Shiptech 101, part 4: virtual reality and crew training
What is e-learning and is it necessary?
e-learning is the new way to get educated wherever, whenever. A term that is becoming more widely accepted in the maritime industry, it gives the option for seafarers to train, learn, test themselves and take exams wherever, whenever they like.
While the maritime industry is a traditional one, it is becoming more exposed to digital operations and the Internet of Things.
e-learning makes use of the growing capability to obtain high speed bandwidth at sea or on land, wherever in the world. It involves training in a complete range of areas, such as environmental management, safety, navigation, crew welfare, but using online videos, animations and online tests to increase knowledge of processes and track progress. Often e-learning companies provide exams that can be taken at the end with seafarers receiving certification to verify completion.
For the younger generation of seafarers, using the internet to digitalise learning can be an attractive option. They are accustomed to using computers, playing games and staying in touch using remote platforms, so providing them with the opportunity to train in the same way is appealing.
Gamification and game-based e-learning
e-learning is not a solution to replace hands on training and practical experience, but it does give the opportunity for knowledge to be increased at any time of the day or night and at any location.
Particularly in relation to Generation Alpha. Gamification requires using elements and mechanics of game design to engage seafarers and encourage active participation. This way they can learn in the same way they would play a game. Gaining points, reaching next levels, carrying out tasks and quests and obtaining completion badges, this is a way to maximise an e-learner’s participation and motivation for completing the ‘game’ or task.
Game-based learning, a slightly different concept, requires the e-learner to play online games that help to teach a skill or achieve a learning objective, according to Christopher Pappas, Founder of The e-learning Industry’s Network. This makes it fun and engaging while making sure they stick to rules and objectives to ensure what is meant to be taught is learned.
Today there are a number of e-learning and training platforms available online for crew to train with. Here are a list of some of the most extensive ones available.
Some of the key providers of e-learning software platforms are listed in the tables attached.