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HANSA 01-2021

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SCHiFFFaHrt | SHiPPiNG Digital Maritime Training in Covid-19 Times Covid-19 has changed everything in our private and our business world. teaching environments and techniques have also evolved in response Like it or not, we have all had to embrace digital, remote forms of training - rapidly. The first response was to employ ad-hoc measures such as delivering traditional classroom lectures as videoconferences. But at the same time, a more fundamental discussion has started on how to provide quality training if the pandemic stays with us for longer. Two key forms looking at required cost and time, it became quickly apparent that for us the focus should be on two key training forms: live online training (aka virtual classroom) and self-paced learning using recently evolved development software which has brought down development times and costs significantly, while at the same time improving trainee satisfaction with the »look and feel« of the training products. Most training courses employ a blend of these options. E.g. self-paced online training is ideal for resource libraries with reading material, multiple-choice tests, and background knowledge. live online training (using for example, Microsoft teams or Zoom) for kick-off and closure of training, Q&a sessions, and short group activities in purpose-made virtual break-out rooms. Experience with customers shows that such a mixture is very well received. Comparing traditional training with digital options, we have a digital equivalent for almost all modes of training: reading, frontal lectures, exercises, discussions and assessment. if a traditional training is well designed using visually stimulating material with interspersed activities for the trainees, the conversion to digital equivalents is straightforward. only the coffee breaks with real coffee and initial social bonding are vastly better in the real world… Key risk a key risk with self-paced learning is that the trainee does not study, whether it is with an old-fashioned textbook or an e-learning course. Purely self-paced online courses generally have less impact than classroom training where individual feedback is possible and where learners generally have a higher attention rate. longer courses are generally subdivided into modules of typically 20-60 minutes’ duration. due to their longer duration, web courses generally employ a wider range of techniques to avoid fatigue. The training material employs techniques akin to PowerPoint presentations – text (sometimes animated), images, embedded videos. in principle, all the good advice for designing PowerPoint presentations for classroom training also applies to designing e-learning modules. in addition, some web authoring tools allows information on demand (e.g. mouse-over popup explanations, magnifying of images, links to websites or pdf documents). information on demand allows decluttering slides with faster progress for those who don’t need the extra details. »I know…« While not glamorous, downloadable pdf files and online reading text are often a good and cost-effective option in training. Sometimes it makes more sense to deliver new training content in the form of a job aid. don’t stretch out a small amount of content in order to create an hour e-learning course. transferring classroom training to digital solutions, we often include links to pdf files or websites, where the reference knowledge can be found, and focus on the learning goals: »i know this resource exists«, »i know where to find it« and »i know how to work with it«. live online training keeps the trainer in the loop, with all its pros and cons. a charismatic trainer can capture any audience, just as a trainer without charisma may lose the audience even in a real classroom. Even in the best conditions, online training will be more fatigu- 28 HaNSa – international Maritime Journal 01 | 2021

SCHiFFFaHrt | SHiPPiNG © dNV Gl ing than classroom training. limited screen resolution for visual and cropped frequencies for audio signals mean that our brain has to work harder to follow the material. Consequently, it is a good idea to target much shorter training times. Spreading traditional classroom training over twice the number of days with half the training hours per day has proven to work well. as travel and hotel costs are eliminated, this is generally not only feasible, but can lead to better focus from participants, while offering enough flexibility to supply remote trainings across time zones. Not all is golden, but… But not all is golden in the digital world. training – from school, through university to life-long learning – always has a social aspect, making friends and meeting them again. overlooking this aspect with a tunnel vision on »learning content« would be a mistake. This is echoed in feedback from our training participants: people are happy to have the opportunity to »learn online« but they miss the exchange of experience, the maritime gossip, the networking. What is almost effortlessly achieved in classroom training is only approximately mimicked using social media options in the digital world. The Covid-19 situation has forced us to adopt digital training options, whether we wanted it or not. a key lesson learnt was: No media is per se evil, and no media is per se perfect. due to time pressure, not all options worked perfectly well, but some things worked surprisingly well; one trainer perceived more audience focus on the training than in classroom training. We have learnt some lessons and, for sure, we are not at the end of our exploration of the digital universe of teaching. But we are convinced that after Covid-19, we will not simply return to the pre Covid-19 modus operandi. The virus has changed all of our worlds forever. and we just have to recognise the new opportunities in the new world. For more details, see the Compit 2020 paper on (downloads). authors: Tracy Plowman, Volker Bertram, dNV Gl Komm an Bord! SCHENK NEUES LEBEN Deine Kompetenz für eine bessere Gesundheitsversorgung in Afrika HaNSa – international Maritime Journal 01 | 2021 29

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