Development of pre-service chemistry teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge

Ayla Cetin-Dindar*a, Yezdan Bozb, Demet Yildiran Sonmezb and Nilgun Demirci Celepc
aDepartment of Mathematics and Science Education, Faculty of Education, Bartin University, 74100, Bartin, Turkey. E-mail: aylacetin@gmail.com
bDepartment of Mathematics and Science Education, Faculty of Education, Middle East Technical University, 06800, Ankara, Turkey
cTurkish Education Association, 06440, Ankara, Turkey

Received 12th September 2017 , Accepted 21st October 2017

First published on 23rd October 2017


In this study, a mixed-method design was employed to investigate pre-service chemistry teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) development. For effective technology integration in instruction, knowledge about technology is not enough; teachers should have different knowledge types which are content, pedagogical, and technological. The 17 pre-service chemistry teachers who enrolled in the Instructional Technology and Material Development course participated in the study for one semester. The purpose of this course was to learn how to integrate simulations, animations, instructional games, data-logging, virtual labs and virtual field trips into chemistry instruction considering factors such as chemistry subjects and students’ possible alternative conceptions or their previous chemistry knowledge. A survey and interviews were used to gather data on the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK framework both before and after the semester. A mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance was conducted to examine the differences in the pre-service teachers’ TPACK at two time periods considering also the gender factor. For the qualitative data, deductive analysis based on existing codes and categories was applied. The quantitative and qualitative findings of this study revealed that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK improved partially on some components. In addition, based on these findings, gender was not found to be a significant variable in technology integration. For further development in the TPACK framework, more context related technology applications in a learning and teaching environment are needed.


Introduction

As technology has rapidly improved, classrooms have been equipped with lots of technological tools (computers, projectors, tablets, etc.). If implemented properly, technology-supported instruction enhances students’ learning and understanding (e.g., Dori and Belcher, 2005; Kim and Hannafin, 2011). However, it has been reported that teachers do not integrate technology frequently and efficiently in their classrooms (Harris et al., 2009; So and Kim, 2009; Bang and Luft, 2013; Kushner Benson et al., 2015). Some studies (e.g., Niess, 2005; Angeli and Valanides, 2009; So and Kim, 2009) revealed that teachers had difficulties in integrating educational technologies (such as technological devices or software programs) into their classrooms, in particular in deciding the most appropriate tools for teaching effectively and enhancing student learning. Additionally, teachers sometimes fail to integrate technology effectively into their teaching because of a lack of pedagogical knowledge (Hew and Brush, 2007; Kramarski and Michalsky, 2010; Chai et al., 2013).

Science issues, in particular chemistry concepts, generally deal with microscopic levels. Students often have difficulty in understanding and visualizing microscopic concepts such as atoms, molecules, or chemical reactions. Educational technologies such as animations and simulations are quite helpful in visualizing these concepts; chemistry teachers who integrate these educational technologies into the teaching and learning process may support effective learning (Moore et al., 2013; Ryan, 2013). For effective technology integration in instruction, knowledge about technology is not enough; teachers should have different knowledge types which are content, pedagogical, and technological as well as the ability to integrate these knowledge types (Mishra and Koehler, 2006; Koehler and Mishra, 2009).

A technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) framework that explains these knowledge types has been suggested as a requirement for effective technology integration (Mishra and Koehler, 2006). Similarly, in order to graduate pre-service chemistry teachers who use technology effectively in their future instruction, TPACK is essential. Hence, this study will examine an intervention implemented to develop the TPACK of pre-service chemistry teachers in a university. The intention is to provide answers to the following two questions:

(a) What are the pre-service chemistry teachers’ technology integration perceptions based on the TPACK framework both before and after a course related to educational and instructional technologies? What is the effect of gender on these perceptions?

(b) How do the pre-service chemistry teachers’ preferences to integrate technology into chemistry teaching based on the TPACK framework differ both before and after a course related to educational and instructional technologies?

The gender variable is also included in the study since males usually use technology more effectively than females. In order to determine whether the gender variable has an effect on pre-service teachers’ TPACK, this variable is added into the analysis. Therefore, this study will report on these empirical findings by collecting quantitative and qualitative evidence on the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK framework, and correspondingly evaluate the effectiveness of a course to develop pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK considering gender.

Theoretical framework

In this era of technology, there have been improvements and innovations around the world in different research areas, which also results in evolution in the area of education. In other words, technology has inevitably been integrated into the field of education. It is crucial that technology be included in instruction for better learning and teaching. For effective technology integration, the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) framework has been suggested by Koehler and Mishra (2005) in the last decade. This framework takes its roots from different theoretical traditions and enables teachers to go beyond traditional teaching (Koehler and Mishra, 2009).

TPACK framework

In the TPACK framework, there are three domains – technology, content and pedagogy – and interactions between and among these domains. According to this framework, to integrate technology effectively, teachers need to have seven knowledge types: technological knowledge (TK), content knowledge (CK), pedagogical knowledge (PK), technological content knowledge (TCK), technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). In Fig. 1 below, the interactions between these knowledge types in the framework are given (there are two TPACK phrases throughout the paper; when referring to the component one, ‘TPACK component’ is used, when referring to the overall one, ‘TPACK framework’ is used).
image file: c7rp00175d-f1.tif
Fig. 1 The components of the TPACK framework. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 from http://tpack.org.

Each knowledge type given in Fig. 1 forms one of the components of the framework. In other words, to have TPACK, a teacher must have knowledge about these seven components. TPACK contains the integration of knowledge of content, technology, and pedagogy – e.g., the use of technology to assess students’ understanding in electrochemistry concepts or detecting students’ prior knowledge via simulations of the acids and bases concepts in chemistry (Mishra and Koehler, 2006; Koehler and Mishra, 2009). The components of the TPACK framework and their meaning for this framework are given in Table 1.

Table 1 Components of the TPACK framework and their descriptions
Components Description
TK The knowledge and skills necessary for using technology such as program installations, word processors, spreadsheets, the internet etc. (Mishra and Koehler, 2006).
CK The knowledge of a teacher about the concepts and theories related to specific subject-matter; for instance, a chemistry teacher should have adequate chemistry knowledge (Mishra and Koehler, 2006).
PK The collection of knowledge about general pedagogy such as classroom management, the way students learn and student assessment that is necessary in any class irrespective of specific subject (Mishra and Koehler, 2006; Koehler and Mishra, 2009).
TCK The knowledge about the application of technology to teach specific content, such as simulation to teach gases in chemistry or allowing students to figure out the factors affecting chemical reactions via data logging (Mishra and Koehler, 2006).
TPK The knowledge about how technology can be used in teaching; e.g., how smart boards or animations can be used in teaching and learning settings (Koehler and Mishra, 2009).
PCK The blending of content and pedagogy knowledge. This is related to the application of general pedagogical knowledge within specific content; such as finding the best way to organize the radioactivity concepts in chemistry or applying instructional strategies to teach electrochemistry (Mishra and Koehler, 2006; Koehler and Mishra, 2009).
TPACK The combination of knowledge of content, technology, and pedagogy, e.g., the use of appropriate technology to assess students’ understanding in electrochemistry or detecting students’ prior knowledge via simulations for effectively teaching acids and bases in chemistry (Mishra and Koehler, 2006; Koehler and Mishra, 2009).


Literature review

The education community has been influenced a great deal by the TPACK framework, which formulates the integration of educational technologies into teaching and learning by extending Shulman's (1986) work on PCK (Thompson, 2005; Thompson and Mishra, 2007; Schmidt et al., 2009). On account of this, several studies have been generated using the TPACK framework (Koehler et al., 2007; Koehler and Mishra, 2009; Koh et al., 2010; Horzum, 2013). Some of these studies in the literature were about the development of reliable and valid instruments to measure pre-service and in-service teachers’ TPACK so that improvements in their education could be implemented (Schmidt et al., 2009; Archambault and Barnett, 2010; Koh et al., 2010; Yurdakul et al., 2012). Similarly, some researchers developed instruments that measured teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs towards TPACK; they proposed that self-efficacy beliefs play an important role in the pedagogical use of technology integration (Lee and Tsai, 2010; Canbazoglu Bilici et al., 2013).

