Have you ever been so engrossed in a game that you lost track of time? That’s the magic of gamification! It turns mundane tasks into exciting challenges, harnessing our intrinsic motivation to engage and achieve.
At its core, gamification refers to the application of game-design elements in non-game contexts – to Maritime Training in this case.
The principles that are universally used in game design to keep the players engaged can be aptly used to engage seafarers, motivate them to develop certain skills, take action and promote learning.
As most would agree, the attitude of the crew members still reigns as the most important factor in steering performance. That said, in my 23 years at sea, we have never received any structured guidance on attitude development. We expect people to know!
John is a crew member on a Bulk carrier in Rotterdam. The vessel is expecting a Port State Inspection, and John must receive the Inspector at the gangway. He is the solo gangway watch. He has a checklist on gangway procedures, but does he have the right attitude and practical sense to conduct this act? The Inspector came up, and he conducted the gangway formalities. At the end of it, he left the Gangway to escort the inspector inside. This was a gross violation of ISPS – the gangway was left unmanned, and the vessel received a deficiency.
Frans is a second mate on the bridge of a Tanker with a Navigation Auditor. Discharging is in progress. The captain is too busy to join. At the end of the audit, the auditor wanted to have a smoke before retiring to his cabin. Frans runs down to the Smoke room to get it, not realising that the bridge is not a smoking area and this is a violation of the company’s smoking regulations.
Is there a structured process to indicate the correct behaviour in practical situations? On how someone must react to an unlawful request, with an authoritative person, or when in a stressful situation? Or are we depending on common sense?
Inspection Interviews & Interactions
Every interaction during an inspection is a way to judge the culture of a ship. When Inspectors interact with crew members, both knowledge and attitude come under the microscope.
A perfectly well-maintained vessel may fail an inspection if the people on board do not display the right behaviour. With OCIMF tightening up their Inspection regimes under SIRE 2.0 and Rightship doing the same with RISQ 3.0, interviews are going to impact the commercial viability of the vessel.
Scenario Based Games
Instead of merely indicating what the right behaviour must be, we created Scenario-Based Games around such situations.
Crew members are presented with an unexpected inspection scenario, facing an interview with an inspector. They must use their knowledge and instincts to navigate the situation, earning rewards for correct choices.
The modules are simple and leverage Gamification concepts. Here is an example of an Inspector interrogating a deck officer officer on LSA FFA Documentation.
Beyond immediate engagement, gamified learning modules offer long-term benefits. They cultivate a proactive approach to inspections, instilling confidence in crew members. When actual inspections loom, crews are better prepared, having virtually “lived” through myriad possibilities.
My Interest in Gamification
My interest in Gamification started a couple of years back when I started trying to figure out how certain elements of a game keep you hooked, even though most games are tedious and do not come with any tangible financial rewards. I wanted to understand how we can use these principles in Maritime Training.
This study led to a research paper called ‘Gamification in Maritime Training’, which I had authored and which was published in the International Journal of Advanced Research on Science and Technology (IJARST) in 2020.
Navguide’s Innovative Approach
At Navguide Solutions, we have always loved pushing boundaries.
We have used Gamification in several areas of our work – be it in our open Learning Management System platform or in Gamified Evaluations for selecting New hires or Promotions. Gamification elements elevate the learning experience to be far more rewarding than conventional approaches and help learners stay engaged.
The Scenario-based Games can help prepare the ship staff for Inspection Interviews. They ensure that the crew is not only technically prepared but also communication-ready. It’s one thing to know the rules; it’s another to articulate them confidently during inspections. They offer a dynamic and immersive learning experience.
Dive in, play, learn, and conquer real-world challenges!