The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) has launched a ground-breaking initiative by using video conferencing to deliver education and training to Europe. Funded in part by the Suffolk Technical and Enterprise Council, the video conference link will enable students overseas to receive tutorials directly from a tutor based at the ICS in London.
Using sophisticated software the tutor is not only visible on screen, he/she is also able to use the screen as an overhead projector and a blackboard. Initially launched in Italy, Spain and Portugal on November 30, 2000, the Institute’s Understanding Shipping course will be the first course to be delivered in this way.
“This is a very good way of investigating what will be a key method of delivery in the future,” says John Barclay, education consultant to Tutorship, the correspondence college of the ICS. “Through the use of video conferencing, we are meeting demand for the delivery of shipping education overseas in a cost-effective way,” he adds.
Understanding Shipping is one of the latest courses to be launched by the ICS aimed at new entrants to the shipping industry with little or no exposure to ships or shipping. Taking approximately six months to complete, the course has nine modules covering ships and trades, the business and the players, bills of lading, port agency, bulk carrier and tanker documents, liner agency documentation, chartering, ports and cargoes, ship management and operations. Each student receives course material by post, which is supported by a one-hour tutorial by video conference each week.
At the end of each module is a multiple choice test and, prior to completion of the course, each student is interviewed on an individual basis. Both of these elements of the course are also handled electronically with the computer setting random questions for the multiple choice and the interview being conducted on a one-to-one basis on screen.