The Impact of a 16-Week Preparation Course on the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Graduate Teaching Assistants in Engineering

Saadeddine Shehab, Joshua E. Katz, Emma Kirby, Marcia Pool, Yuting W. Chen, Blake Everett Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is an important framework that defines teachers' competencies for teaching effectively with technology. Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) in engineering need to develop their TPACK so they can effectively fulfill their teaching responsibilities and be better prepared for future teaching or industry careers, which usually entails communicating effectively with others and mentoring interns and other team members. Research studies have shown that semester-long courses (16 weeks) are the most effective preparation formats for preparing GTAs to teach in engineering; however, the content that constitutes such a course and the impact of the course on the GTAs' TPACK domains still require further exploration. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of a semester-long preparation course on the TPACK domains of GTAs in Engineering. In Spring 2022, 165 GTAs took a semester-long teaching and leadership preparation course for engineering graduate students. The course was composed of fourteen 50-minute weekly sessions, seven bi-weekly written assignments, and one optional service learning project. Forty-seven students participated in the study. They completed a validated and reliable pre- and post-survey that is composed of 28 items to assess the impact of the course on the teaching competencies associated with the TPACK domains. The results of paired sample t-tests indicated positive impacts on the GTAs' pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge, technological content knowledge, technological pedagogical knowledge, and technological pedagogical content knowledge domains. Years of teaching experience, year in school, and engineering major were not significant factors. Future courses need to include guided activities that can assist the GTAs in merging the pedagogical and technological knowledge into the content knowledge domain. One way to accomplish this would be to make the service learning project mandatory and provide the needed support for the GTAs to make the connections between what they want to teach (content), how to teach it (pedagogy), and what technological tools can be used to teach it (technology). Future studies will explore possibilities of implementing this and its impact on the GTAs' TPACK domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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