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Making online training akin to virtual classrooms


Skills upgrading must be continual and more could be done to improve online training deliveries

Seafarer training was a hot button topic at the recent CrewConnect Global Virtual Week, where industry professionals examined the need re-look at delivery modes. It turned out that online trainers also needed some polishing to be as effective as teaching in the classroom.

A new meaning to virtual classrooms
Maneesh Varma, Head of Qualifications from the Nautical Institute said, “There is a need to retrain the trainers for online delivery.” Recalling their experience in delivering online and hybrid courses, Varma noted it was a major challenge for the trainer to know what level of knowledge trainees already have in the online environment.

Fellow panellist Adam Lewis, Head of Training and Operations for International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), agreed on the need to train the trainers for the new environment. It was something the IMEC identified prior to the pandemic and was about to embark on with Solent University but halted when COVID-19 hit. He elaborated, “What we realised about 3 – 4 months into the pandemic, was that training has not stopped. It went online and this required a whole new range of skills. One may have a lot of charisma in the classroom, but creating an online environment is totally different.”

Subsequently, IMEC’s collaboration with Solent University on a pilot course about training in the online environment returned with positive findings. Lewis shared that trainers could adapt very quickly, apply a bit of creativity, and create something online that young people would not be hampered. Instead, the trainees enjoyed being able to improve their knowledge.”

Rear Admiral Bill Truelove, Managing Director of CSMART Academy recounted a similar experience. “We recognised earlier that we need to enable our trainers to operate in a completely different environment effectively, So we built in-house and implemented training the trainer programme.” In addition to training the trainer, Varma concluded that the proper environments are needed for trainees both on and offshore to be free from distractions.


Crewing Online News Team
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