DEVELOPING & FORMATIVELY EVALUATING A GRADUATE COURSE IN INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN FOR THE ARABIAN GULF UNIVERSITY DISTANCE TEACHING & TRAINING
As an extension of the postgraduate studies at the Arabian Gulf University, Distance Teaching & Training Program was established to prepare human resources to pursue the professional development and continuous learning based on the regional and international Distance Teaching and Learning standards, a graduate course entitled "Instructional Design" was developed, field tested and formatively evaluated. The major outcomes of the course were identified: to help the students mastering the skills needed for analyzing Open and Distance Learning models according to learners’ analysis, learning content analysis, communications & information technologies and helping learners to acquire the skills needed for designing and building course materials that suits open and distance learning. The course outlines and learning material was developed and guided by ADDIE instructional design model. As an instructional designer and open learning writer; the author utilized the systematic approach of course development and writing the material for ODL based on principles of learning driven from the different learning schools and fit distance learning. The course material was reviewed by two professors; the internal reviewer from the Arabian Gulf University and the external from Kuwait University. The course was launched online for the first time using the WebCT LMS for the academic year 2007/2008 and Blackboard since 2009/2010 and taught for around 7 years then evaluated by DTTP students’. The present study is mainly intended to explore the activities utilized for developing the course material and then report on the results of the formative evaluation of the module. The end results were a Workbook in Instructional Design for Distance & Open Learning plus an interactive internet –based learning environment that fount to highly satisfy the learners, motivate them for learning and facilitate their learning outcomes.