The Centre for Professional and Lifelong Education (CPLE) and Graduate School hosted on May 31st the annual Teaching, Learning and Research Symposium 2022. This year's Symposium aimed at enabling academic staff to share pedagogical practices that advance student engagement and promote innovation in teaching and research. It also recognized the staff's commitment and contribution to the university.  

Dr. Michael Clarke, First Deputy Rector (Academic Affairs) of the Westminster International University in Tashkent welcomed the participants while keynote speaker Professor Andrew Linn focused his presentation on the importance of paying attention to the voices of all stakeholders in language planning if policies on language use are likely to be accepted and effective.

Terms like information society or digital citizens have arguably gone beyond the walls of conferences and symposiums. They have almost become the language of the public since the availability of various types of digital technologies has resulted in an immense amount of information on the Internet. On the other hand, this trend has posed challenges to academicians as students have now struggled to locate, evaluate, and use reliable and valid information online. Kamola Ibragimova and Lola Shadmanova, from LRC, introduced their new self-paced online course on information and digital literacy to train WIUT students to think critically and click wisely. 

Moreover, rapid changes in digital technologies have also resulted in scholarly debates. While some argue that smart technology lowers our intelligence, others debunk this belief and suggest that technology allows humans to avoid menial tasks like calculation or memorization and deal with more complex tasks like creativity, critical thinking and more. Academic staff members Dilrabo Babakulova and Sabina Khadjikanova argued about the importance of reflective writing to develop analytical skills and creativity in learners. They shared their research results on reflective writing among Pre-University BEAP 2 students.             

Modern society has constantly pushed universities to engage in dialogues with industrial sectors to produce graduates ready for today's job market. Accordingly, the assessment literature has recently increased its focus on authenticity. Colleagues from the Global Education Department demonstrated authentic assessment methods with some practical guidance on implementing them. While Nodira Isamuxamedova discussed the case of using blogging for assessment with MALT students, Rozaliya Ziryanova talked about the assessment method used in the Essentials of Facilitation module, which led to meaningful learning for participants. Both authors evaluated the effectiveness of the assessment methods highly as they perfectly reflected real-life jobs their graduates will be performing in the future. 

Gulnaz Bektemirova, from Student Support Center, and Ulugbek Islamov, from Management and Marketing Department, explored equally essential areas of teaching and learning at university – academic counselling and mentoring. During her speech, Gulnaz Bektemirova provided insights into the academic counsellor's role and the ways to make it work through a focus group discussion involving different stakeholders, particularly academics who have experience performing the role. The finalist of the Faculty Enrichment Program by the American Councils for International Education, Ulugbek Islamov drew recommendations for WIUT staff based on the best practices of faculty mentoring he learned from the experience of the University of Arkansas. 

Teaching is changing. Today's lecturers' jobs are no longer simply about passing on knowledge to students. Given the rapid rise of digital technologies and an immense amount of information available online, lecturers are now tasked to develop pedagogically sound approaches to teaching and learning so that there is a heightened level of student engagement. Most of these approaches require the integration of technology. However, how are the WIUT colleagues responding to these challenges? The presentations of colleagues from Finance Department look into this topic. Lecturer Sen Ram Rritwik revealed how he employed "a specific approach", implementation of experiential learning in Professional and Research Skills for Finance, using the Interactive Brokers - Trader Workstation ("IB-TWS") software. He reported that his approach led to heightened involvement among his students in the practical nature of the decision problems that the trading project required them to solve. Similarly, Abdulaziz Djalilov and Feruza Yodgorova presented their study results that investigated whether the application of game-based learning in Finance and Accounting module seminars would enhance student engagement.

The event ended with the announcement of the Symposium winners. The panel of judges consisted of Alisher Pulatov, Dean of School of Law, Education and Technology of WIUT, Professor Andrew Linn and Zohid Askarov, Dean of School of Business and Economics of WIUT. The first place was awarded to Abdulaziz Djalilov and Feruza Yodgorova for their presentation on game-based learning.