TPACK – McQuiddy

Lesson Description:

This lesson is being designed for students taking chemistry.  Most students completing this lesson will be 11th graders but a few are in 10th or 12th grade.  Students will be required to add activities from this lesson to a “Forensic Science” ThingLink created during an earlier lesson. The majority of this lesson will be completed almost entirely online.  We will watch the video The Poisioner’s Handbook together as a class but the remainder of the lesson will be completed online.  After viewing the video, students will write a reflection about the movie using the Schoology discussion forum.  Next, students will create a Piktochart timeline of important events in forensic science.  Finally, students will complete the interactive Poisioner’s Handbook labs to see the history of how forensic science is used to solve crimes.  Students will add their findings to their ThingLink created in a previous class.

  1. The main Content (C) of this lesson is the history of forensic chemistry and forensic chemistry laboratory techniques
  2. The main Pedagogy (P) this lesson is project based learning and inquiry based learning.  There is also a group discussion piece where students will have opportunities to share ideas.
  3. The main Technology (T) of this lesson includes a projector or computer to view the movie and computers for ThingLink, Piktochart, and Poisioner’s Handbook timeline and interactive labs.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

Describe: Forensic chemistry is not an area of science that many students have not yet been exposed to in an educational setting.  For the timeline part of the lesson, project based pedagogy would work well because the learning goal for students is to summarize important dates in forensic science.  Representing these in a visual manner is helpful because timelines allow students to connect to prior knowledge and see relationships between events. Inquiry-based learning is useful for this content because forensic science is all about looking for information to solve crimes.  Students will be acting like forensic chemists as they work through the virtual labs.

Support: “Timelines provide a visual aid for identifying cause and effect relationships between events, and a visual prompt to activate student prior knowledge” (Fillpot, n.d.).  Also, the sample TPACK lesson on Cell Structure and Function talked about the relationship between inquiry based learning and increases in science SAT scores.

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

Describe: Viewing the video will introduce students to the history of forensic chemistry.  This video will allow students to activate prior knowledge and spark curiosity about forensic chemistry topics.  After watching the video, students will be able to reflect on the information that they viewed.  During their discussions with classmates, students will begin to develop questions, ideas, and interests regarding certain concepts from the video.  Next, students will use information from the video and online timeline to apply it in an interactive way.  Creating the Piktochart will allow students to transfer data from the video and the timeline to their own creation using a technological tool.  While doing this, students will be summarizing key information about the important dates in the field of forensic chemistry.  Lastly, the virtual labs will enable students to perform the forensic chemistry tests that they have seen in the movie and read about in the timeline.

Support: In recent years, Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) has proved its efficacy in education by expanding on “traditional” lessons and motivating students to actively participate in science (Rocard, 2007)

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

Describe: Students will be using Piktochart to create timelines.  I have never used Piktochart before but we learned about it in a training session.  It has been suggested by Piktochart’s webpage that simultaneous processing of images is much faster than processing of text.  The virtual labs are a great way to show students the process of the lab quickly, safely, and at their own pace.

Support: “As images are processed simultaneously, we process them 60,000 times faster than we process text” (“Using Infographics,” 2016)

Scientix Blog – There are many benefits of using virtual labs in science that can be found on the Scientix Blog.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Describe: The elements of this lesson were chosen to meet the goals of fostering meaningful student learning during a time when students are in and out of class due to testing.  This lesson is meant to be an exploratory unit on forensic science, so the flexibility with information learned by students allows for an easy transition to online learning. The interactive nature of the lesson allows students to have ownership of their learning process.


Fillpot, Elise. “Teaching, Home of the National History Education Clearinghouse.” Teaching with Timelines. National History Education Clearinghouse, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

Rocard, M. (2007). Science education NOW: a renewed pedagogy for the future of Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications for the European Commission

Scientix Blog “The Community for Science Education in Europe.”  Scientix Blog. N.p., n.d Web. 04 Nov. 2016

“Using Infographics in the Classroom: Our Tips and Advice.” Piktochart Infographics. N.p., 11, Sept. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016

4 thoughts on “TPACK – McQuiddy”

  1. Sarah,
    I really like your idea of having the students create a Piktochart. I have used it a few times as a different way to present laboratory data. I think they will really enjoy that activity and it will allow them to be creative. Are you going to have them create the Piktochart individually or in groups? The virtual labs sound like fun and a great way to have them do lab work that might be too difficult to really do in the lab.

  2. Sarah – As we talked about earlier I like the idea of using a Thinglink to connect the different portions of the learning module. The timeline is a nice idea as most of these students don’t realize how “new” Forensic Science is in the scheme of things. I always like lessons /units that tie the learning to the real world. I think that this would spark an interest in science for many of your students.

  3. Sarah, great start, here are my thoughts:

    content (C) – clear. history of forensic chemistry and FC lab techniques

    pedagogy (P) -clear. PBL, Inquiry learning, group discussion

    technology (T) – clear. digital video, thinglink, piktochart, PH timeline and interactive labs

    PCK – wow. you really articulated this well, and it was really well thought out.

    TCK – perfect. the correlation bettwen the video and the labs is great – ” Lastly, the virtual labs will enable students to perform the forensic chemistry tests that they have seen in the movie and read about in the timeline.”

    TPK – Really good, especially your justification of virtal labs:” The virtual labs are a great way to show students the process of the lab quickly, safely, and at their own pace.”. The use of a digital tool (piktochart) for timelining makes total sense. While students could do this on paper, i think the software will offer some benefits, and that is clearly aligned with your pedagogical strategies

    TPACK – This is a really great TPACK lesson. I don’t know much about the video you are using, but through use of virtual simulations and the digital timeline software you are using technology to strongly support both your content and pedagogy. You don’t need to modify this lesson further. You demonstrate a really strong understanding of the TPACK framework. Do you feel you have a pretty strong understanding of it? Were any of the sub-domains confusing for you to be able to articulate?

    1. Thanks! I was a little worried about how I was going to revise the TPACK so I am glad that you said it was well written!

      I have to admit, as I was reading through the article and the sample TPACK, I didn’t feel like I had a super clear understanding. However, after I started wrtiting my own, things really started to fall into place. For example, I started writing the TCK part and halfway through, realized everything I was describing was actually TPK. With each section, I began to feel more and more confident that what I was writing was actually in the right spot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *