Tech File: Kongsberg Brings Training from the Cloud
The shipping industry is facing a significant competence and capacity gap in the years to come with more advanced instrumentation, ships becoming more complex to operate, new regulations and requirements to fuel-types and sustainable operations. We also see that due to the pandemic there are challenges for seafarers traveling to training centers to keep their certificates current and many experienced seafarers are changing profession. The need for retraining and advanced training of crew in all vessel segments is therefore becoming increasingly important, together with the ability to be more flexible in training methods.
In the face of this rapidly changing environment Kongsberg Digital (KDI) has developed a suite of online simulation solutions provided as a subscription-based service through the digital platform, K-Sim Connect. The training applications are bringing dynamic simulation scenarios to engage seafarers in situations they may encounter during their work at sea. And this highly realistic, time- and cost-efficient learning can be done without traveling to a training center at a specific time, but simply done anywhere in the world, at any time of day and at their own pace.
The benefits offered by K-Sim Connect has already been recognized by maritime schools and universities educating the next generation seafarers. Many lecturers have now started using the K-Sim Connect applications as part of the new “blended learning” philosophy, which combines the best of two worlds when it comes to teaching methodology. While the value and importance of face-to-face interactions with tutors and fellow pupils cannot be underestimated, the benefits of reinforcing classroom-based lessons with online self-study training, accessible anywhere and anytime, speak for themselves. Students being able to prepare for, undertake and repeat exercises, on their own computers and at their own pace, can make an enormous difference in achieving learning outcomes.
Another distinct advantage of Kongsberg Digital’s cloud-based simulation solutions is that instructors can easily assess the student’s score from the exercise and review the recordings of the actions taken to see what decisions were made and alternatively where it went wrong. In addition, the instructor can draw from a library of models and exercise areas to assemble, distribute and grade their own bespoke exercises, which can be instantly accessible to their students or even shared with other institutes in the K-Sim Connect online community.
Integrating with e-learning institutions
The benefits offered by K-Sim Connect is also picked up by maritime e-learning providers and developed into their own training schedules. Recently, the Northeast Maritime Institute (NMI) based in Massachusetts, signed a partner agreement with KDI for delivery of a range of K-Sim Connect cloud-based simulation applications for NMI online students.
NMI has created a dynamic learning management system which delivers a wide range of courses online, reaching mariners across the globe. This comprehensive online maritime education, training, examination and certification portal is known as Northeast Maritime Online (NEMO). NEMO has emerged as a transformative model for maritime education and training and is a strong partner for KDI’s K-Sim Connect simulation applications. NMI will utilize Kongsberg Digital’s cloud-based simulation solutions as an embedded part of their e-learning courses.
Supporting technology and standards
KDI’s cloud-based simulation application library currently includes engine room management, cargo handling, radar, ECDIS and route planning simulation solutions and will soon be extended with more applications in the navigation training domain. The applications are subscription-based, making them ideal for changing training needs and course programs, as training centers can select the ship- or engine models, sailing areas etc. that best suit their curriculums.
KDI’s cloud simulation solutions became the first cloud-based simulators to be awarded the new DNV Class D certification. This verifies that the solutions possess the necessary functionality to satisfy the compliance criteria for remote learning programs, facilitating education and retraining of today’s and tomorrow’s seafarers.