Hybrid training model goes from strength to strength

February 7, 2023

The Scottish Maritime Academy, part of North East Scotland College (NESCol), has extended its capability to deliver the Class 1 Deck Officer (Fishing) and Class 2 Deck Officer (Fishing) courses through remote learning. This is in addition to running the traditional face to face classes and the student pass rates continue to be positive.

The training centre now has two dedicated classrooms with the latest technology dedicated to hybrid delivery. This means that all students, remote and classroom based, can interact with the lecturer and each other at the same time.

The recent cohort of Class 2 students, taught via hybrid delivery, achieved a success rate well above the national average in all four examinations – Navigation; Chartwork and Pilotage; Meteorology and Safety and Management – passing 15 out of a total 16 examinations.

Chris Bell, Centre Manager said: “Students are now able to join the class from anywhere in the country or world as long as they have an internet connection. The class can comment, debate and discuss each lecturing session irrespective of their location.

“This helps with managing travel and accommodation costs for those who live further afield. It can in some cases make the difference of enrolling onto the course or not. You could say it’s a game changer.

“This hybrid model ensures that those who cannot relocate to Peterhead for the required 12 weeks will have the same experience as those physically attending classes. It gives the student complete flexibility – allowing each individual to choose their preferred method of taking in the information to suit their own personal circumstances.

“The lecturing team here have adapted well to the new way of teaching and the results speak for themselves.”

One of the successful students from the recent Class 2 cohort is Rory Adams (pictured), from Avoch who fishes whitefish mainly out of the port of Ullapool aboard the Adventurer II.

Rory chose a combination of both class attendance and remote learning to suit his own situation.

Rory said: “I wanted to get my exams done for my ticket and closest training centre was Peterhead. When I found out that I could do a mix of remote studying and college attendance this was a massive advantage.

“In the fishing industry it’s so hard to take 3 months away from the job as there is always something to be done – especially if you work for a family business.

“Our vessel was undergoing a major lengthening project which meant a few trips to Denmark to check on the refit progress throughout the course and I could still keep up with my studies.

“When I was back in Scotland I chose to study remotely every other week. I think it’s down to what kind of person you are – you have to be focused at home if not it’s very easy to lose track and fall behind. For me it was critical that I was in College two weeks before the exams to get a better feel for some of the areas that I was unsure of and get hands-on with chartwork in particular.”

For more information of the Class 1 and Class 2 courses visit www.smaritime.co.uk