Introduction to Simulation Training in the Maritime Industry
For the effective education and training of seafarers, it is important that the three key elements of learning, knowledge, skill and attitude, are incorporated into the learning programme.
Traditional methods of instruction have been largely adopted for maritime training courses, however with the advancement of technology and reducing costs, the industry is witnessing the increasing introduction of technology into the classrooms, including the use of simulation technology.
A competent seafarer is required to carry out a range of tasks and operations both in routine and unpredictable situations. He/she needs to have the ability to multi-task, take appropriate decisions at the right time, prioritize and work together effectively in a team. The application of theoretical knowledge in practical and at times demanding circumstances requires a seafarer to be able to assimilate many aspects of a situation real time.
The use of simulators provides a learning platform where all three elements of learning can be integrated into a valuable learning experience.
The Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention have also embraced the use of simulators for training and assessment of competence. It is therefore important that the potential for utilizing this valuable training tool is realized to the maximum.
The four elements involved in providing training based on simulators show an intensive interaction:
The four elements are also dependent on each other. Any change to one of the elements will influence the other. This implies that the various elements should not be considered separately but always in relation to one another.
The role of the instructor for ensuring the successful implementation of simulation training programmes cannot be over-emphasized. It is the skill and sensitivity of the instructor that can allow the simulator to be used as a powerful means for an individual to practise and hone his/her skills in a safe environment. Creating a conducive atmosphere for learning and assimilation of the experience is as key an element as the actual features and performance of the simulator itself.