Some other studies have searched for the relationship between TPACK and other variables (such as learning approaches, gender, technology experience and attitudes towards technology) (Erdoğan and Şahin, 2010; Lee and Tsai, 2010; Abbitt, 2011; Horzum, 2013). To give an example, Horzum (2013) conducted a research study on 239 pre-service teachers in order to reveal the effect of pre-service teachers’ learning approaches and gender on their TPACK. The pre-service teachers with deep knowledge of learning approaches were found to also have TPACK, whereas gender had no influence on TPACK. A study by Lee and Tsai (2010), conducted on 558 in-service teachers ranging from elementary to high school, reported a positive correlation among teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs about TPACK with respect to the web and their experiences with and attitudes towards using web-related instruction.

Besides these studies, intervention studies on improving teachers’ TPACK have also played an important role in the related literature (e.g., McCrory, 2008; Guzey and Roehrig, 2009; Koh and Divaharan, 2011; Srisawasdi, 2012; Maeng et al., 2013; Mouza et al., 2014). As stated by Chai, Koh and Tsai (2013), these studies aim to develop teachers’ TPACK by assessing the effectiveness of the designed course or finding out factors that may facilitate the development of TPACK. For instance, Koh and Divaharan (2011) conducted a study using 98 Singaporean pre-service teachers. The focus of their study was to investigate the effectiveness of a re-designed educational technology course that aimed to develop pre-service teachers’ TPACK through designing a project that involved interactive white boards. The designed course was based on different instructional strategies as tutor modeling, hands-on investigation of the interactive white board, and group design of a lesson using interactive white boards. The reflections of the pre-service teachers on these instructional strategies revealed that tutor modeling and hands-on investigation were influential in enhancing pre-service teachers’ TK and TPK, while group design of the lesson was effective in promoting their TPACK. Similarly, Maeng et al. (2013), who conducted a study on 27 pre-service teachers in a technology-enriched inquiry instruction of the science teacher preparation program, reported that the pre-service science teachers’ TPACK developed through technology-enhanced inquiry instruction using animations, simulations, digital images, probe ware, and spreadsheets. Moreover, Mouza et al. (2014) investigated the influence of an educational technology course that used the integrated pedagogical approach on pre-service teachers’ TPACK. This integrated pedagogical approach involved linking an educational technology and methods course with field experience in the teacher education program. It was found that the pre-service teachers’ TK, CK, PK, TCK, TPK, PCK and TPACK improved significantly by the end of the course. Guzey and Roehrig (2009) also conducted a study on four in-service secondary science teachers. These teachers were involved in a professional development program on how technology could be implemented to teach inquiry-based science lessons. The technology used was probe ware, c-maps, computer simulations, and videos. The results of the study showed that in-service training helped to improve teachers’ TPACK.

Likewise, in a longitudinal study, Hoffer and Grandgenett (2012) examined the TPACK development of students who already had a bachelor degree in a non-teaching major, such as mathematics, biology etc., during the three-semester teacher education program. The researchers collected the data via a TPACK survey, reflection assignments, lesson plans, and interviews in a variety of courses, including educational technology and content-based teaching methods courses with practicum experiences. Over three semesters, the participants were encouraged to use technology to teach their subject specialism, especially in the educational technology and methods course in the teacher education program. At the end of the teacher preparation program, it was found that the participants’ TPK and TPACK improved significantly, but only a limited improvement was observed in participants’ TCK. In addition, in another study observing pre-service teachers by Hu and Fyfe (2010), an educational technology course was re-designed based on TPACK principles: taking problem-centered design tasks into consideration in order to increase pre-service teachers’ capability to use technology in the classroom. The results of this study indicated that the pre-service teachers’ ability to combine technology, pedagogy and content (TPACK) was significantly enhanced after the course.

Based on the literature review, it could be concluded that the importance of TPACK for effective technology integration is undeniable. It is also certain that pre-service teachers need to know how to integrate technology into their instruction effectively before beginning to teach in a classroom, therefore more research regarding the development of teachers’ TPACK is needed, particularly in chemistry and science teacher education programs.

Thus, this study aimed to evaluate pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK development in a university by a course in which the TPACK framework was applied. The researchers focused on improving pre-service chemistry teachers’ content knowledge about chemistry knowledge (CK), pedagogical knowledge such as classroom management, the level of the students etc. (PK), pedagogical content knowledge such as knowledge about students’ alternative conceptions in chemistry topics, knowledge about instructional strategies to teach chemistry topics etc. (PCK), knowledge about educational technologies (TK), developing their knowledge about how to use technology to teach chemistry more effectively (TPK), enhancing their awareness of the relation between chemistry and technology (TCK), and increasing their knowledge about constructing lessons that take chemistry, chemistry education, technology and curriculum into account (TPACK). The goal of the study was to make a contribution to the literature by providing detailed insights about the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK and TPACK by gathering data both quantitatively and qualitatively, and to provide a designed course that could be integrated into other universities’ courses or curriculum in the future. At the end of this course, pre-service chemistry teachers will be able to develop teaching materials, apply instructional technologies in teaching chemistry, choose the most effective material among already developed materials, and integrate teaching materials into chemistry instruction considering students’ level, curriculum, alternative conceptions, etc.

Methods

Research design

In this study, in order to gain a deeper understanding about the influence of the Instructional Technology and Material Development (ITMD) course on pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK, a mixed method design was used, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data from the participants. The quantitative part was the one-group pretest–posttest design (Fraenkel et al., 2011). The qualitative part was based on a case study. Merriam (2009) mentions that a “case study is an in-depth description and analysis of a bounded system” (p. 40). Researchers can obtain in-depth understanding and rich data regarding an event, subject or setting by conducting case studies. In our study, the purpose was to explore the effect of the (ITMD) course on pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK in detail; hence a case study design was a suitable research strategy within qualitative research that can employ mixed methods. In our study, the bounded case can be described as the pre-service chemistry teachers and how their TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK evolve based on the (ITMD) course, which was designed considering the TPACK principles.

Participants

This study included 17 pre-service chemistry teachers from the Faculty of Education in a public university. The further context of the study is described in this section. All of the participants were from the department of chemistry education, in the eighth semester of a 10-semester chemistry education program, and they were all involved in the (ITMD) course. All pre-service chemistry teachers (eight female and nine male) participated in the study voluntarily and gave their informed consent before participating. The average age of the participants was 23. All participants in the current study had taken subject matter courses related to chemistry (e.g., General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry), general pedagogical courses (e.g., Introduction to Education, Curriculum, Measurement and Evaluation in Education), and subject-specific pedagogical courses (e.g., Theories and Approaches in Teaching and Learning, Methods of Chemistry Teaching) beforehand. Computers and projectors were available in all classroom environments in the university. These participants did not have any school experience in teaching.

Instruments

Survey of preservice teachers’ knowledge of teaching and technology. The Survey of Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology (SPTKTT) was administered in this study to evaluate the pre-service chemistry teachers’ assessment of the TPACK framework categories and to measure their TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK development. This questionnaire was an adapted version of the Survey of Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology, which was developed by Schmidt et al. (2009) based on Shulman's construct of PCK. The original instrument is valid, reliable and applicable to many areas, including science, though is more appropriate for pre-service elementary or early childhood education teachers. Therefore, some adaptations were made to the statements in the instrument to apply to pre-service chemistry teachers. For example, “I know about technologies that I can use for understanding and doing science” was changed to “I know about technologies that I can use for understanding and doing chemistry.” To evaluate the change in the participants’ TPACK, the instrument was distributed to the participants during class hours at the beginning and the end of the semester. The pre-service chemistry teachers were given one class hour to complete the questionnaire.

