MarineLMS is the web-based learning management system (LMS) built specifically for the delivery and management of in-house and on-board job training and familiarization by vessel operators and other maritime training providers. It understands concepts such as vessels, routes, and terminals. It has technology to help accommodate intermittent internet connections. For vessel-based learning with no internet connectivity, MarineLMS presents paper-based alternatives to all critical activities and will soon support connectionless vessel-based learning and assessment. It also has maritime-specific features such as passage planning/learning. MarineLMS is the LMS specifically for maritime training.
MarineLMS delivers your custom training content specific to your vessels, routes, ports or terminals, equipment, positions and routines. We can help in the design and creation of that content. MarineLMS also delivers SCORM 1.2 compliant pre-packaged courses from any vendor of your choice.
eLearning or Blended
MarineLMS works either alone or with your existing hands-on training to create a blended learning approach - making your training more standardized, effective, and objective. It provides your trainees and trainers with career-long access to your vetted learning resources and training support. It provides deep insight into the training process, with metrics and analytics for oversight and continuous improvement. MarineLMS helps you implement the most professional approach to training possible.
Modules and Features
MarineLMS consists of nine software modules which may be configured, customized and implemented to create a Learning Management System that meets all of your learning needs. We continue to build additional maritime-specific modules to meet the needs of our customers. If there is a feature required by your organization which is not listed below, let us know - we can build it for you on time and on budget.
Module 1 Security and Authorization This module determines who the user is, what role they play in the system, and what activities they are authorized to undertake.
Role assignments and login credentials are central to the security of MarineLMS. Roles are configurable to the needs of your organization, but examples include a member of the public (someone who is not logged in), student, trainer, examiner, administrator, and so on. Content and functionality can be restricted or made available according to the role of the user.
For example, if a user is logged in and MarineLMS has identified that user as a trainer, then the user may be allowed to review exams and access trainer support materials, but not generate exams. If MarineLMS identifies the user as an examiner, the user might be allowed to initiate on-line exams or generate a printed exam and later enter its grade.
The flexibility of the MarineLMS Security and Authorization module allows us to configure your system to meet your specific needs.
Module 2 Site Navigator This is the first module encountered by learners, trainers or administrators as they enter the system; it presents their homepage customized according to role and maritime job position.
Working together with the security and authorization module, the MarineLMS site navigator module creates a custom homepage for any learner, trainer, administrator or other user based on whether or not the user is logged in, their role within the system, and the choice of learning or other activity they wish to undertake.
For example, a user coming to the system may initially see a homepage containing only a welcome message and some openly available learning resources. If the user then logs in and is identified as, for example, a trainer, their homepage will be dynamically constructed to show the content and activities you have designated as being available to trainers in your system. If the user is a learner, then the homepage can be configured to present a variety of positions which the learner may be training for. Once the learner makes a position selection, the homepage is dynamically updated to display the specific information and activities available to a user who is a learner, and who has selected that particular position to study for.
All of this creates an extremely user-friendly and immediately relevant navigation center from which each user can find exactly the information and activities they require. It is highly configurable and can be easily reconfigured any time to meet your specific needs.
Module 3 Trainer This core module of MarineLMS presents learning materials to the trainee using innovative, patent-pending technology specific to maritime training needs.
Learning materials hosted by MarineLMS can be used on-line, or can be custom printed to accommodate learning where no Internet connection is available. This module has number of important features:
MarineLMS understands maritime concepts such as vessels, routes, ports, etc. For example, learning content in MarineLMS can be tagged as:
- Generic to the entire fleet/all routes/all positions/entire organization, etc. or
- specific to a job position, or
- specific to a class of vessels, routes, etc., or
- specific to a particular vessel, route, etc.
When a learner chooses a learning topic and selects a particular job, vessel, route, etc., MarineLMS uses patent-pending* technology to assemble the generic, job-specific, class-specific and vessel/route/port-specific materials into a single, cohesive study and reference package. *[USPTO Application Number 61506936]
This is a fundamental benefit of MarineLMS. In addition to the obvious benefit to the learner, it also means that any learning "page" can be used throughout the system in any number of "documents", but will only exist in the database in a single location. As a result, any change or update, as it becomes necessary, is made in only one place but propagated instantly across the system regardless of how many topics or learners it might affect. This greatly simplifies and reduces the cost of maintaining your training documents.
