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V.P. Gulati and M.V. Sivakumaran Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), Hyderabad. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Abstract The emerging perspectives in e-learning are discussed. The need to re-orient traditional training systems to offer web-based learning, by taking full advantage of the internet technology, is being explained. The IDRBT initiatives in providing e-learning to bankers in India and the emerging challenges for the training system in this regard are considered and commented upon. The paper emphasizes the paramount need for organizations to get into the continuous learning mode to succeed and survive in the knowledge era. 1. Introduction ‘Knowledge Transfer’ seems to be the new mantra that is gaining more acceptance than the traditionally accepted definition of ‘education’. Classrooms today, transcend limitations of time, space, race and language. The Internet has revolutionized the concept of distance education. However, there are certain factors that differentiate the good and the better from the mediocre and the average. 2. Knowledge Transfer in the Banking Industry In a country like India, where the sheer volume of people, the expanse of regions and the diversity of languages exists, this new medium of learning holds immense promise. Take for instance, the banking industry - a vertical segment, where timely adoption of technology plays a critical role in deciding the leader and the laggard. With an employee base from different streams of education and walks of life, it becomes imperative to enhance the awareness and transfer of technology in an easy and efficient manner. If we look at the traditional way of imparting education in this industry, the role of the staff training colleges and similar academic institutions has been vital and significant. While these have largely met our requirements, the changing face of technology being used in our operations necessitates the need to reflect these changes in our human capital on par. The need to transform
into a learning organization is more apparent in today’s dynamic environment. V.P.Gulati, Director, IDRBT M.V.Sivakumaran, Faculty, IDRBT 2.1 The Learning Organization The Society for Organizational Learning (MIT) defines a "Learning Organization" as one in which people at all levels, individually and collectively, are continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about. The Learning Organization is therefore a collective ideal, a vision. The distinguishing feature about a learning organization is that it promotes a culture of learning, a community of learners, and it ensures that individual learning enriches and enhances the organization as a whole. There can be no organizational learning without individual learning, but individual learning must be shared and used by the organization (P. West 1994). The familiar litany of challenges and changesglobal competition, technological advances, quality improvement, knowledge work, demographic diversity, changing social structures - is driving organizations to adapt and change. "The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage" (Murrell and Walsh 1993, p. 295). Today, the banking industry is in the midst of a huge transformation. The voluntary retirement schemes floated by various banks are largely driven by the need to have richer human capital, and the adoption of technology in various operational areas. The need of the hour is to impart knowledge more than learning, and to retool the experienced personnel into more valuable ones. The traditional approach of job rotation and promotional incentives too are being looked at in a different perspective. Banks today realize the need to design career paths and job
open learning will be patronized more.profiles clearly for its personnel. how can a bank ensure that training goes in tandem with daily operations. organizing and instruction modes were lacking in real assessment. Cost and Flexibility will be key factors in choosing the delivery methods. Interactions were not optimized for knowledge transfer. the active learning approach must be with constructivism as the corner stone. 3. Professional development will determine personal success. 3. A country-wide reliable and high-bandwidth leased line network is already available and a large number of players are augmenting this capacity.1 Traditional Corporate Training We were used to short. In the process. The 2 . extraneous information is often left out in order to simplify the content. in a meaningful manner. But learning and application of context: creating not for learning 1 2 are critical to organizational success in the Knowledge Age. training becoming more and more learnerfocussed. The goal is to transfer.3 Internet as a Learning Medium The Internet is being widely positioned as the next big thing in distance education. dense packaged approach in corporate training especially with regard to IT. Access. Using the web as a medium raises its own challenges.” 3. Imparting practical know-how was overlooked or compromised for dense theoretical transfer of knowledge. I recall what Steven J Gill said in this “Modern businesses are good at infrastructure for decision making but learning. Training should be in tandem with daily routines and requirements and this should normally lead to reward for professional development in line with corporate direction. Technology limitations or bandwidth constraints are no longer a concern in distance education.3 Professional Development of Bankers A coherent long-term plan dove-tailed to meet the banker's needs will form the core of a successful e-learning strategy for banks. 2. As adults we face one ill-defined problem after another. and less teacher-focussed. without compromising on the quality aspect? How can a bank personalize the training needs of its staff? 