The instrument used in this study holds the integrative perspective of the TPACK framework. Thus, the integrative approach is taken into account when measuring the existence of TPACK by collecting the evidence of knowledge domains (Angeli and Valanides, 2009; Graham, 2011). That is, growth in technology knowledge affects the development of TPACK within the intersecting areas of TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK. The first section of the instrument included some items on demographic information, such as gender, grade level, age, etc. The other sections focused on the following components: TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK. The definitions of these components were as follows – TK: “knowledge about various technologies, ranging from low-tech technologies (transparent technologies) such as pencil and paper to digital technologies (emerging technologies) such as the Internet, digital video, interactive whiteboards, and software programs”; CK: “subject-matter knowledge that a teacher is responsible for teaching”; PK: “teacher knowledge about a variety of instructional practices, strategies and methods to promote students’ learning”; PCK: “an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners and presented for instruction”; TCK: “knowledge of how technology can create new representations for specific content”; TPK: “knowledge of how various technologies can be used in teaching, and understanding that using technology may change the way teachers teach”; and TPACK: “knowledge required by teachers for integrating technology into their teaching in any content area” (Shulman, 1986, p. 8; Schmidt et al., 2009, p. 125; Koehler et al., 2014, p. 102).

In this study with aforementioned adaptations, there were 42 items in the SPTKTT: seven items for the TK, 12 items for the CK (this component is extended according to the chemistry topics in the curriculum: particulate nature of matter, gases, solids and liquids, solutions, chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, electrochemistry, and chemical bonding), seven items for the PK, three items for the PCK, three items for the TCK, five items for the TPK, and five items for the TPACK (see Table 2 for sample items). The items were rated on a 5-point scale (from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree).

Table 2 Sample items for the components of the SPTKTT (as cited in Schmidt et al., 2009)
Component Sample item
TK I know how to solve my own technical problems.
CK I have sufficient knowledge about particulate nature of matter.
PK I am familiar with common student understandings and misconceptions.
PCK I know how to select effective teaching approaches to guide student thinking and learning in the unit of matter.
TCK I know about technologies that I can use for understanding and doing the unit of matter.
TPK I can choose technologies that enhance students’ learning for a lesson.
TPACK I can teach lessons that appropriately combine chemistry, technologies, and teaching approaches.


As Taber (2017) points out, Cronbach's alpha provides measures of equivalence. Equivalence means “whether different sets of test items would give the same measurement outcomes” (Taber, 2017, p. 13). Hence Cronbach's alpha measures internal consistency of a test which is composed of items each reflecting the same construct. The different factors (sets of similar items) of this study were adapted from Schmidt et al. (2009). The items in each factor were regarded as a group that reflects the same construct. Therefore, for each set of items Cronbach's alpha coefficient was found. These coefficients were presented in the table below. The reliability scores of the factors ranged from 0.69 to 0.89 considering both pre- and post-administrations (Table 3); these scores are quite acceptable for educational studies (Crocker and Algina, 1986; Fraenkel et al., 2011).

Table 3 The Cronbach's alpha reliability scores for each component of the SPTKTT
  Pre-Cronbach's alpha Post-Cronbach's alpha
TK (7 items) 0.85 0.79
CK (12 items) 0.87 0.89
PK (7 items) 0.80 0.76
PCK (3 items) 0.71 0.72
TCK (3 items) 0.69 0.69
TPK (5 items) 0.84 0.77
TPACK (5 items) 0.86 0.82


In this study, Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the whole test that is an overall score was also found. Presenting this overall score is not for proving the unidimensionality of the test, rather for giving readers a chance to compare each factor's alpha scores with the overall test's alpha score. As Taber (2017) mentions alpha calculated across multiple scales would be higher due to a larger number of items added into the calculation. This might be the case for this study, since the overall reliability scores were 0.91 for the pre- and 0.92 for the post-SPTKTT.

Interviews about pre-service chemistry teachers’ development of the TPACK framework. In order to get more detailed information on the pre-service chemistry teachers’ development in terms of teaching chemistry with technology, interviews were also conducted with two pre-service chemistry teachers (one female, Amy, and one male, Bill). These interviewees were selected from among the participants in this study who were enrolled in the course of ITMD. Both had potential to yield rich information (Patton, 2002). Another criterion to select the interviewees was their Grade Point Average (GPA) in the chemistry education program (see Table 4 for a brief description of the interviewees). The two participants selected to be interviewed were chosen to represent students with a high and with an average performance on the basis of their GPA. The names of the interviewees were changed to protect their anonymity.
Table 4 Brief descriptions of the interviewees
Interviewee Description
Amy She is a hardworking student, less interested in technology. She had a negative experience related to technology usage in a high school geography course. An experimental study was conducted in their course. She said that she was in the experimental group and they were in the computer lab during the course. During the class, the geography teacher did not lecture; the students just worked with the computers. Before the study, she completed a pre-test and got 70 out of 100. After the study, she again took the same test and got 70. She said that she learned nothing in the course and would prefer not to use any technology in her future chemistry classes in her pre-interview.
Bill He is a less successful student than Amy, interested in technology. Bill is eager to use technology in his everyday life and capable of handling any technological problems he faces. He said in the pre-interview that he would like to use technology in his future chemistry classes.


The interviews were done at the beginning and at the end of the course after the SPTKTT administration. Interviews took about 30 minutes. Similar questions were asked to the interviewees at both interview sessions (see Appendix 1 for sample interview questions: the second and third interview questions were only asked in the pre-interview and the eighth question was only asked in the post-interview). Additional questions were also asked if the pre-service chemistry teachers’ answers were not satisfying and further details were needed to fully understand the interviewees’ thinking. Some examples of additional directive questions were, “can you be more specific about your explanation?” or “can you give an example please?” All interviews were audiotaped and fully transcribed for data analysis.

Learning environment

Students took the ITMD course in their fourth year (eighth semester) of the five-year chemistry education program. Before taking this course, they had to complete Computer Applications in Science Education (CASE) in the previous semester. The students involved in this study would take two teaching practices courses in the next year so that they would have a chance to apply what they learned in this course into their teaching experiences in high schools.

In the CASE course, pre-service teachers are given theoretical knowledge about educational technologies such as tutorials, drill and practice, simulations, instructional games, online education, audio, and videos. They also prepared assignments that involve the use of word processors, Microsoft Excel, audio-video editing, and web page design. The next semester, pre-service teachers take the ITMD course. The purpose of this course was to learn how to integrate simulations, animations, instructional games, data-logging, virtual labs and virtual field trips into chemistry instruction considering factors such as chemistry subjects and their students’ possible alternative conceptions or previous chemistry knowledge. This course had two class hour-long theoretical sessions and two class hour-long laboratory sessions each week. While designing the ITMD course, constructivist learning approaches were taken into account in which pre-service chemistry teachers applied their new knowledge of each instructional technology, wrote reflection papers before and after introducing the instructional technology, discussed the importance of alternative conceptions and prerequisite knowledge in chemistry learning, implemented their own materials (such as educational games and posters) to the class, and designed lesson plans considering one of the instructional technologies.

In the theoretical sessions, students were generally given information about the application of technological tools in chemistry instruction, as well as instruction on the advantages and disadvantages of using that particular technology. In the laboratory sessions, conversely, the pre-service chemistry teachers mainly practiced what they had learned in the theoretical course. The pre-service chemistry teachers used various educational technologies in the laboratory sessions. To give an example, after a theoretical session on the use of worksheets in a chemistry class, the pre-service chemistry teachers designed their own worksheets, selecting any chemistry topic in the lab session. The purpose of the worksheet was to give basic information about the specified subject (not only verbal information, may also include concept maps, pictures, graphs, mind maps, graphic organizers, webs, etc.), consider when and how to use the worksheet, and assess the learners on that particular subject. All the pre-service chemistry teachers used a word processing program while designing the worksheet, but they were also free to use any other educational technologies – some of the pre-service teachers used online programs to map out the relationships into concept maps or to create and, add graphic organizers as an assessment activity. The details of the course week-by-week are briefly given in Table 5.

