- From June 5-6, more than 70 participants from leading training institutes and representatives from the government and private sector attended a two-day workshop on “Accelerating Learning for Development: Designing and Implementing E-learning in New Delhi.
- The workshop discussed global trends, the potential of e-learning, and introduced participants to a step-by-step process of designing and delivering e-learning.
- E-learning is emerging as the new medium for training and building capacity, and the World Bank leveraged this medium by launching the e-Institute in 2011.
July 21, 2014―More than 70 participants from leading training institutes from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Mauritius, and representatives from the government and private sector attended a two-day workshop on “Accelerating Learning for Development: Designing and Implementing E-learning,” organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI) on June 5-6, 2014 in New Delhi. The workshop discussed global trends, the potential of e-learning, and introduced participants to a step-by-step process of designing and delivering e-learning to scale-up training for key stakeholders working for economic and social development.
E-learning is emerging as the new medium for training and building capacity as more and more people are getting connected to the internet today. The World Bank leveraged this medium by launching the e-Institute, an online learning platform for development practitioners in 2011. The e-Institute offers a suite of nearly 100 e-courses; in three years it has been accessed by around 130,000 practitioners globally.
Highlighting the potential of e-learning, Abha Joshi Ghani, Director for Knowledge Exchange and Learning, WBI said, “Today, learning is an imperative to address capacity gaps of practitioners. It is not the volume that matters, but the way in which knowledge is being transferred. Evidence-based knowledge, transferred regularly as bite-sized learning, can significantly impact practitioners in their day-to-day work.”
E-learning offers a significant potential to scale-up training, complementing the traditional approach of face-to-face training. In his key note address, Mr Alok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Personnel and Training, Govt. of India said, “India faces a challenge of training 7 million Government personnel. With a limited number of training institutions, face-to-face training for everyone is not practicable. E-learning offers a feasible solution. India also has the technological wherewithal to scale capacity building through e-learning.”
“Technology can be transformational,” said Mr. Onno Ruhl, Country Director India, World Bank. “Every year one million people come into the labour market in India. They need skilling, and e-learning is a tremendous opportunity here.” He cited India as a unique example which has both widespread illiteracy and strong ICT capacity at the same time. The World Bank has recently launched an e-learning diploma for procurement professionals in India, being delivered in partnership with leading Indian training institutes and a panel of 50 public procurement consultants and trainers from across the country. In another project, the Bank is training about 300,000 teachers in Bihar through e-learning.
The China Academy of Governance (CAG) is a leading example of how appropriate incentives and commitment have led to significant scale-up of online learning. A long-term partner of WBI, the CAG has worked with the e-Institute to customize global e-learning into Chinese language and context, and train thousands of civil servants over the last three years. In 2013 alone, the Academy put 1600 courses online and trained almost 16,500 government officials. Joining via video conference, Ms. Yuanyuan Deng, Director, Education Technology Division, China Academy of Governance said, “During our collaboration with WBI, an important learning was on the evaluation framework, which we incorporated into the CAG's programs. We would like to continue using the e-Institute platform and resources to provide better courses for civil servants in China.”
Some of the institutes that have initiated e-learning in India also shared their experience, opportunities and challenges - the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, is supporting ICT-based education in the country; the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has launched e-courses on climate change; and the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) is training NGOs and public on Social Accountability Tools. The participants recognized that for e-learning to scale up there is need to strengthen the infrastructure and internet access, focus on high quality multi-media content, train the trainers to deliver e-courses, and deliver courses in local languages.
Technology can be transformational. Every year one million people come into the labour market in India. They need skilling, and e-learning is a tremendous opportunity here.Onno Ruhl, Country Director India, World BankThe second day of the workshop focused on the practical hands-on approach to developing e-learning courses. Ms Sheila Jagannathan, Program Manager, e-Institute, stressed the importance of taking a systematic approach to design effective learning programs, including defining the learning objectives, identifying methods and tools to deliver e-learning, assembling the program, and monitoring and evaluating results. She stressed on the need for learner-centric pedagogy, balancing theoretical content with “active” peer-based learning, and facilitation by experts to improve learning effectiveness.
Emerging trends like e-learning via social networks and gaming, use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), cloud-based platforms and learning analytics were shared. A key highlight of the workshop was the creative “learning designs” generated by participants in response to a group exercise requiring them to develop a learning plan to meet the capacity development needs identified in four typical cases.