Article by ONBOARD Magazine
DELIVERING VIRTUAL TRAINING
Angela Wallace looks at the benefits of online training and the flexibility this can deliver to yacht crew
The STCW Manila Convention included modern training methods introducing distance learning and web-based learning, which was back in 2012 when the STCW 2010 came into force. Since then, we have seen technology move at warp speed, but classroom environment training has always taken precedence for seafarers.
Fast forward to 2020 when Covid struck; suddenly, the world stood still, and we were all locked down. Some were fortunate to be ensconced in their houses; others, unfortunately, were stuck onboard their vessels. Time and the world stood still. Out of nowhere, exercise gurus were online tutoring the masses how to keep fit in between rustling up some gourmet creations. We became doctors overnight with our stance on what, how and when Covid took place and started learning stuff online. We also built communities; we were in this together, and, probably for the majority, we connected a lot more with friends and family.
Many people took to the internet to search for courses they could do online, and, for us, the yachting community we were no different.
However, what could we do? How could we pass examinations and oral assessments? Flag states had to jump into action and move out of the dark ages with in-person training and tests; classroom trainers were redundant; we had to move into the digital age of learning.
I was fortunate to have established my online Purser course in 2018, so by the time the lockdown happened, I was pretty set. But, I had only just launched my training platform in April 2020, so that side of technology was still brand new for me. Suddenly, I had an influx of students, all with time on their hands to study, so the final tweaking of my learning platform was a working progress.
The ability to study and interact with me, the trainer is essential. Learning about a new topic takes dedication and self- motivation and can be demoralising if you don’t fully grasp the context. I took an online diploma a few years ago. All the course content was delivered via pdf format with an assignment at the end to complete. I had no virtual assistance or support, and although I passed, I certainly did not enjoy the course.
Online learning has changed; it has become more interactive and a fantastic alternative to a classroom environment. The surge in Zoom connections, and Teams, has changed the face of learning into a fun and virtual interface.
However, let’s face it, though, it is not brilliant in all aspects and is not for everyone. Demonstrating putting out a fire or throwing yourself into the bathtub is not a good way to conduct parts of the STCW training at home, but the theoretical side, absolutely!
VLE, or Virtual Learning Environment, is the way forward. The ability to deliver training, activities, interactions and support in a web-based platform provides flexibility, and for crew, that is invaluable to achieving their career goals.
Although many training providers now offer online learning, you must do your due diligence to ensure you are purchasing quality training. Ensure the course is accredited, if required, and contact the trainer, make sure it is the right course for you with the correct level of support and at the right time.
Purser Trainer provides an online IAMI GUEST Accredited Purser Program with one-to-one support, flexible learning and up-to-date, quality course content. I do vet my students to ensure this is the right course for them and steer them in the right direction if not.
Please do get in touch with me to discuss your career path to Purser.
For more details Tel:+34 633 810 561 or visit www.pursertrainer.com