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Training to become a master mariner in a simulator-based environment: The instructors' contributions to professional learning

PhD Seminar

Final seminar for Charlott Sellberg, dept. of education, communication and learning.

Seminar leader: assoc. professor Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi, University of Gothenburg
Discussant: assic. professor Hans Christian Arnseth, Oslo University
Supervisor: senior professor Roger Säljö, University of Gothenburg
Assistant supervisor: assoc. professor Mona Lundin, University of Gothenburg; senior lecturer Joakim Dahlman, Chalmers University of Technology

To get a copy of the manuscript, please contact Charlott SEllberg via charlott.sellberg@gu.se

In higher education, maritime training serves as an illustrative and paradigmatic example of instructional activities that aims at prepare the students for professional performance in a safety-critical domain. In this thesis, the introduction of simulators in maritime training is seen as fundamentally restricting the ways professional skills are to be developed and assessed. For instructors, such a restructuring creates new challenges and possibilities. In this thesis, the instructors' work in supporting students' collaborative training to become professional seafarers in simulator-based learning environments is scrutinized. The research is based on ethnographic fieldwork as well as video data of simulator-based training sessions. Theoretically, the thesis situates cognition and learning in the material world of socially and culturally constituted interactions. The analysis is guided by the following research questions: a) How do the instructors use the socio-material resources in the simulator environment in their instructional work? b) What is being taught and, thus, made accessible for learning, in and through these instructions?

The thesis consists of four studies. Study I is a systematic literature review and synthesis of previous research on the use of simulators in training to become a master mariner. Study II concerns the overall organization of simulator-based training, briefing-scenario-debriefing, and the instructor's work throughout these three phases. Study III examines the organization of instructions during the scenario phase, while scrutinizing the practice of training to apply "the rules of the road at sea" in the simulator. Study IV connects to a continuing debate on realism and relevance of simulatorbased training with respect to the work practices on board seagoing vessels the students are training for. While previous research on the use of simulators in maritime training argue that the learning objectives for becoming a competent master mariner are not reached in the current training system, the findings in this thesis point in a different direction. In particular, the findings highlight how the instructional work that is accomplished in the simulator environment is fostering the students into the prevailing norms of what is considered good seamanship in maritime discourse. It is such instructional work, seen in the continuous assessments and instructions from an experienced professional working in a welldesigned learning environment, that is shaping a community of competent future professionals.

Date: 9/21/2017

Time: 1:00 PM

Categories: Education and Didactics

Location: Pedagogen, building A, Västra Hamngatan 25, room: AK2 135

Contact person: Charlott Sellberg


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