FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. If you have an inquiry that is not covered below, please don’t hesitate to contact us here and ask!

General

What is eLearning?

E-learning is the transfer of skills and knowledge through a computer or digital medium. Some examples of eLearning include web-based learning, computer based training, digital collaboration and more. Learning materials and content can be delivered via the Internet, a company intranet/extranet, CD-ROM, USB key or more. It can be instructor led, or self-paced.

However, whenever we refer to eLearning on this site, we will mostly be referring to web-based eLearning where trainees study, write exams, and interact with their peers and course facilitator – all on-line.

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is the practice of combining face-to-face training with online learning. Research and experience has shown that both forms of training offer advantages the other cannot. Likewise, each has a set of learning goals for which they are particularly well suited. By using a combination of the two, as opposed to either one alone, training outcomes, access, standardization, and effectiveness are all significantly improved.

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

An LMS is a computer software system created by software companies just like any other kind of application. For example, word processors or bridge simulators. LMSs are typically web-based systems, and are responsible for providing access to learning content, delivering examinations, tracking learner progress, providing metrics and analytics to measure training effectiveness, and the management and oversight of training. The LMS is the central site in which trainees, trainers and training administrators use to take, conduct and manage training.

What role does an LMS play in learning and training in the maritime industry? Does it work?

An LMS can play multiple roles in a well formulated maritime training program. For example, the LMS can be used to deliver training content as supporting material, and offer tests for a user to self-assess. Another way is to use the LMS in a blended learning program. Students complete some self-study using the LMS and follow up with in-class training. There is also the possibility of using the LMS as the sole provider for the course, i.e. making the course available entirely online.

A US Department of Education meta-analysis that was formed after looking at roughly 1,000 studies, made several conclusions: not only does blended learning have the largest advantage compared to pure face-to-face learning, online learning also outperforms face-to-face instruction. The study revealed that eLearning works, regardless of the subject matter.

How does an LMS fit into a maritime training program (with job shadowing, maritime academy, simulation, courses)?

A maritime LMS is able to make existing training processes such as new-hire training, familiarization, safety training and simulator training both more efficient, and more effective. It also provides measurements which generate deep insight into how effective that training is. This allows the organization to identify safety issues before they become accidents, and facilitates a process of continuous improvement of training methods so that training outcomes and efficiency are simply better, year after year. The end result is safer operations and an improved organizational safety culture.

How does an LMS affect maritime safety?

Maritime safety is influenced by a myriad of factors, one of which is training. An effective training program is one way to reduce the likelihood of human errors that lead to maritime accidents. An LMS not only adds objectivity to the training process (unlike unreliable methods such as job shadowing), it also helps manage learning so that administrators and trainers are aware of what knowledge is being retained. An LMS gives a consistent learning experience to all users, allows learning content to be easily updated, provides advanced analytics and reports that tell you what areas of learning are lacking and more. All these measures serve to make training more effective.

How is an LMS different from CBTs?

As a form of eLearning, computer based training delivers course content through an electronic medium, usually via a DVD disc or USB key, and in some cases, through the web. CBTs have the advantage over face-to-face learning in that users can self-study and take assessments, thus saving in training costs and increasing objectivity when compared with other forms of familiarization such as job shadowing.

An LMS can host CBT content as well as other learning materials such as PDFs. However, LMS’s do more than just deliver content, they manage learning. With an LMS, you can manage trainees and trainers, change and update content easily, receive feedback to continuously improve training, create advanced reports and analytics on demand, as well as generate targeted courses and assessments that are specific to roles, equipment and vessels.

Who do I use this for?

An LMS can help provide learning content to nearly every type of crew member on board. Administrators can manage and create courses, while trainers can oversee training and evaluate trainees. The LMS is also useful for management. Reports and analytics show what is going on in the organization at any moment of time in order to accurately plan for the future.

MarineLMS Specific

How/when/where can I access the LMS?

Most LMS’s are web-based, meaning that the system is available wherever there is internet connectivity. This means users can self-study and learn at work, at home, on the go– wherever is the most convenient. With Remote Training Servers, you can even take MarineLMS to the ship, where internet connectivity can be limited or nonexistent. A Remote Training Servers gives your crew true 24/7 access to learning content and resources.

Do you produce maritime training courses?

We are a software company that develops a learning management system, however we do not produce the courses delivered in the system itself. LMS software simply provides the infrastructure to support eLearning, not the content. The content (learning materials, examinations, and so on) are typically created by a training institution or a vessel operator. The content can then be loaded into MarineLMS for delivery.

The LMS provides the learning environment (web application) and the vessel operator provides the curriculum. However, we are partnered with Seagull and we are a Passenger Vessel Association member, thus we can serve both Seagull and PVA content.

What types of content do you support (e.g. generic, company-specific, equipment-based)?

Marine Learning Systems is content-neutral! This means our system can deliver nearly any type of content from generic emergency procedure courses from a content produder, to equipment-specific courses from an equipment manufacturer to your own company-specific content. Our systems support a wide variety of media: HTML pages, Powerpoints, SCORM 1.2, videos, pdf, multiple audio formats, and more, giving you the freedom to train with any material you need.

