William Stotts, chairman of the banking center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, said the school is trying to work electronic commerce issues into its banking curriculum.

He discusses electronic commerce and alternative delivery when lecturing around the country on the "bank of the future" but admits, "we haven't gotten there in the classroom yet."

Mr. Stotts is not alone among professors who say a dearth of textbooks and other instructional aids impedes their ability to teach electronic banking.

"There's not a lot of data or information about electronic commerce in banking," said James R. Barth, banking professor at Auburn University in Alabama. "A lot of academics rely on data, facts, and if the facts aren't available, it makes it a little too theoretical."

Yet instructors said they sensed that technology would soon become a greater focus, not only in terms of what they teach but also in how they conduct classes.

"I would estimate that in five years, the way I teach a course will be significantly different and will include much more information from the Web," said Mark Wrolstad, a banking professor at Winona (Minn.) State University.

Whether or not the Internet is specifically addressed in the classroom, some professors said, students are knowledgeable about it simply from having grown up in an era when the medium became popular.

"In terms of using the Internet, my students are way beyond most of the professional people I deal with," said Bruce Cochran, an accounting and finance professor at San Jose (Calif.) State University.

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