6 Ways Technology is Transforming Maritime Education and Training

October 11, 20163:38 pm696 views

How are new teaching methods using technology improving the maritime training and education sector, and shaping the future of marine human resources?

Education and training is crucial for building and developing sustainable careers. Without learning, there can be no growth, either for individuals, companies or industries alike. Yet there are challenges associated with developing skills and knowledge, particularly when struggling to balance an expanding workload.

Seafarers often feel pressured to leave their jobs at sea earlier than planned in order to try and move up the career ladder, sometimes making the decision to leave the sector altogether. When experience and skill-sets are lost in the way, it poses a real problem for the industry.

Additionally, many employers are keen on utilising the experience of their sea-going staff in shore-based management positions, but are faced with the challenge that many lack the required knowledge.

Marine training initiatives such as IMarEST’s Marine Learning Alliance are devising new blended, distance e-learning solutions to address this issue, allowing marine professionals to learn whilst they earn. This technology allows seafarers to stay at sea longer, and continue developing the skills they need to take the next career step and remain in the maritime profession.

Blended e-learning combines online and traditional face-to-face class activities, thus granting students access to both the convenience of remote learning and the social and instructional interaction that may not lend themselves to online delivery.  Here are six ways technological solutions and blended learning models are improving maritime education:

  1. Accessibility

With the ability to download course and training materials from an online database, content can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

  1. Personalisation

Having a personal tutor boosts learning as it provides a two-way approach to source information. Not only are users able to pull data from learning platforms, they can also ask questions pertaining to specific areas of the content, such as those relevant to their current jobs.

  1. Self-Paced Learning

Busy work and life schedules leave little time for professional development. With course notes, lectures and training modules that can be easily downloaded and accessed, allows learners to pull information when and where they need it.

  1. Global Relevancy

In industries such as maritime and oil and gas, companies often operate in multiple locations around the globe. An online platform can ensure that the programme is rolled out effectively across a number of divisions to a number of employees, wherever they may be in the world.

  1. Consistency

Delivering a consistent set of modules that have been vetted by HR and meet group standards allows all users to gain the same message and training, as colleagues in other parts of the world.

  1. Flexibility

E-learning in a modular set-up allows companies to emphasise on specific training pieces, which can be bolted onto users’ modules depending on the job role and location to suit their needs. Blended distance e-learning is easy to update, thus ensuring that companies can change content and keep employees up- to- date with the latest information.

There has never been a more important time to invest in training and professional development, and IMarEST has been working hard to support companies in delivering and recognising professional excellence.

Advancements in technology has opened up new avenues for those interested in professional development, thus breaking down barriers in an effort to ensure high educational standards across the maritime sector to better support the future of the industry, and the people at its core.

Author credit: David Kelly, Director of Asia PAC for the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). David is responsible for the growth and profile of the Institute within Asia Pacific region.

This article originally appeared here.

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