Table 5 Brief description of the content of the ITMD course in terms of each week
Week Theoretical session description Laboratory session description
1 Introduction to the course No laboratory session for this week.
2 The pre-service chemistry teachers were instructed about the role of educational technology in chemistry instruction. (TPACK framework) No laboratory session for this week.
3 The pre-service chemistry teachers were given theoretical information about the differences between animations and simulations (TK, CK) and their application in chemistry teaching (TCK, TPK). As an assignment, they were asked to find animation/simulation examples related to chemistry topics. Every pre-service teacher picked a different chemistry topic and wrote a reflection paper in which they gave answers to the questions below (TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, TPACK):

(1) What is the main reason for choosing this animation/simulation?

(2) Which property/properties of the animation/simulation took your attention?

(3) What are the properties of the animation/simulation you liked the most and the least for teaching chemistry? Be specific and explain your ideas.

(4) In what ways do you think this animation/simulation could be effective for students’ chemistry learning?

(5) How would you like to use the animation/simulation in your lesson?

The assigned questions in the theoretical session were discussed. During this discussion section, the pre-service chemistry teachers were asked to think about whether the animations or simulations contain any alternative conceptions (CK, TCK, PCK), for which level of students they were appropriate (TPK), what concepts could be explained via those animations or simulations considering the high school chemistry curriculum (TCK), and what method to use and how to teach chemistry concepts using animations and simulations (TPACK). After the laboratory session, the pre-service chemistry teachers wrote a post-reflection paper about whether their ideas about their previous choice and use of the animation/simulation changed.
4 The pre-service chemistry teachers learn about various instructional games such as card games, board games, computer simulation and role play simulation games (TK, CK) and their probable use in chemistry instruction (TPK). As an assignment, the pre-service chemistry teachers were asked to design card games, board games, role play, or simulation games by selecting any chemistry topic from the high school chemistry curriculum (PK, TCK, TPK, TPACK). The pre-service chemistry teachers made their colleagues play those games and discuss their usage in chemistry instruction (TPACK). The focus of this discussion was to introduce educational games, how educational games could be integrated into learning and what points are crucial for designing or choosing games, and also emphasize that learning and teaching chemistry could be enjoyable; while playing games the aim should be both learning and entertainment for students.
5 The pre-service chemistry teachers learned about virtual labs and virtual field trips (TK, CK) and were assigned some chemistry problems that could be solved by using virtual labs (CK, PK, TPK, TCK, TPACK). The assigned chemistry problems were solved via virtual labs and the usage of this technology in chemistry teaching was discussed in terms of how, why, and when virtual labs could be used during chemistry instruction (TPACK).
6 The pre-service chemistry teachers were given information about data-logging (TK, CK) and its implementation in chemistry education (TPACK). The pre-service chemistry teachers conducted experiments using data-loggers (CK, PK, TCK, TPK). The advantages and disadvantages of using this technology in chemistry teaching were discussed (TPACK).
7 Midterm week-off Midterm week-off
8 The pre-service chemistry teachers were informed about the effective preparation of worksheets (TK, CK, PCK, TPK). They were asked to develop a worksheet on different chemistry subjects from the high school chemistry curriculum (TPACK). The pre-service chemistry teachers prepared a worksheet considering a specific chemistry concept via word processing program. While constructing their worksheets they searched for materials (such as chemistry content, appropriate activities, pictures, graphs, or diagrams for their worksheets) on the internet (TPACK, PCK). Later they discussed with their peers how they could integrate those worksheets in an instruction.
9 The pre-service chemistry teachers were given information about the use of instructional comics and concept cartoons in chemistry education (TK, CK, PCK, TPK). Their implementation in chemistry teaching was also discussed (TPACK). The pre-service chemistry teachers were assigned to find instructional comics and concept cartoons on different chemistry subjects from high school chemistry curriculum. The pre-service chemistry teachers brought their findings about instructional comics and concept cartoons. The webpages for designing comics or cartoons were introduced (TK, CK). They discussed their usage considering the chemistry concepts (whether the comics and cartoons were appropriate for student level and content (TCK, TPK)) in an instruction (how and why they would prefer to use or not to use them during the instruction (TPACK)).
10 The pre-service chemistry teachers were given information about the use of posters and their implementation in chemistry education (TPK, PCK). They were assigned to design a poster for a chemistry subject from the high school chemistry curriculum (TPACK). The pre-service chemistry teachers prepared a poster related to a chemistry topic. They were free in designing a poster either with simple materials or via a computer program (TK, CK). They discussed each other's posters in terms of chemistry concepts, design of the poster, and its implementation during the instruction (TPACK).
11 The pre-service chemistry teachers were informed about hands-on activities. They were assigned to design a hands-on activity with simple materials for different chemistry subjects from the high school chemistry curriculum (PCK, TPACK). The pre-service chemistry teachers prepared a hands-on activity that could be used in their chemistry teaching (CK, PK, PCK, TPK). They discussed each other's hands-on activity in terms of chemistry concepts, design of the material and its implementation during the instruction (TPACK).
12 The pre-service chemistry teachers were informed about models and their use in chemistry teaching (TK, CK). They were assigned to search for various models that could be used for teaching chemistry concepts. The pre-service chemistry teachers discussed their models in the session and how and why they would prefer to use the model in instruction for certain concepts (TPACK).
13 The pre-service chemistry teachers were informed about e-portfolios, web-quest (TK, CK), and their use in chemistry teaching (TPK). The pre-service chemistry teachers discussed how they could use this technology in chemistry teaching (CK, PK, TPK). The sample web-quest was given and the discussions were conducted in terms of teaching chemistry concepts (TPACK).
14 Evaluation of the course, the pre-service chemistry teachers’ comments for revising the content and implementation of the course. Evaluation of the lab sessions, the pre-service chemistry teachers’ comments for revising the content and implementation of the lab sessions.


From the information given on the designed ITMD course, it is clear that the primary focus of this study was to increase pre-service chemistry teachers’ perceptions of integrating the educational technologies into instruction, specifically developing their TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK. Therefore, the desired learning outcomes of the course were to be able to develop teaching materials, apply instructional technologies in teaching chemistry, choose the most effective material among already developed materials, and integrate teaching materials into chemistry instruction considering students’ level, curriculum, alternative conceptions, etc.

Assessment was done by a midterm exam and a final project, in addition to continuous feedback collected from the pre-service chemistry teachers’ observations during the class hours. Moreover, the students were asked to write reflection papers on instructional technologies (four reflections papers were gathered: animations and simulations, instructional games, virtual lab, and data logging). To give an example, in the third week after the theoretical course the pre-service chemistry teachers wrote their initial ideas about animations and simulations and gave examples (see Table 5 for the related questions; in the descriptions, the TPACK components are given in the parentheses, implying that every action in the course was based on the TPACK framework, and the component in the parentheses refer to that specific action). After the laboratory session on the discussion of animations and simulations, the pre-service chemistry teachers wrote a post-reflection paper about whether their ideas about their previous choice and use of an animation/simulation changed. They had three assignments. In the first assignment, they made a lesson plan where they integrated a simulation in this plan in order to teach a chemistry topic. Similarly, the second assignment was about developing a lesson plan where they had to include a worksheet, and concept cartoons/songs/newspapers. In the third assignment, they developed a hands-on activity and presented it in class where we had a discussion about the effective use of the hands-on activity in the chemistry class. As a final project, they developed a poster in order to teach a chemistry topic, they also presented it in class. During the class session, we discussed how that particular poster could be used in chemistry teaching effectively.

Data analysis

The data analysis included two parts. The first part was quantitative data gathered from the questionnaire, and the second part was qualitative, gathered from the interviews. In order to examine the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK, means and standard deviations were calculated through descriptive statistics for each component via the SPSS statistical package program.