Learning materials are organized into "topics". There can be any number of topics in your LMS. As examples, you could organize your training materials so that each topic corresponds to one job position - so you might have a deckhand topic, a mate topic, an engine room assistant topic, a port attendant topic, and so on. Learners and trainers choose their topic(s) according to the position(s) they are studying for or teaching, and then are presented with exactly the documents and functions they need for successful training.
Each topic is presented as a series of learning pages organized as a hierarchy. Learners can navigate linearly through the materials, or can jump directly to any page in the topic. MarineLMS remembers each learner's progress so that when they return, they may continue immediately where they last left off. Pages may contain text, images, supplementary "pop-up" information, audio and video. They can also contain randomly generated self-tests which allow the learner to test their knowledge repeatedly with new questions every time.
Learners can custom-print any selection of pages from a topic. Once they have selected those pages they wish to print, a print package is created including an appendix of all "pop-up" pages which contain supplementary information. Custom printing of selected learning materials is especially useful for the creation of documents designed to refresh knowledge of one or more topics.
The MarineLMS trainer module thus ensures that learning materials are presented in a unified, standardized, cohesive package for any position, route, vessel, etc. It does so while using a unique technology to eliminate the need to duplicate learning materials in the database, despite how many "learning documents" they are referenced in. The combined result is a customized learning experience (on-line or on paper) with a highly simplified and inexpensive data maintenance process.
Module 4 Passage MakerThis module allows learners to become intimately familiar with their route - from a high level overview, down to individual waypoints.
Route familiarization and passage planning are a critical part of maritime training. The passage maker module is a training and reference resource containing complete route information. It displays routes at any scale, allows the viewer to visually “navigate” a route from a bird’s eye perspective, and is configurable to contain any route metadata you choose such as safe anchoring points, safe beaching points, typical weather patterns, company-specific call-in points, training notes, etc.
The passage maker module brings route information to the fingertips of your employees - providing an instant understanding of the overall route characteristics, all the way down to the smallest detail that your organization deems important for safe navigation.
Module 5 Assessor This module automatically delivers and grades examinations, customized according to the vessel, route, port, class, etc. being tested.
Written examinations are an important tool for the objective and rigorous assessment of employee knowledge. In MarineLMS, exams are randomized to ensure that no two exams are the same, but are organized to test all required topics in a uniform manner. This module has a number of important features:
- MarineLMS supports both paper-based and web-based examinations. Web-based exams are automatically graded. Paper-based exams have associated answer keys for easy grading. These alternatives take advantage of the web where a connection is present, but provide full functionality where it is not.
- The MarineLMS question database houses any number of questions. Questions are tagged with metadata according to the topic they are designed to test, as well as the route/vessel/port/etc they apply to. This makes it easy to create fair and comprehensive exams.
- When an examination is to be taken, a new exam is dynamically created according to the topics being examined and the route/vessel/port/etc. chosen. This sophisticated assessment engine ensures equal exam difficulty and coverage, but produces variance in exams to ensure that trainees cannot readily share exam answers.
- The assessment system supports features to facilitate exam invigilation, distribute exam results, and ensure exam security.
- An exam logging and reviewing system allows exam review on a question-by-question basis showing questions, trainee responses, the time that each response was made, and the correct answers for each question answered incorrectly.
- Exam occurrences and performance statistics are logged and presented for audit and continuous improvement purposes. More detail can be found in the Auditor and Measurer module descriptions.
- The assessor module can generate notification alerts to administrative personnel of all exam results for external recording purposes.
The MarineLMS assessment module adds objective and rigorous testing methods which can be used in conjunction with, or as a replacement for some of your existing assessment procedures. The end result is a far better understanding of what your employees know, and what they do not know.
Module 6 Connector The MarineLMS connector module supports trainers by creating a community where they (and you) can communicate, mentor one another, share resources and collaborate.
Comprehensive trainer support is critical to a successful training program. The MarineLMS connector module is an area where you can communicate with and support your trainers, and where your trainers can communicate with, support and mentor with one another. This ensures trainer buy-in, the quick integration of new trainers, the sharing of best practices, and standardization of training. It also ensures that the outstanding work your employees are doing is not cloistered in a particular vessel, route, region or department. Instead it becomes a permanent, accessible corporate asset for the betterment of the entire organization - not a seldom-used manual on the shelf of one ship's library.
The connector module includes the following areas:
- Library. In this area you can place official documents or links for use by your trainers. In addition, areas of the library can be configured so that trainers, themselves, may add documents or links they have created or found to be of use. This helps ensure that any effort made by one trainer (for example, to document a critical practice) can be shared with and benefit the entire training team.
