Tata Interactive Learning Forums explore key themes in learning, in both the corporate and academic

From: Tata Interactive Systems
Published: Fri Nov 16 2007

Organised by Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) (www.tatainteractive.com), a world leader in custom e-learning design / development and organisational performance improvement, the forums included two tracks, focusing on higher education and corporate training.

"One of the biggest challenges facing training and educational professionals today is the application of technology to increase learning efficacy, bond the learning community together and facilitate the dialogue between them," commented Sanjaya Sharma, CEO of TIS. "As technological and economic changes continue to redefine the dynamics of learning, there are more questions than there are answers."

Among the highlights of these one-day conferences was a demonstration of an immersive simulation - by Colonel Stephen G Visco, Dean of Distance Learning, at the USAF Air War College - built by TIS, which deals with issues of responsibility, accountability and ethics as well as the military decision-making process.

Another key theme of the TLFs was the growing use of electronic performance support systems (EPSS) to improve time to competency, productivity, and worker accuracy.

Dr Allison Rossett, of San Diego State University, author of best-selling business books, a board member of the E-learning Guild and a noted authority in the field of e-learning, explained that, while all performance support is provided ‘just-in-time’, some performance support is also ‘just-for-me’ – delivering solutions geared to who I am, what I need and what has happened to me in the past.

Fellow speaker, Anita Pai, of ICICI Prudential, India’s leading financial institution, outlined how her organisation is using an EPSS, produced by TIS, to continue to stay competitive in the Indian life assurance market. She said:

"The EPSS reduces dependency on senior professionals to handle complex service requests; it releases specialists’ ‘bandwidth,’ and brings standardisation, consistency, and efficiency in service delivery – and, as an added bonus, has reduced the cost of training our employees."

In addition, Dave Vance, former President of Caterpillar University, the ‘CLO of the Year’ in 2006, and a board member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), not only shared his knowledge on making the right training decisions but also conducted an interactive session where the TLF delegates played one of TIS’s suite of business simulations – TOPSIM - to determine efficient and effective training interventions for their organisations.

Vance explained: "The keys to implementing effective learning in your organization are to align your strategy to business goals, in concert with the goals’ owners and addressing all business priorities.

Among the other speakers at the event were Dr David A. Foster, Dean of Advanced Program Development at DeVry University Online, who discussed the future of online course provision within higher education, and John F Ebersole, President of Excelsior College and a Past President of the University of the Continuing Education Association, who discussed improving student retention through the use of e-learning – particularly for students who lack self-confidence and have weak ‘traditional’ academic skills.

In addition, Stephen Laster, CIO of Harvard Business School, explained to delegates that, within higher education, costs are increasing, budgets shrinking and there is increasing demand for distance learning. He added that globalisation is changing the nature of collaboration; collective intelligence is pushing the boundaries of scholarship, and the assessment of new forms of learning is challenging.

TIS plans to stage further TLFs around the world over the next 12 months, bringing together thought leaders and decision makers in the training and education industry from across the globe gain new perspectives on learning, share success strategies, as well as network informally with other industry leaders.

Notes for editors

About the Tata Interactive Learning Forum (TLF)

The TLF contained two tracks, focusing on higher education and corporate training. Keynote presentations in the corporate track came from Dave Vance, former President of Caterpillar University, the ‘CLO of the Year’ in 2006, and a board member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and fellow ASTD member, Dr Allison Rossett, of San Diego University, author of best-selling business books and also an established board member of the E-learning Guild.

While Vance shared his knowledge on making the right training decisions, Dr Rossett discussed electronic performance support systems (EPSS) and their benefits for organisations.

Speakers and session moderators at this year’s education track of the TLF included Dr David A. Foster, Dean of DeVry University Online; Harvard CIO, Stephen Laster; Jeff Schultz, SVP of McGraw-Hill; John Ebersole, President of Excelsior College; and Colonel Stephen G Visco, Dean of Distance Learning, at the USAF Air War College.

For more information please visit www.tatalearningforum.com

About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)

Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), a global leader in e-learning, is a part of the $22bn Tata Group. Truly international, TIS has a presence across the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Japan, India, and mainland Europe. TIS offers corporations, universities, schools, publishers, and government institutions a diversified and innovative bouquet of learning and training solutions including Simulation-based Learning Objects (SimBLs™), Story-based Learning Objects (StoBLs™), courseware and curriculum design, special-needs education, assessments, electronic performance support systems (EPSS), mobile learning, along with other corporate training and consultancy services. Our multi-disciplinary expertise and 17 years’ experience across domains helps us design e-learning programs that are unique to clients’ requirements and specifically crafted to boost knowledge retention and application.

Apart from holding ISO 9001 certification, TIS is the only e-learning organization in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both the SEI-CMM and P-CMM frameworks. TIS’s quest for excellence is reflected in numerous prestigious industry awards, including a Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award 2005 and 2004, APEX Award of Excellence in 2005 and 2006, BETT Awards in 2004 and 2006, and two Business World–NID Design Excellence awards.

For more information log on to www.tatainteractive.com

Further information from:
Kshitij Nerurkar, Tata Interactive Systems, 00 1 732 906 0002, www.tatainteractive.com
Sonal Chhaya, Tata Interactive Systems, 00 91 22 6643 8132, www.tatainteractive.com
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, 00 44 (0) 1727 860405, www.boblittlepr.com
Company: Tata Interactive Systems
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email: bob.little@dial.pipex.com
Contact Phone: 00 44 (0) 1727 860405

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