HE01375 - Simulation in Maritime Education and Training

In this short paper, Shahrokh Khodayari looks at various pragmatic aspects of the use of simulation in maritime education and training. Keywords: Education & training; simulation; convergent learning; situational awareness

Simulation in Maritime Education and Training

Maritime Lecturer (IMLA life-time member)

It is some time since the maritime training is involved in the use of simulation techniques for enhancing the effectiveness of training process. We might as well have a look at various pragmatic aspects of simulation.

►Why simulation is good?

There are a number benefits mentioned in the research studies about the simulation, namely:  Involving learners and motivating them;

 Improving the capability to connect learning to real-life scenarios;

 Freedom to experiment with new behaviors in a risk-free environment;

 Opportunity for immediate feedback from actions taken and decisions made;

 There are no damages sustained and no expenses incurred due to making mistakes;

 Enhancing the ability to teach teamwork and leadership.

On the other hand, some experts who mention anecdotal evidence generally assert that trainees learn more effectively because they find simulations engaging. Students expend more effort when using simulations and more persistently pursue simulation goals because:

  •   Simulations are enjoyable to play, interesting, and build confidence; that is, they are fun and not boring like most of other lessons.

  •   Games involve repeatedly playing through analysis-decision-result cycles that provide instant and accurate assessment of performance throughout the exercise.

    It is also interesting to quote the results of a research trying to analyze the connections between the learners’ backgrounds and their ability to learn from a simulation, game, or case study:

  1. 1)  Simulations and games are more effective at transferring learning rather than case studies;

  2. 2)  Younger candidates who have used computer games since early childhood enjoy simulations and games more than case studies; they also learned more from simulations and games;

Shahrokh Khodayari
Master Mariner - MSc Nautical Sciences
Maritime Accident Investigator - Maritime Human Elements Analyst Maritime Management Systems Lead Auditor

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3) Seniorlearnersoverfortyyearsoldprefersimulationsthatuserealindustrydataover games that used fabricated data which they consider unreal or overdone;

4) Learnerswithnon-convergentlearningstylesenjoysimulationsmorethanthosewith convergent learning styles.

The Convergent Learning Style:

  1. Is best at using abstract conceptualization and active experimentation.

  2. Has the ability to find practical applications for ideas, concepts and theories.

  3. Enjoys situations where there is a single or best answer to a problem.

  4. May prefer to deal with technical issues rather than people issues.

  5. Needs to emphasize concrete experience and reflective observation.

  6. Needs to place a higher value on gathering and understanding non-quantitative information by looking at situations from different perspectives.

In short; the converging learning style is a "Think and Do" and diverging or non-convergent learning style is a "Feel and Watch" system.

According to Professor David Kolb's model depicted below, there are other learning styles that can be referred to; but not discussed here.