How might TPACK  and other theories of knowledge acquisition affect your work as an instructional designer?

Having not been an education major, the TPACK model was a new model for me. I liked it and can see where it would cross over with my work a good bit. I assist international students in the college application and scholarship process at Samford, on an undergraduate level. There is a LOT of education that comes with this process, as the application process (and certainly scholarship process) is uniquely different than most countries around the world. Many students do not understand the context of the questions on applications or grasp the importance of them and how to leverage themselves in the process.

As an admissions counselor, I have the Content Knowledge (CK) needed for the students to understand and successfully complete college applications. I do not have a strong Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), but have some Technical Knowledge (TK) regarding applications, the process and possibilities for instructional design. This quote from the Matt Koehler (

source: “Teachers need to understand which specific technologies are best suited for addressing subject-matter learning in their domains and how the content dictates or perhaps even changes the technology—or vice versa” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009)” encapsulates how I view instructional design could intersect well with the college admissions process. Just in better understanding some of the mediums we have already used (info graphics, animation, video production), the process, visualization, and education of why the application process matters to colleges would be of great benefit to international students. Some students have low bandwith, so high res items, or content that takes a long time to load would not be beneficial or helpful (especially if it never loaded!). But having just pictures or animation might not do either…it needs to be captioned, for clarity, as accents differ and within the application process lies a new vocabulary. This (new vocabulary) is especially true with the scholarship/financial aid process.

So even in something as basic as a college application process, the ability to use technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge is critical, as all components aid in the success of student’s understanding the process and why what they enter on the application matters. Six months ago I would have said a video with the components of the application process would have been helpful. But now, beginning to understand more about instructional design, the strategy behind it, and the importance it can play in so many scenarios has been a game changer for me, in so many great ways.


Graphic (click on white dot for definitions and video):

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