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HANSA 10-2019

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Schifffahrt | Shipping Not revolution but evolution Digital transformation and an increasingly complex regulatory framework offer a significant opportunity for e-learning providers. HANSA talked to Videotel’s Managing Director Raal Harris about trends and recent developments in seafarer training »Gamification« and »Virtual or Augmented Reality« – how important are these trends in e-learning? Raal Harris: A discussion that I have on a daily basis is how training has evolved and what the implications are on the way that we work – and, more importantly, the way in which our customers work and what they like and expect. Traditionally, Videotel started out from a very video-based way of doing things. But we have been making computer-based learning packages for probably 20 years. And that is an area that grows. Everything we produce has some elements of interactivity and assessments. Then we tried to bring to life our distance learning courses, the much bigger pieces of content that are not delivered by video but slides. We have invested a lot of time and effort in our delivery mechanism, so that we can include more interactivity and more »gamified« elements. We are doing some exciting stuff at the moment with incorporating interactive 3D into our standard e-learning packages. These kinds of things are an evolution of the traditional e-learning format, which was a voice-over or on-screen supporting text, a mixture of videos and graphics. Today, we are working in all these interactive elements. There is some good learning that happens when people are engaging more. We are getting VR out now, which is really different, immersive, getting people away from the computer screen through the headset and the haptic controllers. You put that in front of anybody and they get it straight away. Trainees love it and everybody’s response to it is really positive. What becomes a barrier is people asking how to implement it, how to judge it and how to make it part of the assessment strategy. It is really important that we do not neglect that piece and to really work with people to understand the impact of changing formats. That is why it is important we don’t stop doing what we have done in traditional formats, because that is what people are working with. We have to take people on the journey with us. Raal Harris © Videotel So, it is not about replacing books and videos? Harris: A lot of the discussions are less about revolution in terms of completely changing everything, it is more about learning from feedback we get and evolving. If we were to pick out some of our old videos they would be 35, maybe 45 minutes long. The game was making things really comprehensive. Now we have most of the conversations about how we can make it as short as possible. People have very busy work schedules, they are mostly learning in their down time. What they want to see from us is being really economical. Every minute counts, you have to really understand what exactly people need to know. There is also a lot of talk about attention spans but at the same time, for example, movies in the cinema are getting longer and longer. So, I think people are quite happy to spend time if they are really engaged. Another thing you try to do within the video format is to make things visually interesting, more story-based and more human. Young people usually are very familiar with computer games, others might have trouble getting into new formats… Harris: When we first started talking about VR a couple of years ago, a lot of people would assume that I suggested everything would become VR. And I would say no – if its better to talk about it, do that. If it is better to read about it, do that. We have always been believers in blended learning in different formats and for different people. It is not just about the subject, it is about how people like to Maritime Training KOMPETENT SICHER ZUVERLÄSSIG Sicherheits lehr gänge nach STCW individuelle & flexible Kursangebote maßgeschneiderte & zertifizierte Inhalte innovative Trainingsmethoden Maritime Training Leer Kontakt: +49 491 45 45 46 28 | | 28 HANSA International Maritime Journal 10 | 2019

Schifffahrt | Shipping learn. We see that very often there needs to be some duplication in material. With our videos we will usually have accompanying workbooks that go in more detail. It is a way of reinforcing the learning in another format. Video is still a really effective medium, because unlike a computer-based training package or a VR experience, a video you can watch in a group and get some good discussion going. There are a lot of concerns about isolation, getting the crew working together, sharing experience – and there are ways that we can do that. We recently did something on seafarer health and wellbeing and we included a facilitator’s guide, a stepby-step on how to run a session using this video. We have always put tips in for the trainer and left it to him to work out how to run the session. But now we look at it a bit differently: we are supposed to be the experts, let’s make our recommendations. What about the customer side, is there a rising demand for new formats? Harris: Customers are very diverse. Some are pushing to adopt new technologies, others are very reluctant to do so. Budgets are different, some have fixed crews, others have fluid crews. We have some customers who just want to stick to DVDs. And then, within their crews, you have got members who have got all their IT gadgets, but the age profile is not going down in the industry. We have to make sure we get everybody with us on the journey. It is not just about what they embrace in terms of learning formats etc., it is also about the capabilities. You don’t want to exclude anybody but you also don’t want to deny people who have invested. New IMO regulations, technology evolving ever faster – what follows and is there demand for new training subjects? Harris: The speed with which the programmes need to be updated is rapidly changing, because there is so much legislation and revision to legislation. You have the IMO as well as a lot of best practise and guidance from the industry, e.g. from Intertanko, ICS etc. So, the update cycles get shorter. I can see that LNG as fuel is definitely coming, and there is a renewed interest in the human element as a training subject. And then there is big concern about what is happening with fuels after 1 January 2020. Certain people are quite used to ECAs and switching fuels, but next year there will be a lot of vessels that are not used to that. People have been frantically producing guidance and we have been working with some of those and turned it into e-learning. This is a particularly sharp one, because some points have just been confirmed lately. I am also expecting people to take a renewed interest in things like fuel efficiency off the back of next year. Cyber security was our best selling course of Q1 2019, that came out of nowhere to be one of the most popular. We also offer certification of courses and we also saw a spike in this topic there. I am expecting a bigger diversity in what we are providing. A lot more type specific stuff, different skills that are needed. The trend towards life long learning is intensifying. People that are leaving school now are coming into a world that is very different from the one they were trained for. We have to cultivate people who are happy to learn, to take on new skills and to rethink Leitthemen der Messe: ● Künstliche Intelligenz ● Industrie 4.0 ● Green Maritime ● Fachkräftesicherung Azubi-Tag Kommen Sie an Bord! 23.-24. Oktober 2019 – Ostseekai Kiel Internationales maritimes Frühstück Start-up Launch Pad approaches, to be responsible for their own development. We are going to have to factor in learning time and to encourage people. And it might be that people are going to have to learn to learn. In May, Oakley Capital took over majority stakes in Videotel and its competitor Seagull. What follows from that? Harris: For both of us it is sort of a new world. We have been working as competitors for a long time, and whilst we continue as separate companies, we now look at areas where we can collaborate for the benefit of our customers. Over the last couple of months it has been largely a fact finding exercise – getting to know each other, seeing what each of us does well and what we can learn from each other. Oakley has made it very clear that they are very keen to invest in the content and software side to add more value to what we do. Interview: Felix Selzer Programm unter HANSA International Maritime Journal 10 | 2019 29

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