A research study done at the College of Education at SQU, proposes a design framework for a Small Private Online Course (SPOC) for on-campus students at Omani higher education institutions. Mohammed Al Aghbari, an employee of SQU, carried out this work as a part of his Master’s degree program at the College of Education under the supervision of Prof. Ali Al Mosawi. The thesis defense chaired by Dr. Khalaf Al Abri with Prof. Saleh Al Ataiwi as external examiner, took place the other day.
The study of Al Aghbari employs design-based research and the descriptive analytic approach along with universal and local literature to propose a design framework for a SPOC in order to answer the research questions. The proposed framework is expected to work as a roadmap for Omani higher education institutions to build their own contextual SPOCs. The proposed design principles were re-categorized and validated. The final framework was formed, which consists of five categories: instructional design, communication, interaction, and collaboration, student evaluation and assessment, learner support and resources, and contextual logistics.
The sample included diverse participants: instructional designers, subject matter experts, e-learning experts and policy makers. In addition, the sample included 50 undergraduate students at Sultan Qaboos University that were enrolled in the developed online course.
The main findings of this study centered around the three outcomes of design based research (DBR). First, problem analysis-related design principles for SPOCs. Second, the intervention design and development, which includes the new online course that follows the proposed design principles. Third, the recommended design principles to solve the contextual SPOCs in Omani higher education institutions, in addition to other recommendations.