What is the difference between Marine Learning Systems and other LMS providers?

MarineLMS share most, if not all, of the same features of a typical LMS: from the ability to deliver course content online, to administrating assessments from question banks and providing basic analytics and reports. However, in addition to the “usual” LMS features, MarineLMS provides functionality for vessel-specific training and the maritime training context. With MarineLMS, training and assessments dynamically adapt to each individual leaner. In essence, this means that training is targeted specifically to each trainee depending on their role, the vessel they’re on, the equipment they handle and so on.

General purpose learning management systems are optimized for college courses or general corporate learning. As brief examples, general purpose learning management systems:

  • Do not accommodate for the fact that Internet connections are not always available in the marine learning environment.
  • Do not have built-in knowledge of maritime concepts such as route, vessel or port, and are therefore unable to provide functionality based on those concepts.
  • Do not support the dynamic assembly and delivery of learning content based on chosen parameters such as route, vessel, port, etc.
  • Do not support maritime-specific features such as route orientation, etc.

While MarineLMS can do all of the above.

Can we customize MarineLMS to our company?

Yes, MarineLMS is fully customizeable. We offer complete company-specific branding and “look and feel” customization as well as customization in company hierarchies and organizational strcutures.

Does MarineLMS also manage talent?

No, MarineLMS is system focused on training and familiarization management. However, MarineLMS comes with a robust set of APIs to connect and work with many enterprise systems (such as those found in HR).

What is the Career Navigator?

The Career Navigator is an employee- and management-facing system designed to track, nurture and develop employees as they progress through their career at their organization. Its core functionality includes competency management, learning plan management and tracking, employee assessments, employee nurturing, and the provision of transparency in terms of strengths and improvement opportunities for each employee.

Does MarineLMS work outside of the maritime industry?

Yes, MarineLMS can work in any complex, multi-sited industrial environment. In fact, we have multiple customers who are outside of the maritime industry. If you would like to speak with them to gain further insight on their experience, please feel free to contact us here.

Technical

How long does it typically take to implement MarineLMS?

Implementation times can vary depending on your needs. Our customers have had their systems up and running very quickly: anywhere from a few days to a month.

What are the typical costs to an MarineLMS implementation?

There are typically no startup costs at all besides the monthly subscription fee. We charge our customers based on the number of users they have and any additional custom development costs.

How do you make sure our data is secure?

Marine Learning System understands the need to treat our customers’ data with respect. We use a technique referred to in the industry as “defence in depth” to help ensure that all of our customer data is protected against loss and against unauthorized access.

Going into the details: our data protection architecture begins with the provider at which our applications are hosted. The facilities which we use are certified as SSAE 16 SOC 2 compliant. This certification ensures that the hosting provider meets stringent guidelines with respect to data protection and security. The next layer of defence is our dual factor authentication scheme, which is used not only for server access, but for access to any computer operated by Marine Learning Systems. This is coupled with our internal policies for data handling which make sure that personally identifiable data is always encrypted when stored outside our primary hosting facilities. Finally, we have an automated data backup system which keeps additional encrypted backup copies of customer data at two physically separate locations.

What is the uptime?

Our systems have an uptime of 99.98%, excluding planned downtime for updates and software installations. Our cloud-based servers are hosted in security-controlled data-centers with multiple redundant power sources and network backbone connections. Disk drives and other critical computer hardware also have redundant backups to ensure that no one failure will impact your service. We make daily backups and store each backup in three off-site locations.Our site monitors to trigger alerts immediately should there ever be an issue with your site. Finally, we also have a remote “hot” server always ready and available with current backups so that in the very unlikely event of a catastrophic data-center issue, we can have your system up and running again in a minimal amount of time.

How does the Remote Training Server work?

The Remote Training Server allows crew members to use a full version of MarineLMS, giving them access to training and resouces, even on board a ship with no internet connectivity.
An RTS is a special instance of MarineLMS running on a pre-configured, vessel-based computer. When possible, the RTS opportunistically synchronizes with the centralized LMS to receive updates from the central LMS and to send training records and analytics back to the central LMS.

Synchronization can be configured to happen in a variety of ways: for example, if the vessel has some form of internet connectivity (even if it is low quality or intermittent), synchronizations can be configured to occur automatically either in near real-time or periodically. In either case, the RTS will evaluate the quality of the connection and, if acceptable, will attempt a synchronization. If the connection will not support a synchronization at that time, it will retry later.

Alternatively, synchronizations can be configured to occur manually, through data communication methods such as satellite connectivity, wifi while in port, e-mail, or even the exchange of DVDs or USB memory sticks.

How does MarineLMS integrate with other enterprise software?

MarineLMS is designed with a very extensive set of APIs allowing it to integrate with existing enterprise systems. We will gladly work with you if specific integrations are needed.

Safety is paramount. Discover how you can transform your training.

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