intersections. The first two conceptualizations represent transformative views (TPACK as greater than the sum of its constituent bodies of knowledge) while the last represents an integrative view (TPACK as the product of its constituent bodies of knowledge).

2. TK has been described in different ways, from instrumental (focused on technological tools) and functional (focused on the purposes achieved through the use of technological tools) perspectives.

3. TPACK has not been studied significantly in specific subject domains.

4. Teacher beliefs, about technology and about pedagogy, have been shown to influence the development of TPACK.

Practical Contributions:

1. Few studies have provided a clear description of the instrument used to measure TPACK.

2. Active involvement in a technology-enhanced lesson or course design is the main strategy to develop TPACK.


With respect to recommendations for further research, 1) TPACK should be understood through the transformative views: TPACK is distinct from its constituent components; 2) TK is justified as a separate area of knowledge only if defined functionally; 3) teachers need to demonstrate what they can do with technology in their subject for enhancing learning, but instruments to measure this are not well developed; and 4) collaborative design and enactment of curriculum materials is promising with respect to teacher learning.

There is a need for further research in 1) specific subject domains, 2) further research on the relationship between TPACK, teacher practical knowledge, and teacher beliefs, and 3) understanding TPACK in specific subject domains facilitates the assessment of teachers’ TPACK.

Chai, Koh, and Tsai (2013)

Need and Purpose

Research about TPACK exhibited promise, but there was a need to review and assess the directions of current TPACK research. The purpose of this literature review was to consolidate emerging trends, findings, and issues generated in TPACK research, and identify gaps in the literature. 

Sample and Methods

74 journal articles about TPACK made up the sample. Data were coded along four dimensions: 1) basic data about the publication (year, journal, etc.), 2) research methods (data collected, method of analysis, etc.), 3) content analysis (what specific knowledge was developed with respect to technology, pedagogy, and content) and 4) discussion (issues discussed, future directions, etc.).


1. Basic data: Since 2005, there has been a growing interest in applying the TPACK framework; ~65% of studies were conducted in North America, followed by Europe (~17%), then the Asia-Pacific region (~18%). 64% of the articles were published in educational technology journals, with other articles published in cross discipline, subject based, and teacher education journals.

2. Research methods: 55 of the 74 publications (74%) of the articles were data driven (or empirical), with the remainder being theoretical, worked example, or editorial papers. Among the 55 data driven publications, 42%  were qualitative, 18% quantitative, and 15% mixed methods. The most common research methods were intervention studies, followed by case studies.

3. Content analysis: 51 of the 54 (94%) of the publications advocated constructivist-oriented pedagogy, such as project-based or inquiry-based learning. Subject-general technology were used in 34 (63%) studies, while subject-specific technologies were used in 20 (37%) studies.

Results from the data coded for the “Discussion” dimension were identified in the discussion of the paper.


There are three areas of need for further research: 1) the design of technological environments based upon TPACK, 2) student outcomes as a result of teaching and learning informed by TPACK, and 3) the connection between TPACK and other theoretical frameworks.


Chai, C. S., Koh, J. H. L., & Tsai, C. C. (2013). A Review of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Educational Technology & Society, 16(2), 31-51. Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/abstract.php?art_id=1349

Voogt, J., Fisser, P., Pareja Roblin, N., Tondeur, J., & van Braak, J. (2013). Technological pedagogical content knowledge–a review of the literature. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(2), 109-121. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00487.x

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