P. Reddy, J. Eppard

The INSPIRE (Innovative Scholarly Projects Informed by Research in Education) Center at Zayed University is currently developing online resources for self-directed learners, students in the university who are training to be teachers and professionals in the workplace looking to add to their professional repertoire or need additional support. The goal is to ensure that all teachers in the UAE have a basic understanding of key concepts in the field of education. The resources will be bilingual and will include videos, readings, assessments, feedback and finally non-formal recognition. This project is unique to this part of the world in that very few materials with a focus on education are available in Arabic. In addition, the units will be stand-alone and not necessarily related to one another.

They will provide pertinent information for educators as outlined by the Ministry of Education in the UAE which is based on research and best practices within an international context. These units will follow an xMOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) format as described by Bates (2014) and Wright (2003) which will be further described in this session. One important specification we considered, due to the cultural environment, was taking into account the learners backgrounds, ability levels and expectations.

This session will briefly describe the rationale behind the project’s instructional design process and highlight key components of the InSPIRE project, as well as some of the unique characteristics pertinent to the UAE educational context. The session will also provide insight into developing materials for a bilingual and multicultural population and the challenges faced when developing resources for this diverse population. Presenters will also describe the next stages of the project as well as how the project will be evaluated.