The questionnaire and interviews were administered both before and after the course in order to observe the effect of the course. A mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance was conducted to examine the differences in pre-service teachers’ TPACK at two time periods considering also the gender factor. The dependent variables were pre- and post-SPTKTT. The independent variables were time (within-subjects) and gender (between subjects). The assumptions were tested for normality, homogeneity of the variance matrix, and homogeneity of intercorrelations (Box's M statistics was nonsignificant, p = 0.342) and met. Then, to follow up the analysis, separate ANOVAs were conducted. The significance level of alpha was set to 0.05; however during the separate ANOVAs, to reduce the chance of Type I error, a Bonferroni adjustment was applied by dividing the alpha level on the basis of the number of analyses conducted (0.05/7).

To increase the quality and validity of this research, triangulation analyses were done by collecting data both qualitatively and quantitatively. For the qualitative data, deductive analysis based on existing codes and categories was applied (Patton, 2002). Data coding was carried out by three researchers. After coding data independently, they discussed any disagreements until they came to a consensus in order to provide inter-rater reliability (see Table 6 showing the coding schemes of the components of the TPACK). The work of Mouza (2011, p. 11) was also taken into account when constructing some of the statements in the coding scheme of the TPACK framework components in this study. Almost all of the codes were matched.

Table 6 Coding scheme representing the TPACK framework
SPTKTT Evidence
Technological knowledge (TK) • Knowledge about several technological materials

• Operating technological tools like computer, projector, etc.

• Using standard software tools like MS Word, PowerPoint, Internet browsers or email (Mouza, 2011, p. 11)

• Using appropriate technology terms during interview

Content knowledge (CK) • Knowledge about common topics in chemistry (particulate nature of matter, gases, solids and liquids, solutions, chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, electrochemistry, and chemical bonding)

• Explain real world applications relating chemistry knowledge

• Give examples from real life when explaining chemistry concepts

Pedagogical knowledge (PK) • Aware of various teaching methods

• Select appropriate teaching method according to student characteristics

• Addressing how to assess students

• Knowing about how to manage students for particular tasks

• Addressing about lesson plan development

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) • Select effective teaching approaches to guide student thinking and learning in particular chemistry concepts

• Ability to develop activities to deal with students’ alternative conceptions

• Facilitate content representation

Technological content knowledge (TCK) • Ability to integrate and relate the chemistry content and technology

• Knowing the types of technological tools (such as animations, simulations) that might be used in chemistry topics.

• Knowing about the presence of a different technological tools for specific chemistry concepts

• Making comparisons among different technologies while choosing a suitable technological tool in order to teach a chemistry topic.

Technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) • Ability to integrate and relate pedagogy and technology

• Attracting students’ attention and motivating them by applying technological tools

• Ability to differentiate the instructions whether technology was applied or not

• Making comments about where to use a specific technology

• Assessing student understanding with technological tools

• Knowing about the time required to teach a chemistry concept with the selected technological tool

Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) • Selecting various technological materials to be used in different parts of the specific chemistry topics that were appropriate to students’ level

• Use of technology to facilitate subject-specific pedagogical methods (e.g., science inquiry, primary sources in social studies, etc.) (Mouza, 2011, p. 11)

• Use of technology to facilitate content representation (Mouza, 2011, p. 11)

• Use of technology to address learner content understanding (e.g., prior content knowledge, address alternative conceptions, improve content understanding) (Mouza, 2011, p. 11)



Results

Changes in technology integration

In order to address the first research question, the quantitative data in this study were collected on two different occasions, at the beginning and at the end of the semester. Since there were two different conditions, the repeated measures technique was used for analyzing the data (Pallant, 2007, p. 236). The hypothesis, considering the purpose of this study, was that there was no statistically significant difference between the pre-service chemistry teachers’ total scores of SPTKTT (pre- and post-scores). In order to test this hypothesis, mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance analysis gave the results of the pre-service chemistry teachers’ total scores at two time periods considering also the gender factor. The preliminary assumptions were checked and no serious violations were detected. As there was no violation, Wilks’ Lambda was chosen to test the significance (Pallant, 2007). The means and standard deviations are presented in Table 7. When these total mean scores were compared considering gender it was found that there was a significant difference between these two mean scores, Wilks’ Lambda = 0.56, F(1,15) = 11.54, p < 0.005, partial eta square = 0.43. This result indicated that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ pre-SPTKTT and post-SPTKTT scores were statistically different after the ITMD course. The gender was included into analysis as a between-subjects effect and the effect of gender on the TPACK framework was also investigated. Based on the analysis, there was no significant difference in the SPTKTT scores for the females and males [F(1,15) = 1.326, p = 0.27]; this means that the gender was not a significant effect for the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK development. And, the interaction effect did not reach statistical significance [F(1,15) = 0.152, p = 0.70]. Therefore, these results indicated that the post-test score of SPTKTT was significantly different from the pre-test score of SPTKTT both for the female and male pre-service chemistry teachers favoring the post-test scores.
Table 7 Descriptive statistics for total scores of SPTKTT in terms of gender
  Gender Mean Std deviation N
Pre-TOTAL Female 3.81 0.33 8
Male 3.65 0.26 9
Total 3.73 0.30 17
 
Post-TOTAL Female 4.07 0.32 8
Male 3.98 0.23 9
Total 4.03 0.27 17


The second step was to analyze the data in terms of components. Further exploration of means by time periods revealed that the pre-service chemistry teachers had higher scores on all components at the second occasion (please see Table 8 for comparative descriptive statistics). In addition, Fig. 2 reveals the progress of the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK.

Table 8 Results of descriptive statistics for all components in SPTKTT
Component Pre- Post-
Mean Standard deviation Mean Standard deviation
TK 3.42 0.60 3.66 0.46
CK 3.85 0.42 4.18 0.36
PK 3.42 0.46 4.03 0.31
PCK 3.51 0.50 3.94 0.41
TCK 3.92 0.43 4.26 0.34
TPK 4.01 0.40 4.02 0.40
TPACK 3.95 0.54 4.09 0.31
Total score (SPTKTT) 3.73 0.30 4.03 0.27



image file: c7rp00175d-f2.tif
Fig. 2 The mean scores of each component of the TPACK framework for two administrations.

In the second step, one-way repeated separated ANOVAs were run to measure two different conditions on the same instrument. When follow-up analysis was conducted for all the components separately, only two components reached the statistical significant difference, using a Bonferonni adjusted alpha level of 0.007. There was a significant effect in terms of time for the components PK (F(1,15) = 26.01, p < 0.000, partial eta squared = 0.63) and PCK (F(1,15) = 12.04, p < 0.007, partial eta squared = 0.44). The follow-up results are presented in Table 9.

Table 9 The follow-up results of one-way repeated measures
Source Component Wilks’ lambda value F statistic Significance Partial eta squared
Time TK 0.863 2.386 0.143 0.137
CK 0.620 9.196 0.008 0.380
PK 0.366 26.005 0.000 0.634
PCK 0.555 12.043 0.003 0.445
TCK 0.742 5.219 0.037 0.258
TPK 1.000 0.006 0.941 0.000
TPACK 0.909 1.501 0.239 0.091


Technology integration preferences in chemistry teaching

In order to address the second research question, the qualitative results gathered in the pre- and post-interviews on two pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK will be presented in the following section. The quantitative scores of the two interviewees from the SPTKTT are given in Table 10.
Table 10 The SPTKTT scores of the interviewees
Component Pre-scores Post-scores
Amy Bill Amy Bill
TK 2.57 4.14 4.00 3.71
CK 3.58 4.00 3.92 4.00
PK 3.43 3.57 4.00 3.86
PCK 3.33 4.00 4.00 4.00
TCK 3.67 3.67 4.67 4.00
TPK 3.80 4.00 4.80 3.60
TPACK 3.40 4.60 4.00 4.40
 
Overall SPTKTT 3.40 4.00 4.20 3.94


In Table 11, a part of the pre-service chemistry teachers’ interview results coding summary considering the Table 6 coding scheme was given. Based on the results the following details were gathered within the TCK, TPK and TPACK technology intersectional components of the TPACK framework.

