by Cheryl L. Ward & Susan N. Kushner Benson, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2010
Online education has grown dramatically over the past decade, as have the technology applications that support these environments. Although technology applications are an important consideration in online education, a comprehensive view of the online teaching and learning process is needed. The TPACK (Technological, Pedagogical, Content Knowledge) framework explains the complex relationship between content, pedagogy and technology knowledge and how these knowledge domains intersect to create the new kinds of knowledge needed to support online teaching and learning. Understanding TPACK may help instructors develop a new schema for transitioning from face-to-face to online teaching and learning. New schema development allows learners to incorporate new information and experiences into the framework of their pre-existing knowledge. Instructors can become more aware of the complexities of online course development, and they can realize the importance of developing competent consumers (learners). Institutions that provide time for individualized professional development, resources for initial course development, support for ongoing course modification, and systematic evaluation of learning outcomes facilitate the development of online instructors who use technology seamlessly to support content and pedagogy for 21st Century Learners.
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