- Groups. In this area, you or your trainers may establish groups of common interest. Groups may be communicated with as a unit, and can have their own discussion area and library. You may create a group for every vessel, region and job position, a group for new trainers, etc. Any trainer (or administrator) who works on or in that vessel, region or position can then join the appropriate groups. This way it becomes very easy to share a document with or send notifications to all trainers who work, for example, on a particular vessel or on a particular route. Groups are also a very natural location for trainer mentorship to occur. This simple feature provides tremendous benefits.
- Discussions, questions and polls. Here, any trainer is able to start a discussion, ask a question, create a poll, etc. This enables the sharing of ideas and a creates tight-knit, supportive trainer community. It also supports the standardization of training practices.
A strong trainer community is a critical piece in the puzzle of any standardized, successful training program. MarineLMS makes the establishment and maintenance of your trainer community simple and natural.
Module 7 Measurer "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it". The measurer module presents reports and analytics on learning and assessment to support global oversight and enable continuous improvement.
MarineLMS learning reports and analytics help you understand which content trainees are spending time on or are having difficulty with. Self-test analytics help indicate what knowledge is being acquired quickly and what knowledge trainees are slow to acquire. Exam performance analytics help you spot organizational trends indicating weak areas to be improved upon before an accident happens. Specific examples include:
- Exam reports indicate average company-wide performance for that exam. This helps identify broad trends in trainee success.
- Question reports and analytics for assessments and self-tests indicate how often each question is performed correctly, and the distribution of the incorrect answers which are chosen. This helps to immediately identify weaknesses in learning materials or exam questions.
- Learning page analytics show, for every learning page, how long on average learners spend on that page, and how often that page is printed or accessed on-line. This is a very useful analytic to help identify outliers which may indicate poorly written or irrelevant content in need of improvement.
- Exam review reports show you (for web-based exams) which questions the trainee correctly answered and incorrectly answered, and also when each answer was made. This can be of tremendous value when trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a particular trainee.
Together, these features provide the insight necessary to identify areas in need of improvement and the understanding necessary to effect those improvements. This insight is critical in helping to identify and close gaps in knowledge - thus ensuring safe operations and excellent performance.
Module 8 Maintainer Learning management systems are only useful if their content is current and correct. MarineLMS provides features to quickly identify issues in the learning content, and to ensure that those issues are quickly and inexpensively rectified.
Traditional large data-driven systems are difficult and expensive to keep up to date as changes occur. The main challenge is that data maintenance staff are not readily made aware of any errors, omissions or required updates which exist in the data. This is due to the large amount of data present in these systems and a typically small maintenance staff pool. The result in the past has often been a system that quickly loses its relevancy and value, despite the effort that went into creating it.
MarineLMS uses web 2.0 technology to engage the entire learning community (trainees, trainers, and administrative personnel) in the maintenance of the learning content. This significantly reduces administrative workload and costs. If any user of the system discovers an error, omission or required update, they simply click the nearest "feedback" icon and add a short description. The feedback system automatically reports the location of the problem, the contact details of the person making the report and a description of the problem. The report is then immediately delivered to designated administrative staff. Because MarineLMS ensures that data never needs to be duplicated (see the trainer module), updates can be made in a single location, quickly and inexpensively.
This simple engagement of the entire community has tremendous benefits:
- Issues are typically identified and reported by the first person who sees them. Experience has shown that users are eager to report the issues they find, meaning that they tend to be reported immediately. This, alone, is a tremendous benefit and helps ensure the relevancy and correctness of your learning content, protecting your investment in training.
- Administrative staff are aware of which users are reporting errors, and can use this information to provide incentives, if desired.
- The community is engaged in the maintenance of the LMS. This helps create a feeling of ownership, pride and investment in the training process, improving trainer and trainee buy-in.
With MarineLMS, the future of your training investment is protected.
Module 9 Auditor The auditor module records activity in your learning management system. Simply said, it tells you who did what, and when they did it.
Audit logging is critical for any enterprise system. The MarineLMS auditor module works with the Security and Authorization module to log all significant system events. It provides an audit record of all exams delivered, accounts created, accounts modified, log-ins, or any other activity. This is an important tool for the oversight of your system to ensure the security and integrity of the learning and assessment environment. If you wish, this module can be configured to trigger e-mail notifications of specific events.
While these core modules of MarineLMS form the basis of your learning management system, we can accommodate any additional requirements. We are highly experienced software developers who deliver reliable software, on time, and on budget. Ask us, we can help.