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  • 2023_Thomson_PhD

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Experiencing Academic Staff Development through TPACK: A Phenomenographic Study.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Simon Thomson
Publication date8/06/2023
Number of pages255
Awarding Institution
Award date8/06/2023
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework has predominantly been used to inform the development of pre-service teachers in the integrated use of technology in their teaching. This thesis seeks to extend the use of TPACK and as such examines the experiences of academic staff, at a single higher educational institution in the United Kingdom, in using TPACK as a framework for their professional development. This research adds to existing TPACK related research through understanding the extent to which the framework might be used to inform a more holistic approach to digital skills development of academic staff.
Using phenomenography as the research methodology, data is collected through semi-structured interviews, analysed and presented through the conceptions and resulting outcome spaces to show the variations by which the participants experience the use of TPACK in the context of their professional development. The findings show that participants experience their professional development in a hierarchical manner, as presented through the outcome spaces. The types of development experienced range from informal conversational development through to much more formal external academic research conferences, all of which contribute to an individual’s complex development requirements. The range of development activities were identified to have a varying level of reach or impact, from development that is a ‘requirement’ which has limited reach beyond the individual, to development which impacts curriculum and students over many years. Additionally, the way in which participants experience TPACK as a framework is equally as varied, from those who experience it as single knowledge forms through to a more complex inter-connected knowledge forms with contextual relationships.
These findings help educational developers and academics understand more clearly the range of development experiences required to support holistic professional development, as well as providing insights into the various complex ways in which individual academic staff will experience the same framework. Additionally, it was possible to determine the extent to which the TPACK framework is effective for academic development units in assisting them to identify development needs and provide appropriate development opportunities, with a more integrated approach to digital skills development that uses TPACK as a basis to provide a more holistic model of professional development for academic staff.