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Virtual Classroom – setting a new standard for collaboration and learning in the new normal 

As lockdowns and travel restrictions continue to obstruct where we can go and how we can meet, companies and teams are improvising between one tool and another in search of a suitable way to conduct ‘business as normal’, or as close to it as possible.

It’s safe to say that services such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams have been a lifeline for businesses with globally distributed operations and workforces, enabling them to continue to operate with some level of normalcy in these less-than-normal times. While online meeting tools have provided us short-term stability, they can also present their own set of challenges.

As the abnormality of the initial travel and operational disruptions matures into new approaches to work in the long-term, we need solutions that enable and support us to effectively operate remotely.

In maritime operations, the need to communicate with a distributed workforce led to many businesses repurposing their existing online communications tools as a quick fix. Now that it is time for this Band-Aid to be removed and replaced with a more permanent solution, crewing and HR teams are demanding a single platform that provides a connected overview of online activities, those that happen in physical venues, and what happens aboard ship.

To address this need, we have recently released our Virtual Classroom, an online browser-based collaboration tool that connects crew, expert educators, and crewing teams in a single platform; ensuring that a consistent training record and first-class learning experiences are available anywhere in the world. Developed to go beyond what is possible with online meeting tools, our Virtual Classroom links people through a common, synchronised platform, and makes the delivery and recording of a truly blended learning and collaboration experience a reality.

Having run a successful early adopter pilot programme in the first half of 2021, our Virtual Classroom is already being utilised by Ship owners, Managers, and Operators to not only run training sessions, but also remotely communicate with new joiners, conduct pre-boarding familiarisations or debriefings and even host crew seminars. As part of the Ocean Learning Platform, all events run in Virtual Classroom also have the additional benefit of being tied back to participants records, ensuring a consistent audit trail and eliminating security and data consistency issues that result from moving crew information between platforms.

Virtual Classroom has been a natural fit for those needing to teach or train mariners remotely. Transferring a programme of learning from the classroom to an online offering is an arduous task at the best of times. Delivering a lesson digitally over a platform that was designed to run meetings requires getting to grips with new tools that are not well suited to conveying materials and information in an engaging way.

The technologies we have adopted to help us continue to communicate and collaborate effectively will outlast the pandemic. Whether the need for new ways of working were born of disruption brought about by COVID-19, or whether necessity sped up plans to move towards digital solutions, the advantages of remote have been felt will continue to drive the adoption of virtual learning, collaboration, and communication tools.

As part of the Ocean Learning Platform, Virtual Classroom connects crew, expert educators, and shore-based teams in a single space.
Download our guide to Virtual Classroom and learn how it can benefit your business today.

Download the Virtual Classroom brochure to find out more about how a fully integrated and seamless connection between the learning that happens ashore and aboard – Virtual Classroom bridges the gap between shore-based activities and the experiences, knowledge and education gained at sea.

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