Chavdar Alexandrov, Grozdyu Grozev,
Georgi Dimitrov, Avgustin Hristov
Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy (Bulgaria)
Abstract. This paper presents the experience of Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy (NVNA) teaching staff in providing education and training to students in Maritime communications and the GMDSS during the pandemic crisis. Within a one-year time period including a number of complete and partial lockdowns, many courses were organized in the Academy following all restrictions imposed by the situation. An attempt to find a solution for on-line/distance learning, practical face-to-face training with simulators and a combination thereof by using web-based information technologies is described. A methodology is presented where simulators have been used during complete lockdowns for on-line training, remaining in compliance with the requirements of IMO, international and national rules and regulations, such as SOLAS International Convention, the International Convention on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers STCW78/95 and Ordinance No.6 on seafarers’ competence in the republic of Bulgaria. Advantages and disadvantages of on-line education and training in Maritime communications and the GMDSS are analyzed in depth. Examination results are presented in comparison with results of traditional education and training provided before the pandemic crisis. Some ideas for development and improvement of teaching methodologies based on modern web-based information technologies are discussed in the conclusions.
Keywords: maritime education and training; online education; e-learning; simulators