2.2 Corporate Training Revisited To be productive. as the flux of human capital across industries is not a barrier for the learners. Training offerings will mushroom with quality being the differentiating factor. The strategy should provide for professional development to take place over time. highly accessible and efficient means of knowledge transfer. The specific facts that we have to know change so quickly that some knowledge becomes obsolete almost as soon as we master it. To achieve these we must incorporate quality design elements in open learning systems. How can a bank ensure that its employees are knowledgeable than just literate? How can it harness the power of various media to impart the same knowledge across different learning curves? Most importantly.2 Issues involved in Training The issue that a bank faces today is to have cost effective. This approach would work well for the training of basic skills in areas of knowledge that are well defined and stable. The sessions were usually timed away from normal routines. harnessing the power of multimedia to simulate classroom scenarios. as effectively and efficiently as possible. Computer based training materials or CBTs are mostly designed with superficial knowledge transfer in mind. a concise and logical block of information from the teacher or the computer into the minds of the learners. technology does not tend to remain stagnant or stable to ensure success of this approach. Breaking Barriers In this backdrop. This constrains the learners to having limited number of paths through the lesson. The approach was increasingly passive. Planning. However. 3.
the instructor's role moves away from being the sole source of information and moves toward being a coach and originator of resources. the use of video is synergistic when coupled with lecture. Videos are powerful and flexible. by factoring in multiple perspectives of the subject involved. The emphasis is on creating an environment in which the learners can actively create their own meaning in the context. discussion boards. Giving tasks and opportunities. The stress here is on 3 . and allowing collaboration with other learners achieve this. The central objective of the programme is to impart the state of the art knowledge of technology and its management relevant for modern Banking and Financial services to meet the emerging challenges of the information era. multimedia and web-based training. video. and less teacher-focused. Our web based training initiative incorporates the natural complexity of a subject. The learner can acquire the required information from several sources via the internet. and from off-line sources including his or her own prior experience. the use of video and CBTs have been adopted for the benefits they offered to open learning. and from references and other sources of expertise found somewhere far away from the computer screen.4 Traditional Audio Visual Aids and Emerging Technology If we consider the recent use of audio visual aids. groupware. It can be individualized and flexible. sound and text. The programme. While most learn and retain more from images. The program aims to evolve and offer the expert knowledge of each of its courses to individuals crossing geographic boundaries in a cost effective manner through online learning experience of a virtual classroom scenario. a constructivist approach is more learner-focused. the synchronous mode fosters group instruction with teleconferencing. Today. information resources and support. It involves CBT using Internet technologies. listserv. Web based learning is the current frontier for distance education providers. bring classroom to public domain and illustrate concepts and ideas. with the ability to couple images. A constructivist use of technology presents information to the learner in multiple forms from multiple sources and invites the learner to make sense of it. Although the program is initially targeted at individuals working in Banks and Financial Institutions of India but in due course of time it is expected to be open for any qualified individual of the globe who is interested in pursuing a career in Banking and Financial Sector if the candidate satisfies the required norms. rather than to passively absorb knowledge structures created by the instructor. is modular in nature spread over a period of two years. Computer based training aids (CBTs) on the other hand. have been considered a proven method. asynchronous learning tools combine the traditional power of reading material and audio/video tape with data interaction mode such as email. While the asynchronous mode facilitates flexibility and repeatability. evaluate and update. The most predominant and elevating characteristic of web based learning is that it is interactive and not passive. computer conference and computer chats. In general. by giving them enough scope for applying the knowledge gained on a day-to-day basis 3. with built in assessment of skills. subject to revision through feedback. from information gathered while collaborating with other learners. IDRBT Initiatives We at IDRBT have planned to take full advantage of this potential medium of Web Based Learning to provide value added professional development options to bankers across the country. The higher goal is not restricted to the mere transfer of content from the instructor/computer to the learner. scheduled to start in January 2002. providing a cost effective education means over time. audio conferencing videoconferencing. The system should be capable of supporting activities balanced with individual learning needs.process should encourage leadership development of the participants. In this approach. 4. We are offering a Web Based Post Graduate Programme on Banking Technology Management. The learner is encouraged to construct his/her own perception of the content. It is also easy to distribute.
