In Haugesund, the nautical students were only allowed to use the simulators with teachers present. We wanted to make the simulator more accessible because most students want to use it as much as possible. Our students produced different scenarios in collaboration with the teachers and were offered simulator training in the afternoons from the autumn of 2021.
The teachers produced various exercises and the students tested them, provided feedback and then the exercises were adjusted. The exercises were different to those used in education, with a special focus on being able to run them on your own and to be engaging. The first exercise was in Danish waters, driving a ship at high speed. They did not use ECDIS and there was a strong focus on the visual sight from the ship bridge. One reason this was done is that some navigators tend to look too much at ECDIS and forget to see “the real world”.
The second exercise was similar to the first one, but with more focus on landmarks and a narrow fairway. The students got to compare a small ship that was quick and easy to manoeuvre with a much larger ship that was more challenging to manoeuvre. In Exercise number 3 all the students started in the “same world”, with different types of ships and the area was very busy with a lot of traffic and after about 15 minutes the exercise stopped, and all the students were switched to another ship in a different position and with completely new manoeuvring properties.
This project has been very popular with the students and all the slots have been fully booked on all occasions. It will be developed further by training student assistants next semester. A nice sign of the popularity was that the responsible teachers were nominated by the students for a teaching prize and ended up in the top five.