Table 11 Coding summary on the TPACK framework
Category Student name Coding examples
Pre-interview Post-interview
TCK Amy I can use technology in terms of drawing molecules in organic chemistry, there is a program, you enter the name of the molecule and it gives the shape of it.

I can use videos to show decay of an apple while teaching physical and chemical changes. In order to teach the chemical equilibrium topic, for example, we put something and then add something, and there is a color change, we can see it. But we cannot see how the reaction occurred there and it is impossible show how the reaction occurs at that point. I think there is no need to show what happens by using technological tools. We can just state what happened. Instead of using technology, we can solve two or more problems related to equilibrium, it is more beneficial.

I liked simulations the most. It is more efficient and practical to use. It attracts students more and students want to be involved.

I can use simulation while teaching solubility. It has to be something visual. Saturated solutions, unsaturated solutions, when we show the steps, we cannot use instructional games and animation is too limited.

I could want students to conduct experiments via virtual labs either in class time or at home, it depends on the time. Virtual labs are more complicated. Students need to have some prior knowledge related to the topic. If I give it at the beginning of the topic, students would have difficulties in understanding the topic and what to do in virtual labs with inadequate knowledge.

TCK Bill I think simulation is a good thing. There are programs like that which were new. It is entertaining and at least the students would like the unit. I mean I believe this can be more permanent. At least the student would love the unit.

For every chemistry topic, the technological material I would use would change. I cannot think about a place that the technology could not be used.

I would use technology in my own teaching. Especially if there is a simulation example it would be more rational and simulations help the complex units to be more simple and understandable without any anxiety. Simulations can make students understand concepts better in a short time and without money loss. I would use an animation first and then a simulation. I would make students stimulate an activity to improve their abilities. I would certainly make the students do simulations. For every chemistry topic, the technological material I would use would change. For example, I don’t know how it would be to use simulations in radioactivity but animations seem more suitable. Also, in reaction rate and reaction mechanisms, simulations would be much more effective for students’ understanding or I would use hands-on activities in the pressure unit.

Data logging is a very rational thing. It finishes in a shorter time when compared to experiments. It is a bit different from the simulation but it is also effective. By the help of the graphs, how one thing affects another can be directly seen.

In my opinion, instructional games maybe used in the units that need memory like memorizing the atom names, periodic table, metals, what are non-metals and their groups etc.; in this kind of subject playing a game like playing cards by writing on papers could be done.

TPK Amy I think, traditional instruction sounds better since we usually trained traditionally during our college years. However, after the instruction, we can use technology as a supporting tool.

I think applying technology during teaching is sometimes useful and sometimes it is not. In my high school years, I was involved in a part of a study related to technology usage and I did not gain anything from the instruction. So, maybe I have some prejudice about technology integration into education. I think technology in education has a positive effect on only students’ visual memory.

Use of technology sometimes causes waste of time. I would prefer to solve two or more extra problems, it is more beneficial.

When I look back at my high school years, we were instructed traditionally and therefore my content knowledge is inadequate. However, if animation or simulation were used during the instruction, our knowledge would be more permanent and we would not forget what we learnt.

During my internship in the college, teachers always use smart boards. It is better than black board in terms of properties which makes changing something on screen easy. It has big advantages for teachers and students. So, when I think about the future, I feel like I will use more smart boards.

I think that the use of technology is beneficial. Instruction without technology seems like food without taste and salt.

TPK Bill If a teacher uses an overhead projector instead of writing on the board, he saves time. Writing on the board may take ten minutes but an overhead projector saves time and may decrease the same process to one minute.

For every chemistry topic, the technological material I would use would change. I cannot think about a place that the technology could not be used… Instead, I am thinking about the usage of technology in the exams.

If we use technology in our instruction, it makes students’ learning permanent since it is more visual and visual things are more permanent. Moreover, when students have opportunities to apply their knowledge, learning that is integrated within technology use is more durable. Technology helps us to explain complex concepts in an intelligible simple way, which decreases students’ anxiety and increases student attitude to the course.

I would choose using technology if I trust myself in a specific chemistry topic. Because, if I am insufficient in a topic, I can confuse students’ minds. So, it doesn’t make sense.

TPACK Amy After the instruction, we can use technology as a supporting tool. There is a program, you enter the name of the molecule and it gives the shape of it. We can give homework about drawing molecules in order to make students practice the concepts.

The most important thing in a paragraph is the beginning; likewise, the beginning of the lesson is the most important section, to draw students’ attention I can show a video. That would take their attention to the lecture. For example, related to Charles's law, the mechanism of hot air balloons, I can show a video at the beginning of the lesson in order to draw students’ attention.

I can want students to conduct experiments via virtual labs either in class time or at home, it depends on the time. Virtual labs are more complicated. Students need to have some prior knowledge.

During the practiced teaching in another course, I used a simulation at the beginning of the lesson. I showed a simulation and wanted students to discover by means of that simulation.

Instructional technology and material development course was effective for me. I realized that I did not know much until this course. I used to know about animations but I did not know it as a teaching method and technique…. I did not know how to integrate technology into chemistry instruction, whether it is more suitable to integrate at the beginning or end of the lesson, I did not know these.

TPACK Bill Actually technology is a need in every teaching situation, I mean at the beginning of the lecture it is needed directly. For example, I would want students to firstly watch the video of the experiment so that they can learn how to conduct the experiment. After that video, they can themselves do the experiment in the laboratory. If the topic is convenient, I would use data logging or a game; a cheerful visual may take more attention. Instructional games could also be used at the end of the topics, like a repetition. For units that need rote learning like memorizing the atom names, periodic table, metals, non-metals and their groups, etc., in this kind of concept, playing a game could be done to repeat what they learnt.

I would use hands-on activities at the beginning of the lecture. For example, to explain the pressure concept, I can use a hands-on activity with real materials, it would increase students’ attention and curiosity to the topic and when the relation is set between the real life and concepts, it would be more attractive.

Students can do simulations at the end of the lecture. Because the students must have at least some knowledge about the unit to use a simulation. If we gave at the beginning, the lecture would be unproductive and it would be less apparent when students have no knowledge. But if the student has some knowledge, the students would learn the unit better.



