Currently, because of the long lasting Covid 19 pandemic teaching and learning partly has to shift to an online mode or in other words, emergency remote teaching. Observations show that online teaching and learning in higher educational context is an underexploited research area. Therefore, Online Teaching and Learning (OTL) cluster sets as a goal to study social- economic, pedagogic aspects of OTL, quality assurance of OTL by measuring its effectiveness using Community of Inquiry Framework, problems both educators and students face during online classes and online professional development activities. The OTL researchers group aims to propose an effective approach to deliver online classes in the context of higher education in Uzbekistan which ensures that students experience a meaningful and effective online learning.
Educational Landscape of Higher Education (HE) in Uzbekistan is changing dynamically due to reforms undertaken by the government of Uzbekistan. Because of a systematic approach in implementation of reforms in a short period of time the coverage of the population with higher education increased from 9 percent in 2016 up to 29 percent in 2021. Lately a decree of the President of The Republic of Uzbekistan was issued ‘On approval of the Concept of development of the higher education system of Uzbekistan until 2030’. This document defines pivotal goals regarding the development in the sphere of HE. Particularly, one of the high- stake goals is to expand the coverage of the population with HE up-to 50 percent. This will be done by strengthening public-private partnership in the sphere of HE, by establishing public and non-governmental institutions in the regions of Uzbekistan and by encouraging a healthy competitive environment in the field. Currently, the number of transnational institutions in Uzbekistan is surging year by year. Therefore, this particular research cluster is exploring internationalization of higher education in Uzbekistan which includes areas such as international student mobility, transnational higher education, international branch campuses, privatization of higher education, and the introduction of academic rankings of world universities. The research findings will help the HE actors to better react to the challenges which may be faced in a new environment, to support the smooth implementation of the governmental reforms in the field and encourage the exchange of expertise between local and international universities.
Due to a number of distractors such as smartphones or laptops connected to free university WI-FI, at the present time, it has become quite challenging to gain the attention of students during the classes. Teachers have to use different methods to deliver their lesson’s content and to assess students’ knowledge in an effective way. Thus, this particular cluster investigates contemporary methods in teaching and learning, including technology enhanced learning, technology-integrated tasks-based learning on the SAMR model implemented in synchronous sessions, blended and flipped classrooms, project-based learning, focused freewriting in the context of academic writing and sustainable assessment in higher education. The research results obtained by the research cluster will help to design module curricula meeting the standards and requirements set by the changes taking place in the current educational discourse.
To promote quality learning and have qualified graduates, it is very important to detect whether the academic language degree of students at higher education institutions is good enough to understand the teaching materials effectively. Assessment in language education and academic writing cluster focuses on approaches to assessing language skills at higher educational institutions. It studies the application of assessment principles to university written assignments, essential characteristics of academic language, the relationship between academic vocabulary and students’ writing performance, students' skills of incorporation of sources in their academic writing.
In recent years, several positive changes took place in the context of higher education regarding inclusivity in Uzbekistan. Following the decree of the President of Uzbekistan dated December 1, 2017 “On measures to fundamentally improve the system of state support for persons with disabilities” physically challenged enrollees received special privileges when entering higher educational institutions. This cluster’s aim is to research to what extent higher educational establishments of Uzbekistan are ready to provide proper facilities, technologies, and resources to provide inclusive education. Also, the group is interested to find the answers to questions such as to what extent the teachers cope with the needs of physically challenged students, which methods they use to teach them and eventually, compare the obtained results to the practices applied in developed countries.
Uzbekistan being a multinational country pays a huge attention to the promotion of language learning. At schools students learn multiple foreign languages such as English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Indian and others. Based on the decree "On measures to raise activities to promote the study of foreign languages in the Republic of Uzbekistan" signed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (2021, May 19) the Agency for the Promotion of the Study of Foreign Languages was established under the Cabinet of Ministers (subsidiary posts are formed in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, all regions and Tashkent city). The agency’s main activity is to promote the learning of foreign languages by different incentives Having these developments set by the government, the research cluster of second and third language acquisition is doing research on the roles of tasks and input in instructed second language development, teachers’ perceptions and beliefs about tasks, English as a medium of instruction in higher educational institutions.
Continuous professional development is substantial for the professional growth of the teachers and helps them to keep their skill and knowledge updated. Teacher’s professional development happens in forums, conferences, and special professional development sessions in both face-to face and online modes. This cluster’s group of researchers study the impact of online professional development activities on teachers’ cognition. It may include involvement of teachers in professional groups in social media (e.g. Telegram groups, Facebook), webinars, online courses and others. Besides, this cluster explores how teachers carry out research and what problems they may face in this path. Particularly, they would like to answer the questions such as how teachers with no or little experience in publishing can overcome the so-called researcher's block or what the university teachers’ perceptions is about peer observation as well as ways of assessing the performance of teachers.
The aim of this research cluster is to investigate how the World literature had an influence on the late 19th and early 20th centuries Central Asian writers/poets. It explores Jadidism, Jadid writers/poets of Turkistan/Central Asia, Literature and National Identity formation. Another area of research within this cluster is to investigate how young adults, and their problems are reflected in contemporary American literature.