Regional Dialogue (RD), with funding from the U.S. Department of State DRL Bureau and in cooperation with Tashkent State Law University (TSUL), has been actively engaged in an ongoing project aimed at enhancing the educational capacity of legal education institutions in Uzbekistan.
The project aimed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience from foreign experts in the field of legal education, specifically focusing on curriculum design. As part of this initiative, three key topics were covered in virtual classes, namely Backward design, Lesson planning, and Interactive methods of teaching. The last offline Capstone workshop on assessment was the culmination of a six-month series of sessions focused on curriculum design.
The first two sessions were conducted in person in Tashkent City and Tashkent Region in October 2022. Since February 2023, Regional Dialogue, in cooperation with TSUL, has provided a series of comprehensive training programs to law colleges across the 13 regional and the Karakalpakstan Republic’s law colleges.
Each of the 14 law colleges participating in the project received three (mostly online) sessions conducted by esteemed foreign experts. These experts included Amy Wallace, Assistant Professor of Law at New York Law School and Advisor for Law School Programs at Street Law; Kris Franklin, a Professor at the New York Law School; Andrew Perkins, Truman Boden University Professor and Street Law Specialist; and a national expert Kamola Alieva, a Constitutional Law Professor at TSUL.
During the virtual sessions, the participants familiarized themselves with the definition of backward planning, how to collaborate with colleagues to examine a course they teach, to draft educational outcomes for the courses they teach, how to create a course plan to achieve the educational outcomes and compare course plans of other participants. The second and third virtual sessions introduced Bloom’s Taxonomy into designing the lessons and methodologies guide with different teaching methods.
The Capstone session, facilitated by Amy Wallace, Kris Franklin, Andrew Perkins, and Richard Grimes, IndependentLegal Education Consultant, Visiting Professor University of Edinburgh, Charles University, Prague and New Vision University, Tbilisi, served as the final in-person session in the training series.
During the Capstone sessions, both the experts and participants engaged in a comprehensive review of common formats for formative and summative assessments. These sessions allowed them to gain valuable insights into the categorization of assessments and explored the concept of rubrics. The experts guided on creating rubrics, using specific tasks as illustrative examples.
The comprehensive bottom-up approach in building the capacity of legal education institutions has proven to invoke the maximum impact, leading to positive change and development. Capacity building activities are essential to equip the beneficiaries with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to invoke change in teaching and how we approach it, planning the curriculum, and assessment. Following the capacity building workshop Regional Dialogue will cooperatewith experts and based on the discussions with faculties around the country develop the recommendations for the TSUL’s leadership on possible steps forward.