TCK (technological content knowledge) aspect. Amy improved her TCK positively; not only did her post-TCK score from the questionnaire get higher, but her qualitative results also supported this improvement. During her pre-interview she stated that she would prefer not to use technology when teaching the microscopic level of chemistry, except videos. She also expressed that “In order to teach the chemical equilibrium topic, I think there is no need to show what happens by using technological tools. We can just state what happened.” However, at the end of the semester, Amy was more competent in her TCK. She stated that the use of simulations is valuable and said that “I can use simulation while teaching solubility. It has to be something visual”. She could also make comparisons among different technologies such as simulations and virtual labs. Additionally, Bill's knowledge about educational technologies had also been improved – although he scored nearly the same in terms of his post-TCK in the questionnaire, so he appeared not to have improved quantitatively. However, in terms of qualitative results his interview revealed that he made progress in TCK qualitatively and had more rational ideas to talk about. In his pre-interview, he could not find any technology other than simulations and animations to integrate into a chemistry instruction. On the other hand, in his post-interview; he also added virtual lab, data loggers, and instructional games. His explanations revealed that his ideas were more realistic and more knowledgeable when he talked about simulations, animations, data loggers, etc. In addition, he was trying to make content technology relation more sophisticated in his post-interview when compared to his pre-interview. In other words, at the end of the course, he was able to select the appropriate technology for different topics from various technologies.
TPK (technological pedagogical knowledge) aspect. In terms of TPK, Amy improved significantly regarding the use of technology in education; her post-TPK score was higher than the pre-score, supporting the qualitative results. At the beginning of the course, she was negative about technology's usage in instruction due to her previous experience. During the pre-interview, Amy stated that she would use technology in her instruction 50 percent of the time; she believed that it was not necessary to put much emphasis on technology in instruction. However, at the end of the semester, the change in Amy's TPK level was quite significant. She stated that technology use was a must in instruction and it had to be used in a class to promote students’ understanding. She reversed her opinion of technology usage in class and expressed that “I think that the use of technology is beneficial. Instruction without technology seems like food without taste and salt.” On the other hand, Bill's post-TPK score was not much different than his pre-TPK; yet in his interview results he made much more definite explanations on technology usage in the classroom in terms of educational perspective. At the beginning of the course, Bill believed in the necessity of technology use in the classroom in terms of saving time. However, after the course, he also emphasized the benefit of technology use in terms of its effect on students’ understanding.
TPACK (technological pedagogical content knowledge) aspect. In terms of TPACK, at the beginning of the course, Amy had a more traditional view of technology use in instruction such as giving homework, a drill, or practice. However, at the end of the course, she had a more constructivist view of technology use. For example, she stated that she used simulations in her instruction in order to help students understand when she taught in another course (she practiced teaching in Methods of Chemistry Teaching course in the eighth semester), and expressed that “I used simulation at the beginning of the lesson. I showed simulation and wanted students to discover by means of that simulation. I could want students to conduct experiments via virtual lab either in class time or at home, it depends on the time.” In other words, at the end of the course, she could design activities such that the students might have active roles. Yet, in her pre-interview she was against technology use. “Use of technology sometimes causes waste of time. I would prefer to solve two or more extra problems, it is more beneficial.” Her quantitative results on her TPACK component also improved; she got a higher score in the post-TPACK. Moreover, at the end of the course, she could contemplate appropriate instructional technology when asked how to integrate technology and at which part of her chemistry instruction. For example, she told the researchers that the use of virtual labs would be more appropriate at the end of instruction as a post-test or homework. Although Bill again scored nearly the same on his post-TPACK and pre-TPACK, his interview results also revealed he made progress in improving his TPACK. In his pre-interview, he argued that the most appropriate time to get help from technology for any unit was at the beginning of the lecture series. But in his post-interview, he selected various technological materials to be used in different parts of the specific chemistry topics. He considered students’ learning ability while using educational technologies. He, in his pre-interview, stated that “Actually technology is a need in every teaching situation, I mean at the beginning of the lecture it is needed directly. For example, I would want students to firstly watch the video of the experiment so that they can learn how to conduct the experiment.” Bill thought in quite a traditional manner with his statement; students will watch and then learn it. He was slightly aware of the advantages of technology use in the classroom but could not evaluate how to choose the appropriate educational technology for his class. On the other hand, in his post-interview, he expressed that “Students can do simulations at the end of the lecture because the students must have at least some knowledge about the unit to use a simulation. If we gave it at the beginning, the lecture would be unproductive and it would be less apparent when students have no knowledge. But if the student has some knowledge, the students would learn the unit better.” Bill's post-statement revealed that he thought about students’ conceptual knowledge, decided which educational technology he could use and when to use the educational technology, and made conclusions about using the appropriate technology on students’ development.

To conclude, in terms of Amy's interview results the improvement could be seen in TCK, TPK and TPACK intersectional components of technology. Her TPK improved significantly regarding the use of technology in education considering that she was negative about technology's usage in her instruction due to her previous experience at the beginning of the course. She also became more competent in her TCK by giving credit to different technological tools integrated into education. In terms of the TPACK component, she began with a more traditional view of the technology use in her instruction at the beginning of the course, which changed into a more constructivist view at the end of the course. In Bill's interview results, the improvement can also be seen in all three intersectional components. His knowledge about technological materials and relating these materials to the content increased (TCK), specific chemistry topics were chosen along with the technological material to be used (TPK) and the students’ level, and the time to use a technological tool in a specific chemistry topic was taken into consideration (TPACK), much more so when compared to his pre-interview before the course.

Limitations

In this study, there were some limitations. First, this study was implemented in only one university and thus it is hard to extend it into other settings, which lowers its generalizability. The second issue is the sample size limitation, both for the quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative aspect of this study was conducted with only 17 pre-service chemistry teachers. In other words, the sample size was very low. Plus, the cohort covers only pre-service chemistry teachers, so the population generalization was lowered. In addition, this study was limited to two cases in the qualitative research part; only the reflections of those two pre-service chemistry teachers on the interplay among technology, pedagogy, and content were taken into account. At the time of the study, some of the pre-service teachers were taking other educational courses such as Methods of Science Teaching II, Laboratory Experiments in Science Education, School Experience etc. This might have an influence on the effect of the ITMD course on the development of the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK framework.

Discussion

This study focused on examining, by analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, whether a course designed to develop pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK framework was effective. During the semester, the pre-service chemistry teachers learned about different educational technologies, discussed how those technologies could be efficiently used during instruction, and applied these technologies during lab sessions. For instance, when information was given about animations, the pre-service chemistry teachers and instructors discussed how a particular animation example could be used in a classroom environment for instructional purposes, whether that animation could cause any alternative conceptions about the chemistry topic, what prerequisite knowledge students should have beforehand, and what chemistry concepts could be taught effectively through its use. These discussions were held for each educational technology and they promoted the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK, giving them a better understanding of how to teach chemistry using educational technologies for varied chemistry concepts. Therefore, the pre-service chemistry teachers were able to understand the interaction of chemistry, pedagogy, and technology knowledge. For instance, one of the interviewees (Amy) mentioned that she was aware of some educational technologies before the course but she added that she had difficulties relating educational technologies to chemistry instruction and worried about how to use them to teach chemistry subjects effectively. Yet, after the course, she clearly explained the basis of effective teaching with technology. As the findings of several studies have revealed that educational technologies such as educational games (Klisch et al., 2012; Li and Tsai, 2013) or simulations (Moore et al., 2013) enhance student learning, it can also be concluded that such activities allow pre-service chemistry teachers to realize the power of educational technologies and become capable of using them during instruction.

Furthermore, designing a course is a time-consuming process that must be meticulously done, because a course designed improperly could lead students to alternative conceptions or memorizing. In this study, the ITMD course designed to improve pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK levels could be accepted as successful since both qualitative and quantitative findings showed that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TK, CK, PK, PCK, TCK, TPK, and TPACK scores improved at the end of the course. Specifically, the improvement of the pre-service chemistry teachers’ PK and PCK was significant. In addition, the gender factor was not found to be significant on the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK.

Evidence collected from quantitative findings

The quantitative findings of this study indicate that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ PK and PCK significantly improved during the course. During the class discussions, chemistry concepts were discussed in terms of alternative conceptions, high school students’ perceptions of chemistry concepts, and instructional technologies that could be used to overcome them (for instance, online virtual labs were introduced to the pre-service chemistry teachers in case they did not have the opportunity to conduct an experiment). In light of the results, these discussions promoted a significant improvement in the pre-service chemistry teachers’ PK and PCK. The Roman Philosopher Seneca said: “While we teach, we learn.”; the pre-service chemistry teachers took courses related to methods in chemistry teaching before the current study but it is not an easy process for them to comprehend and apply these instructional methods. These significant results might be due to the discussion sections and thinking on how to teach in lesson plan assignments.

There was also an increase in the mean scores of the TK, CK TCK and TPACK components, though these were not statistically significant; specifically the F statistics for the CK and TCK components were quite high, implying that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ content knowledge and technological content knowledge improved efficiently. Because the TPACK component is integrated with three knowledge domains, it is challenging to improve pre-service teachers’ TPACK; pre-service chemistry teachers should be able to consider chemistry concepts, pedagogy and technology issues holistically. Effective integration could also be enhanced with practice teaching.

