E-Skipper Western Australia 2009

Perth Boat School


Background

Perth Boat School is a registered Training Organisation operating in WA. We provide Recreational Skippers Tickets, Coxswains and Coxswains Restricted qualifications. The company has been in operation for about 2 years and so far we have trained about 2500 students in various boat courses.
For our E-Skipper project we had quite a few people provide input. We have a project manager, content writers, video camera operators, sound technician, website developers, trainers, video editors and mentors.
E-Skipper is an online training resource we have developed using Moodle to offer Coxswains Restricted Training online.
A coxswains restricted is the minimum requirement for anyone who operates a boat and gets paid for it. The coxswains restricted allows someone to command a survey exempt, survey class 2 or survey class 3 boat within 5 nautical miles from mainland shore up to 8 meters long.
Many companies have been training their employees by enrolling them in the recreational skippers ticket and thinking this is enough to cover themselves from any liability. This is not the case.
We saw a need for providing training online as many people were contacting us from Rural and Remote areas asking about our Coxswains Restricted training but did not have the ability to come to Perth for a 3 day training session. Most people that contacted us were people employed by companies that are working fulltime and completing a training course in Perth would either require taking time off work and require additional costs to stay in Perth whilst doing the course.
E-Skipper provides an online training program where as students can straight away log into the E-Skipper course and start it immediately via correspondence.
If E-Skipper wasn’t funded then we simply would have had the impact on the impact on the industry that we have so far. We would not have contacted all the companies we did and would not have increased their knowledge on safe boating practices.

The Framework connection

E-Skipper utilises web based learning resources to allow interactivity between the student and the practical demonstrations. Theory components were necessary for students to pass the theoretical side of the coxswains restricted. Making this content available online enabled students to access information easily and efficiently with no cost. E-Skipper has set a precedent for other maritime training as students have been extremely receptive to the program.
The E-Skipper project is located at http://training.perthboatschool.com.au. Students can enrol in the training program free of charge by registering on the site and then enrolling in the course.
In engaging in this E-learning Innovations project, the following Framework products and resources were used
• TDM01 Toolbox

What was done

Initially, content was developed by a team of trainer / assessors and technical specialist and was audited through Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
We then developed the content further and customised it to go online. We also developed video’s and 3D content to assist stupids through the Coxswains Restricted.
Issues that surfaced were that the students ability to read through all the content and carry forward into the practical demonstration. Emphasis had to be made to the students that all the information needed to be studied as components would be assessed during the practical. The videos worked really well as the students were able to practice the knots and splices whist being shown over and over again how to do it. Videos were created from Point of View so it was easily copied and understood. Next time we would develop interactive games etc for some more of the theory content as it can become a bit laborious but necessary to read through it all.

Benefits experienced by Perth Boat School ans E Skipper participants

In this section tell your reader about your experience, what you learnt as you worked on the project and how this can be translated into skills, future personal development, benefits to the organisation, the learner etc
The main thing Perth Boat School got from the E-Skipper project was learning how to adapt training into a e-learning format. We are completely focused on utilising e-learning in all our future training.
Moodle has been a wonderful experience for us and enabled all our staff and learners to get exposed to the platform. People we showcased the E-Skipper project to have been extremely receptive to Moodle and companies have even approached us to develop their training courses into an e-learning environment.

Lessons learnt

Lessons learnt were to incorporate as much interactivity into the site as possible. Make it as though students aren’t just viewing a screen, make it like the assessor is right there helping them through it. More interactivity throughout the website will be greatly accepted by students.

The results

The students were asked to fill in evaluation forms. The evaluations came back extremely positive with constructive criticism from many students. These attributes were noted and actions were taken to address these issues. The main outcome was that students had the knowledge to get their coxswains restricted and knew where to go to find more information. Students did not need to know all the content of the E-Skipper project but needed to know where to reference it if needed. All students said they would use the website again for general boating information and queries.

Reflections and suggestions

Perth Boat School intends to offer all its maritime training using the Moodle platform and develop its training systems even further. We have researched utilising virtual reality platforms for boat training and endeavour to revolutionise the maritime training industry with our approach to incorporating E-learning into all aspects of training.

Acknowledgement

This is a Western Australian E-learning Innovations project output, developed by Perth Boat School, with seed funding from the Framework.

For more information

For more information on E-Skipper
David Lee
Manager
Perth Boat School
Phone: (08) 6468 2763
Email: david@perthboatschool.com.au

For more information on the Australian Flexible Learning Framework:
Phone: (07) 3307 4700
Email: enquiries@flexiblelearning.net.au
Website: flexiblelearning.net.au