TPACK Lesson

Like a lot of teachers that have been around for a while, I had never heard of TPACK.  I did enjoy writing the lesson plan, but I am not quite sure if it fits the TPACK model precisely.  I think I will need to read some other teacher lesson plans to get the full idea!

Lesson Description:

This is a lesson that introduces the conceptual understandings needed to further study the gas laws.  The lesson will be a qualitative inquiry introduction to the gas laws that will lead to later lessons that have a more quantitative viewpoint.  In this lesson, students will use online interactive computer tutorials, computer interface probes with graphical analysis software, and videos to investigate the relationships involved in the gas laws. The lesson will run for two ninety minute blocks. The students will come together as a whole group at the end of the lesson to share and discuss their lab videos. The students involved in the lesson are honors high school sophomores and juniors.

 The main Content (C) of this lesson is:

  • The relationship between pressure and temperature for a gas.
  • The relationship between temperature and volume for a gas.
  • The relationship between volume and pressure for a gas.

The main Pedagogy (P) of this lesson is inquiry based learning.

The main Technology (T) of this lesson is:

  • Laptop computers
  • Computer laboratory probes with graphical analysis software
  • Cell phones or cameras for video production
  • Schoology LMS

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

 Describe:  Inquiry-based learning works well when teaching the gas laws as much of the content is conceptual and requires the development of  mental models.  Having students investigate and discover the answers on their own has worked well in previous assignments of this type.  Students are given strict guidelines as to where to go to perform their investigations, but they have the freedom to choose the order and manner in which they explore the topics.  Students are also given freedom and creativity in choosing how to exhibit their understanding with the final video assessment project.

Support: In my AP institute we looked at the work of Vygotsky and Dewey. Their work showed that inquiry-based learning significantly improved student science achievement scores.

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

 Describe:  The websites chosen allow the students to study the conceptual relationships between pressures, volumes and temperatures of gasses.  The websites use interactive tutorials and animations that help students to develop mental models of gas behavior.  The questions that follow the interactive tutorials allow the students to test their understanding of the concepts.  If they cannot answer a significant number of the questions successfully they are automatically sent back to the tutorial to determine their misconceptions. If students do not have a firm grasp on the conceptual behavior of gases they will struggle later with the mathematical applications.


The inquiry laboratory investigations for this lesson can be done when the conceptual understanding from the interactive tutorials is complete. The laboratory procedures use laptop computers and computer interface probes that allow students to collect and interpret data. The laboratory procedures chosen allow the students to conduct a series of experiments, each of which illustrates a different gas property.  They will be given a list of equipment and materials and some general guidelines to help them get started with each experiment.  Three properties of gases will be investigated: pressure, volume, and temperature.  By assembling the equipment, conducting the appropriate tests, and analyzing their data and observations, they will be able to describe the properties of gases qualitatively.  The inquiry nature of the experiments lets the students explore and reinforce their conceptual understanding.

As a final summary assessment, each lab table (four students) will make a short video discussing the results of one of their gas law experiments and share it. The LMS Schoology has a nice media sharing function built in. The students can upload their videos into this media folder and share them with all of the classes.

Support: In my AP institute we looked at research that  showed that students engaged in inquiry-based learning in the laboratory demonstrated improved learning and higher test scores

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

Describe:  The use of the interactive websites and computer interface labs help to make the lesson more interactive and exciting. Students often struggle with the abstract concepts in chemistry. It is important to use models online where manipulation and visualization of science concepts can be explored. The use of these interactive models allows students to discover scientific knowledge rather than just being given the facts.  Students also need to see the physical results of their conceptual understanding in the laboratory. The use of the laboratory probes and graphic analysis software makes the lesson very inquiry based, allowing students to develop a deeper understanding of the abstract concepts.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Describe: A variety of activities were chosen to involve the students in the complex concepts of gas law behavior.  Integrating the interactive tutorials, the inquiry labs with the graphical software and the video production heightens the student engagement and hopefully creates a depth of understanding beyond a simple teacher-centered lesson.




4 thoughts on “TPACK Lesson”

  1. As you already know I am a huge fan of the ChemThink tutorials and question sets. They are a great way to introduce concepts. The probeware works very well with gas studies. I like the idea of the students making a video summarizing their lab results. If they can explain it to others then they most likely understand the concept well. The graphical analysis software also helps to reinforce the mathematical relationships among gas variables. Sounds like fun to me!

  2. Your TPACK really allows me to see why you chose to do this lesson as your online module. You have so many great resources for students to use and the technology pieces you chose make sense for each part of this lesson. You have definitely worked hard to maximize opportunities for student engagement. The video part sounds like something I might want to try! Nice work!

  3. Great job. Here is my feedback:

    Content (C) – perfectly articulated. Gas (pressure, temperature, volume)

    Pedagogy (P) – inquiry-based learning

    Technology – perfectly articulated (computers, probes, GA software, digital cameras, an LMS)

    PCK – Your first sentence explains it great – “Inquiry-based learning works well when teaching the gas laws as much of the content is conceptual and requires the development of mental models. ”

    TCK – articulated well. Web sites use interactive animations that serve the content well. Lan procedures use probes which provide data and generate another representation of the gas properties. I like the video idea an dusing the LMS, although I feel like your descriptions of those fit better in TPK.

    TPK – well done. Your pedagogy is inquiry, and your probes and computers assist in inquiry learning.

    TPACK – This part is ok. I see your content (gas properties) being taught effectively through your pedagogy (inquiry) which in this context almost requires your technologies(probes and computers). I guess you could do it in other ways, but this way seems really solid. Great job. I dont think there is much you need to change about this, as long as you understand it.

    You do mention having the students use video and sharing the videos. Does the cat of recording and sharing the videos (pedagogy) fit well with your content (gas). If so , why?

    1. Monty,
      Thanks for the feedback. I am not sure if the student videos really add to the lesson or are necessary specifically for the study of gases. I think I was just looking at a different way for the students to present their experimental results other than the traditional lab report. I agree, I think the sharing of videos probably does fit better in TPK.

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