J. IDRBT operates the Indian Financial Network ~ INFINET.The web site for the San Diego State University College of Education. It underscores the need to become more learner focussed and to coordinate activities in real world terms. With different media offering diverse learning paths.  Dodge. This programme also envisages a personal contact module of two weeks in each academic year at IDRBT for facilitating better interaction between the students and the Institute. Securities Settlement System (SSS) etc. Gulati and K. Wilson. Bio-data: Dr. It even provides for optional contact classes at Staff Training Colleges/Centres of banks. 7 days a week enabling the students to post assignments conveniently anytime during their daily schedule. promote anytime access to materials and Internet use for professional development and continuing education.V. a high performance infrastructure based on VSAT and leased line technology. G. The Faculty of the Staff Colleges of Banks will act as mentors for this web based programme. electronic archives. V. including traditional staff training resources.cases studies. H. The virtual classroom is available 24 hours a day. problem solving. Web based training is the emerging technology. P.. R. (ERIC No. which promises to deliver a simulated classroom environment. NIBM (Feb. 4 . B. and the creation of meaning.. "Leadership Development at Federal Express Corporation. Gulati and Sangeetha Sam “Opening Up Learning with Web Cast Technologies”. video conferencing. Centralised Fund Management System (CFMS). The resources get updated and the capability for “just in time” delivery of the staff is critical.P.. 1(2). Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT). apart from advisory services. Hyderabad. bulletin boards and other value added services. & Grabinger. P. 2001)  EdWeb . Summary Professional development seekers who seek to add value to their work environment are embracing open learning more and more. Journal of ComputerBased Instruction. the challenges that web based training poses are that resources are always available and the users are aware of the resources. to cater to the Information Technology needs of the Banking and Financial sector through research and development initiatives. Constructivist uses of expert systems to support learning. S. to ensure success in corporate training context. (ERIC No. IDRBT Working Paper No. (1995). Web Quests: A technique for internet-based learning. P. B. Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS). Wang. As trainers. 3 (Fall 1993): 295-302.  V. The programme focusses on a step-by-step. P. Ganapathy “Technology Based Distance Learning – New Vistas for Banks”. spread across the country. 11 (1994): 30-38.S. (1993). H. Internet and teleconferences." Human Resource Development Quarterly 4. no. 2 (9). Principals Conference. EJ 497 198)  Jonassen. J. The Distance Educator. Another aspect is that the resources are available in multiple formats. 10-13. Currently. D.P. 1 (1999)  Murrell. and Walsh. The training system should be proactive to provide a rapid response to emerging training needs in a constantly evolving business paradigm. IDRBT is a unique apex body established by the Reserve Bank of India.. References  V. The trainers should therefore make key informational and instructional information available on the web. instructor facilitated and student centered. "The Learning Organization: Losing the Luggage in Transit?" Journal of European Industrial Training18. The system provides access to chat.Gulati is currently Director. video. the challenge to the trainer is to deliver contemporary content in multimedia-packaged formats and deliver them across different platforms. EJ 473 917)  West. Radha. no. and plans to host intrabank and inter-bank applications like Structured Financial Messaging Solution (SFMS). R. hands-on instruction using a learning methodology that is highly interactive. 5. while offering flexibility in terms of time and location.
5 . He has started his career with Indian Institute of Management. To his credit there are number of research papers published in national and international journals and he has also written two books. He did his Graduation and Post Graduation.Dr Gulati is a member of number of Committee’s set up by RBI. Pune and Institute of Rural Management (IRMA). and Government etc. Before joining IDRBT he was Professor at National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM). Kanpur (IITK).both from Indian Institute of Technology. IBA. Calcutta. Dr. He is a consultant and advisor to number of Banks and Institutions. Delhi (IITD) and Ph. He has participated in number of national and international conferences and presented papers.D from Indian Institute of Technology. Gulati has brilliant academic career. Anand in the area of Computer and Information Systems.
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