Page 42: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2012)

Training & Maritime Security

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42 | Maritime Professional |1Q 20120DULWLPH7UDLQLQJ DATA MANAGEMENT MarineLMS understands the maritime concepts of jobs, vessels, routes, terminals, equipment and so on. Although this is important in terms of providing a familiar and easy to navigate learning environment for the mariner, it is even more important in terms of being able to ef Þ ciently manage the vast quantities of data that can be housed in the MarineLMS da- tabase. For example, at BC Ferries, there are dozens of job positions operating on 35 vessels and 47 terminals. At any time an employee may require the training resources for any combination of a particular job, vessel and route. To respond to such a demand, MarineLMS dynamically assembles the re- sources required to meet the learning objectives into a single, seamless, cohesive training and reference guide. It does so by combining company-wide, job-speci Þ c, vessel-speci Þ c, route-speciÞ c, terminal-speci Þ c and equipment-speci Þ c in- formation and lessons (as required) from the database into a training document which appears as though it had been writ- ten by hand expressly for the selected job, vessel and route. This dynamic assembly mechanism means that information about, for example, a piece of equipment, is only recorded in one location in the database regardless of how many ves- sels that equipment may be used on. Therefore, when some information about that equipment is in need of an update, it is edited in one location only and all affected learning materials are automatically updated. Another data management aspect of MarineLMS is its web 2.0 feedback mechanism ensuring data correctness. In large data systems such as BC Ferries? MarineLMS implementation (approximately 6,000 learn- ing pages and growing), identifying errors or omissions in a timely fashion is not possible for a small training team. There- fore, MarineLMS provides a feedback mechanism which al- lows all users (trainees, trainers and management) to report an issue the moment they see it. This is akin to how Wikipe- dia?s content is maintained by all users. In this case, feedback is Þ rst vetted and approved before it results in an update to the learning materials. This not only distributes the workload and reduces maintenance costs, but it also engages all users in ?ownership?, therefore increasing buy-in and reducing change-management issues. This system has been a big suc- cess and is well used at BC Ferries.ASSESSMENTSAt BC Ferries, written examinations are used as part of the clearanceprocess. They are also used to determine when a trainee has learned the requisite foundational knowledge and is ready for on-board familiarization and job training. Train- ees are evaluated not only for general job knowledge, but also for knowledge of speci Þ c vessels, routes and/or terminals. MarineLMS therefore is capable of dynamic exam creation - customized to the selection of job, vessel, route and/or ter- minal being examined. MarineLMS also randomizes exams to ensure that no two exams are identical, and uses question categorization to ensure that all exams cover the required ma- terial and are of roughly equal difÞ culty. ON-LINE AND PAPER A fact of life for most maritime organizations is th at in-ternet connectivity is not always available. However, tradi- tional LMSs almost universally assume 100% connectivity. MarineLMS, being built for the maritime training context, provides both paper and web-based alternatives for all critical activities. COMMUNITYResearch and experience have taught us that trainees can learn as much from one another as from organized training. Likewise, when trainers have a venue for collaboration and sharing of ideas, best practices disseminate more quickly and training leaders and mentors emerge. As such, MarineLMS has a community feature which may be used as a trainee com- munity, a trainer community or both. It allows for discussions, the formation of groups, and for the creation of a resource library. OTHER FEATURES Finally, MarineLMS supports other maritime-speci Þ c func- tionality. For example, there is a module for passage planning and training. This module allows trainees to view passage de- tails and ?navigate? passages visually on an interactive map at any scale. MarineLMS will also soon have a competency tracking feature to record and report on employee competen- cies.IN PRACTICE MarineLMS has been used at BC Ferries for roughly two years.It currently supports the training activities for Deck- hands, Watchkeeping Of Þ cers, Equipment Operators, some Terminal Attendants and Risk Awareness Administrators. When fully rolled out, it will support training for all 3,500 operational employees across the deck, engineering, terminals and catering departments. The AuthorMurray Goldberg is the CEO of Marine Learning Systems (, maker of MarineLMS. A researcher and developer of learning management systems, his software has been used by millions of people and companies, worldwide. Email:

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.