Often, in casual conversations and formal presentations I hear academicians, training designers, training managers, executives in decision making roles, instructional designers, visual designers and technology experts share their views and experiences in their domain. I got to learn a lot by listening and interacting with them. On some occasions, I managed to chat up and know more about their plans, observations, ideas pertaining to use of technology in teaching, training, coaching and learning. 

A Conversation with Videhi Bhamidi - E-learning professional and researcher

The need for formal education and training in Instructional Design is strongly perceived by many professionals in India, particularly in the field of E-learning and Instructional Design. However, we have very few educational institutions offering graduate or post-graduate level courses and opportunities for training and research in this domain despite the growing awareness about the field of specialization and expanding job market in India. I had a long chat with Videhi on some aspects of education in e-learning and topics related to content design, especially for M-Learning.

Videhi Bhamidi has worked as a training assistant, content analyst, and technical writer before she decided to pursue an M.S in Learning & Technology from the University of Oxford, UK. She says her coursework has not only broadened her understanding about diverse applications of e-learning related research, but has helped her unveil the theoretical underpinnings of her prior work experience. It has also offered useful insights into the creation of research-based and effective learning experiences. 

Click here to read the complete conversation. 

A Conversation with Mathew Kuruvilla - Vice President - Human Resources -Business Partner,
Deutsche Bank AG, Mumbai.

In many organizations, technology is seamlessly integrated with initiatives in training and talent management, learning and development. Technology enabled learning and the use of social media in information sharing have proven to contribute positively to employee retention and performance improvement. Mathew Kuruvilla has had a rich experience in these areas and I sought his views on the recent trends in L&D, with specific interest in evolving technologies and the use of social media. Mathew has spent close to two decades in the field of HR, learning and organization development. He has experience in designing interventions across levels, designing and implementing organization wide change initiatives, assessing and implementing learning technology solutions. During the last decade he has been heading organization development functions for large multinational corporations in consulting, IT and Financial services sectors. He currently heads HR for the Global Technology, Finance and Risk functions in Deutsche Bank AG, India. 

Click here to read the complete conversation.

A Conversation with Dr. Dinesh Katre - Associate Director and HoD at Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Pune

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is closely related to how we design and develop e-learning and m-learning. While writing my book, I explored topics related to HCI by reading and interacting with experts in the field. 
I got to learn a lot by visiting Dinesh's website and reading his publications on a host of topics in this domain. Dinesh's contribution is immensely valuable in creating awareness about different aspects of HCI such as Human Factors in Product Design, Visualization and Design of Innovative Features, User Experience Design (Interface, Interaction, Content) and so on. Presently, at CDAC, he manages multiple teams and coordinates between diverse technology development groups. During past 17 years at C-DAC, he has conceptualized and implemented many R&D sponsored projects that deal with Digital Museum Archives, e-Learning, Interactive Game Design and Multimedia Authoring.  He has published around 30 research papers in international conferences and journals. Recently, I got a chance to catch up with him and learn more about the relevance of HCI in e-learning.

Click here to read the complete conversation.

A Conversation with Rajesh A. R (Head - Employment Services( iRize) at Manipal Education)

India faces a huge challenge of appropriate employment generation for millions of young people. Vocational training and skill development are critical in creating employable workforce. And, if these initiatives are supported by technology based learning, we could have the double advantage of reaching the learners in remote locations and providing them quality training in a cost effective way. In fact, a section of my book is dedicated to some examples of how vocational training can be improved through e-learning. I had a chance to chat with Rajesh A R on some broader aspects of skill development and vocational training in India. Rajesh heads the Employment Services, iRize,  at Manipal Education. His current focus is to set up a self-sustaining employment exchange network of assessed, trained and certified candidates across all profiles in cities/towns linking various stakeholders like Government, educational institutions, training/recruitment companies and NGOs/Non-profit organizations to cater to the human resource needs of organized and unorganized corporate sectors.

Click here to read the complete conversation.

A Conversation with Ms. Purnima Valiathan (Consultant, E-learning and training design and development)

Instructional Design plays an important role in any training and technology-based learning program. Sound design comprises an appropriate instructional strategy that helps learners meet their learning and performance goals. Hence, the instructional designers not only facilitate engaging and enjoyable learning experiences, they also understand the big picture of learning by enhancing the learnability of the content. While writing my book, I referred to several books and articles for interpreting the field of design (both instructional and visual - see chapters 5, 6 and 7), Purnima Valiathan's articles and white papers proved to be of great value in the some areas of design such as interacting with the SME, creating assessments and so on. Purnima is an e-learning and training consultant based in Delhi (NCR). I got in touch with her to know more about her experience while interacting with the SMEs and how she perceives the present trends in the e-learning domain.

Click here to read the complete conversation.

A Conversation with Prof. Mangala Sunder Krishnan, IIT Madras (Coordinator and Head, NPTEL)

My book provides examples of how NPTEL content can be used to complement classroom learning. In a recent E-Learning Conference, I had an opportunity to meet Prof. Mangala Sunder Krishnan from IIT Madras, who is the coordinator and head of the NPTEL initiative from the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. NPTEL is a joint initiative of the IITs and IISc in providing free online courseware. Here, you will find hundreds of e-learning courses offered through the web and video formats in Engineering, Science and Humanities streams. The mission of NPTEL is to enhance the quality of higher education in the country by providing free content that can be used as reference and supplementary material in various courses.

Click here to read the complete conversation.