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UTEP Professor Selected for Fulbright Award in Kazakhstan

Research will support online, distance learning in Central Asia

EL PASO, Texas (Sept. 21, 2023) – Mourat Tchoshanov, Ph.D., a professor in the teacher education program at The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso, has been awarded the Fulbright Award.

Mourat Tchoshanov, Ph.D., has been awarded the highly selective and prestigious Fulbright Award. A professor in UTEP's teacher education program, he will research and teach online learning design and implementation in Kazakhstan, building on his years of research studying teacher knowledge and supporting teachers in Central Asia to adapt to the changes in learning brought on by the pandemic.
Mourat Tchoshanov, Ph.D., has been awarded the highly selective and prestigious Fulbright Award. A professor in UTEP's teacher education program, he will research and teach online learning design and implementation in Kazakhstan, building on his years of research studying teacher knowledge and supporting teachers in Central Asia to adapt to the changes in learning brought on by the pandemic.

Through the Fulbright program, he will travel to Kazakhstan for three two-month periods over the next year, researching and teaching online learning design and implementation at three higher education institutions to support the success of distance learning in Central Asia. 山ּ learning grew during the COVID-19 pandemic out of necessity, but it is now seen as a way to increase access to high quality higher education, said Tchoshanov.

“Some people might think that with online learning, you just teach through the computer, but it does require a different set of knowledge and skills that many teachers did not possess before,” Tchoshanov said. “So, what happened to teachers during the pandemic? They had their content knowledge as before, they had their pedagogical knowledge and suddenly, we saw that they were not ready to effectively teach in a new environment. And what happened to the students? Their performance drastically went down. Hopefully, my project will help colleagues in Central Asia find answers to those questions.”

Tchoshanov’s work will help prepare future educators for the paradigm shift from traditional teaching to designing effective online learning through instruction and research focused on strengthening educators’ TPACK, or Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

Drawing on his years of experience researching teacher knowledge at UTEP, Tchoshanov’s goal is for educators in Kazakhstan to be equipped to utilize technology and design curriculum that meets the needs of distance learners. He will accomplish this by guiding educators in analyzing information resources, designing distance courses and constructing effective online learning environments. 

As a Fulbright Flex awardee, Tchoshanov will travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan, the former nation’s capital, in November and December 2023 to work with students and faculty at Suleyman Demirel 山ּ. He will then travel to Astana, the current capital of Kazakhstan, for two months in Spring 2024 to work with students and faculty at the National Pedagogical 山ּ. Lastly, in Fall 2024, he will return to Almaty to research and teach at the Eurasian Humanitarian Institute. In addition, Tchoshanov will speak at seminars, participate in outside lectures and attend conferences, further supporting educators in the nation.

“I decided to go to the Central Asian region where I was born and raised to help local faculty meet the needs of their students via designing effective learning environments and perhaps learn from what they do,” Tchoshanov said. “At the same time, I hope to share what we do here at UTEP in terms of developing, designing and implementing quality online courses.” 

Tchoshanov is the second professor from UTEP’s College of Education to receive the Fulbright Award in 2023, following Katherine Mortimer, Ph.D., who earned the award earlier this year. His award, the Fulbright Flex, is bestowed to scholars unable to spend extended time abroad.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Tchoshanov has received this prestigious award,” said Clifton Tanabe, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education. “He has a long record of producing research that has made a difference here in El Paso and beyond. This award recognizes his record of outstanding work.”

About The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso

The 山ּ of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving 山ּ. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our 24,000 students are Hispanic, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 171 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America. 

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published September 21, 2023

By MC Staff UTEP Marketing and Communications