Features and qualities important to pedagogical models

I have long had an interest in pedagogical and instructional design models and the elements of them I have looked for, as evidence of their quality, has been guided by these questions:

  • Does the model provide adequate scaffolding for a learning experience?
  • What is considered most important, content or pedagogy?
  • Are students’ getting the opportunity to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills?
  • Is ICT considered as a supporting tool in the process and experience of teaching and learning?
  • Is there room for flexibility, adaptability and differentiation?
  • Is there room for student self-regulation to be facilitated and encouraged?
Photo by David Jones, from Flickr.com, Some rights reserved

Photo by David Jones, from Flickr.com, Some rights reserved

When I consider pedagogical models, I consider all of these and more, often thinking of the NSW Quality Teaching Model.  As a leader in technology integration in teaching and learning, I never consider pedagogical models without considering how it scaffolds ICT integration.  Technology is still such a gimmick and there is still somewhat of a novelty to its use within the classroom, however, it is not always integrated with solid instructional design as its foundation.  That is why my interest has been in models of pedagogical design and instruction that help provide that foundation that both encourages ICT integration and enables it in a smooth and undertaking way.  My most frequently referred to pedagogical models are: TPACK, ADDIE model, the NSW Quality Teaching model, Bloom’s taxonomy, inquiry-based learning model and problem- or project-based learning models.  I find each of these great foundational models for integrating ICT into pedagogy, for reasons outlined below.

TPACK – This model is comprehensive at outlining the connections between pedagogy and technology, between pedagogy and content, and between content and technology, as well as all three intertwined.  It places content as the most important element in this pedagogical model and seeks to establish solid foundation in content and activities before technology interferes.  Technology is seen as the supporting actor, the tool to enhance outcomes further.

Bloom’s Taxonomy – This model does not make suggestions as to how technology should be implemented in the model’s original format, however, the verbs offered in the model, suggest active ways that technology can be utilised.  Students can create, analyse, synthesise and discover new knowledge with technology.

Inquiry-based learning model – This model has stages for creation and for discovery or investigation as well.  Much can be discovered and investigated with resources available on the Internet.  Reflection and discussion are also important features of Inquiry-based learning and can be facilitated through the integration of technology as well.

Problem-based learning model – A model that allows students room to self-regulate their learning and to utilise a number of technologies to assist them in solving a problem or developing a product.  PBL connects students with real-world problems and audiences and leaves room for differentiation and flexibility as well. 

Photo by Alec Couros on Flickr.com Some rights reserved

Photo by Alec Couros on Flickr.com Some rights reserved

In the 21st century, students need to develop a certain set of skills: collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and information fluency (Dede, 2010).  We are said to be in the age of knowledge, the knowledge society, and this requires the development of “1. knowledge construction, 2. adaptability, 3. finding, organising and retrieving information, 4. information management, 5. critical thinking and 6. team work” (Anderson, 2008 in Voogt & Roblin, 2010, p. 1).  Pedagogical models of the 21st century need to include these skills and need to integrate the mode in which 21st century learners most frequently learn and engage with new knowledge and information, which is technology.  I think some pedagogical models cater well for that explicitly and some may only provide a shel from which to interpret the nature of ICT integration.



Dede, C. (2010). Comparing frameworks for 21st century skills. 21st century skills: Rethinking how students learn, 51-76.

Voogt, J., Roblin, N. P. (2010). 21st century skills. Discussienota. Zoetermeer: The Netherlands: Kennisnet.

TPCK Model and Learning Technology by Design

As a Leader of Learning Technologies, I have a lot of technologies that I want to train teachers to use but as I have been confronted once again by research to consider the fact that it is more important to train teachers to enhance and transform teaching and learning experiences with technology and not simply use technology.  I am certainly guilty of it sometimes, but we often want to embrace new technology and in our haste and/or enthusiasm to do so we lose focus on the content and pedagogy that is just as important in the planning process.  This is where the TPCK Model comes into the picture and solves may issues with technology integration in the classroom.

[youtube http://youtu.be/0wGpSaTzW58]

I’ve done a lot of reading and research in this area and have written about Learning by Design before and the TPCK Model and LBD are almost consider one in the same (Koehler & Mishra, 2005).  The article by Koehler and Mishra (2005) was helpful but what I have found most valuable is the many different diagrams, mostly Venn Diagrams, that demonstrate and discuss the details of the TPCK Model and how to implement it practically.

colourful tpck model
Image sourced from http://randysresources.wikispaces.com/TPACK

I’m really keen to integrate TPCK into how I design, develop and run teacher professional development at school and I found this particular flowchart that will be incredibly valuable.

TPCK Workflow
Image sourced from http://infusingict.wikispaces.com/-+Integrating+ICT+into+T%26L

To help me integrate the TPCK and start the process of integrating technology with intentionality I am going to play the TPCK Game that is outlined in the Public Schools of North Carolina wiki.  The game is a collaborative way of discussing the three domains and the different relationships that exist between them.  An outline of the game can be found on the above wiki and the video below shows it in action with some teachers.  I look forward to trying it and seeing how it progresses in the future.

[youtube http://youtu.be/cq4LmgDEqnc]


Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2005). Teachers learning technology by design. Journal of computing in teacher education, 21(3), 94-102.