Long periods onboard vessels can be put to good use for the upgrading or refreshment of knowledge and
skills, either within the person's present profession or as a preparation for future occupations. In particular, long distance learning/monitoring can enhance the onboard training of cadets, as part of their education.
Technology-based long distance learning has made great strides forward in recent years. In order to validate the concept, a thorough assessment of the impact of long distance learning on improved efficiency in maritime education and training needs to be performed. Such assessment needs to take account of existing technologies, relevant syllabi and appropriate learning concepts.
Within the European context the provision of syllabi will need to take into account safety and environmental concerns such as are addressed in relevant international (IMO) instruments and EC directives. Syllabi for long distance learning need to cover all issues which directly affect shipping operations, such as port state control, dangerous goods regulations, and search and rescue requirements.
The overall objective of the SEAGULL Project is to assess the impact on costs and the
effectiveness of long distance learning technologies in maritime education and training.
Specifically, a concept for long distance learning will be developed which includes a baseline communication system, an appropriate educational concept, and adjusted courses together with an appropriate test environment, such as a demonstrator.
In order to ensure a significant contribution not only to long distance learning but also to international co-operation in maritime education, relevant bodies such as shipping companies will be involved through the demonstrator. A work shop will ensure the participation of schools, as well as government representatives, ports and shipping companies.
The SEAGULL project will be based on previous and ongoing European projects and research and development efforts.
It is imperative to involve nautical institutions and to establish links between them in order to define the contents of the syllabi and to develop a common strategy. The definition of questionnaires will be followed by a workshop for nautical institutes halfway through the project's timescale. In addition, a dissemination strategy will focus on the use of the NEPTUNE network.