St George banks on e-learning

St George Bank will invest millions of dollars over the next three years in e-learning for its 8000 staff nationally.

After completing a three-month pilot program last month, the company is going ahead with the implementation.

The e-learning pilot, designed to test St George's readiness to use e-learning combined with face-to-face training, involved more than 300 participants nationally in selected areas of the bank's call centres and branch network.

St George selected e-learning solutions provider LearnNow to help develop and deliver the pilot program. The provider suppliedthe Learning Management System (LMS), or technology platform, to administer the pilot, while the initial courseware was provided from the course library of SkillSoft.

According to the bank's corporate performance general manager, Colin Pitt, proprietary software is being developed as the foundation of its programs.

"We have already started blending our programs including orientation, induction and product development. We are also planning to launch the Click2learn system by the beginning of November and have some programs up and running by then which will include SkillSoft programs and Netg skills as well as PC skills," Pitt said.

"Next February to March, we will go out with full management development project across the St George program, and also an online MBA program which is still being negotiated."

Pitt said the bank views e-learning as an education solution, not a technology product. Pitt added that a lot of providers focus on IT instead of education.

He said e-learning provides the bank with a great opportunity to blend face-to-face learning with anytime, anywhere online application.

According to Pitt, St George will invest around$1.5 to $2 million over three years and he expects to see a return on investment within six to 12 months.

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