Contextualizing the Global Standards for Designing Online Courses: A Design-Based Research Approach for Developing SPOCs

Mohamed Al Aghbari, Mohammed Osman, Ali S. Al-Musawi*

*Corresponding author for this work

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E-learning has become a viable mean to both Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and Small Private Open Courses (SPOCs). Research has shown that the quality and effectiveness of these types of courses depend largely on the contextual factors that may impact the design and development of online courses. This study highlights a design framework for a SPOC offered at Sultan Qaboos University. It employs a design-based research methodology, which is a systematic research approach aimed to improve instructional practices through iterative analysis, design, development, and implementation to produce contextually-sensitive design principles. The sample of this study consists of a diverse group of subjects including instructional designers, subject-matter experts, as well as students. The findings illustrate the importance of contextual logistics that need to be considered in the design and development of SPOCs. The findings also highlight the importance of the DBR as a suitable research methodology for similar developmental studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Design-based research methodology, design principles, SPOC, MOOC, online courses.

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