There have been other studies that analyzed the components of TPACK in terms of their contributions to the TPACK framework. For example, Koh and Chai (2014) conducted a cluster analysis on both pre-service and in-service teachers to identify their TPACK perceptions before and after an ICT professional development course. The researchers divided the pre-service teachers into two clusters and conducted the related analysis. Cluster 1 referred to the participants who had more confidence in their TPACK, while cluster 2 participants were less confident of their TPACK. According to the study results, it was found that the first cluster of pre-service teachers considered TPK and TCK to be significant contributors to their TPACK both before and after the course, whereas, for the second cluster of pre-service teachers TCK alone was perceived to be a crucial predictor of TPACK. Mouza et al. (2014) reported that pre-service teachers’ TK, CK, PK, TCK, TPK, PCK and TPACK improved significantly by the end of the course where students had the chance to practice what they learnt in the educational technology and methods courses. Moreover, in the study of Dalal, Archambault and Shelton (2017), descriptive statistics revealed that international teachers’ capabilities regarding CK, PK, TK, TCK, TPK, PCK and TPACK components of the TPACK framework increased by the end of the course. In the present study, we found that PK and PCK significantly improved at the end of the course though descriptive statistics showed an increase in the mean scores of all TPACK components. The reason for this could be that both technology and content connections were considered in the course design; each week a different educational tool was taken into account for qualified chemistry teaching (the pre-service chemistry teachers were aware of animations and simulations but they also improved their content knowledge with the use of data loggers, virtual labs, conceptual cartoons, etc. for a better conceptual understanding in chemistry subjects). As mentioned above, pre-service teachers’ pedagogical knowledge increased significantly by the end of the course. The reason for this may be that in the ITMD course, we discussed about how students learn best, how to provide classroom management in the class/laboratory, and assessment techniques. They also developed two lesson plans in order to teach a chemistry topic. In one of the lesson plans, they had to include a simulation. While developing that lesson plan, they had to think about students’ levels, abilities and some motivational factors and classroom management issues, such as the class time to devote to that particular simulation. As mentioned above, they developed another lesson plan where they used concept cartoons and worksheets. For that lesson plan, they had to design a worksheet and while doing that, they had to think about general assessment and evaluation techniques. Another significant improvement was noticed in pre-service chemistry teachers’ PCK levels by the end of the ITMD course. In the ITMD course, we discussed students’ alternative conceptions in chemistry topics and considered these alternative conceptions while choosing instructional technologies. For example, concept cartoons were designed according to students’ alternative conceptions. Another issue was that they had to know how to use a specific instructional strategy, e.g. hands-on activity, simulations, an instructional game etc., to teach a chemistry topic, which was another indicator of PCK. They designed a worksheet regarding a chemistry topic and they had to think about which questions they need to include in order to assess students with respect to a chemistry topic. Therefore, TPACK development is a process of understanding and the findings of this study support this process-based development. As Harris, Mishra and Koehler (2009) stated that integrating technology into teaching is affective with context, in the current study the discussions in the learning environment were continuously on chemistry subjects, which lead to positive impacts on PK and PCK. For further development in the TPACK framework, more technology applications in learning and teaching environments are needed.

Evidence collected from qualitative findings

The qualitative findings of this study also clearly show that the pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK perceptions developed during the course. In selecting appropriate educational technology for instructional purposes, technology knowledge is crucial but content knowledge is essential as well (Keating and Evans, 2001; Zhao, 2003; Mishra and Koehler, 2006; Blonder and Rap, 2015), regardless of discipline of study. As emphasized by other researchers, engaging pre-service teachers into the learning process improves their TPACK (Angeli and Valanides, 2009; Koh and Divaharan, 2011; Srisawasdi, 2012; Bang, 2013; Maeng et al., 2013). In the present study, discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular educational technology to facilitate student learning, for example simulations, gave valuable depth to the pre-service chemistry teachers’ chemistry education perspective; while discussing simulations they focused on how that particular simulation covered the chemistry topic, if it contained any mistakes, if it could cause any alternative conceptions, and how it could be used during instruction. The pre-service chemistry teachers appreciated the relation of educational technologies with chemistry education at the end of the semester, having learned about the educational technologies theoretically using rich examples and engaged in the laboratory sessions to discuss the educational technologies in terms of chemistry education. As in the findings of Koh, Chai, and Tsai (2010), the pre-service chemistry teachers indicated that they were more confident in integrating educational technology into chemistry instruction at the end of the study.

Suggestions for future research

The development of the TPACK of pre-service chemistry teachers could also be examined with further studies in terms of how they use the educational technologies during their teaching experience in a real classroom (Mouza et al., 2014). Building and developing TPACK of pre-service teachers is a long process. As mentioned by So and Kim (2009) and also detected in this study, pre-service teachers lack the ability to relate technologies to instructional purposes though they are aware of them; hence, additional efforts and studies should be conducted with pre-service teachers to reveal the importance and applications of educational technologies for teaching and learning. In addition, participants’ self-efficacy beliefs on technology usage in an educational environment could also be determined. Moreover, curriculums should emphasize that chemistry subjects are not easily accomplished by students; using technology for instructional purposes can promote student learning in chemistry (Moore et al., 2013; Ryan, 2013).

Conclusions and implications for practice

In conclusion, the development of pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK is a challenging task to achieve, because integrating newer technologies into content and pedagogy requires advanced knowledge from each component (Koehler and Mishra, 2009; Hoffer and Grandgenett, 2012). When pre-service chemistry teachers are given good examples of teaching chemistry successfully with transparent technologies and emerging technologies, they realize the power of the interaction of content, pedagogy and technology. The collaborative work of chemistry education researchers and instructional technology designers is essential to improve the development of pre-service teachers’ TPACK. An educational technology could unintentionally cause alternative conceptions about the subject; for instance, when a teacher teaches a topic related to gas laws they may choose to use a simulation during the instruction but the simulation might be full of mistakes that could cause alternative conceptions in students’ minds about gas concepts or related concepts. Therefore, software educational technologies should be designed with the help of field experts for more effectiveness. Moreover, there need to be more online sources or repositories that include reviews and ratings and are controlled to be reliable before publishing them. Pre-service teachers would benefit from professional, accurate websites focused on specific areas of interest and built by teachers or teacher educators.

Based on the findings of this study, it would be ideal to conduct further both quantitative and qualitative research studies to gather a deeper understanding of pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK. To give an example, follow-up interviews might be conducted after a survey when possible because these interviews help the collected survey results become more meaningful. Interviews with a greater number of participants than were involved in this study and with academic staff could be undertaken in future research. In addition to these, it would be helpful for pre-service teachers to write reflections about their learning at certain intervals to self-evaluate their development in terms of TPACK. So, as this study's results supported, the development of pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK is essential for teaching and learning chemistry. They must realize the potential of technology in the real-world classroom.

According to the study results, the designed course was found to be effective in improving pre-service chemistry teachers’ TPACK. Thus, the creation of a similar course training pre-service chemistry teachers or application of this course design in other disciplines (such as biology or physics) should also be tested for effectiveness in future studies. Any researchers or academic staff interested in implementing a similar course in their universities are encouraged to contact the authors of this study.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts to declare.

Appendix: sample interview questions

(1) What do you understand by the term “technology”?

(2) Have you ever taught via technology? In which course do you think that you have been taught via technology? (only asked in the pre-intervention interview)

(3) You took the 400 course in the previous semester, was this course challenging for you? (only asked in the pre-intervention interview)

(a) How can you self-evaluate your technology knowledge?

(b) When you come across a problem with your computer can you fix it? Or ask for help?

(4) Would you use any technology when you lecture a chemistry course?

(a) For example, would you prefer to use animations or power point? Why? Or why not?

(b) How would you use any of them?

(5) Would you think that it is efficient for a student to learn content with technology? Why?

(6) While teaching in a chemistry course, do you think that technology should be used? In what ways should it be used? Or not used?

(7) Do you think that in different subjects of chemistry, the use of technology materials would be different? Why? Why not?

(8) Which of the technological materials would you prefer to use in your future chemistry classes? Animations? Simulations? Instructional games? Virtual labs? Why? (only asked in the post-intervention interview)

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