“OTHERWISE YOU CAN PLAY DRIVING THE BOAT ON YOUR PLAYSTATION INSTEAD”:
Abstract: Purpose: This thesis aims to investigate how the training process occurred during a simulatorbased exercise in maritime education, examining if and how aspects of realism during simulation co-construct the outcome of the students’ learning experience. The main focus is on inspecting the relationships between human and material agents to show how these elements contribute to the learning process. Theory: In order to investigate the interactions between the agents, sociocultural and sociomaterial theories were employed. The participants are considered professionals participating in their “Communities of Practice” to accomplish the simulated tasks and achieve the essential competences and skills (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Students, instructor, and materials are seen as agents interacting with each other and co-creating knowledge in a virtual educational context taking a “knowing-in-practice” perspective on learning (Fenwick & Nerland, 2014). Method: The research is designed as a case study in Maritime Education and Training, studying training during a simulator exercise for training future Dynamic Positioning Officers (DPOs). The data were generalised utilising three methods. Observations, video recording, and group discussion are equally committed in this ethnographic study. To analyse the data a framework influenced by Hontvedt &Øvergård (2020) was developed, and a narrative approach was adopted. 4 Results: The finding showed that the prior experiences of the students, teaching-learning materials, the tools, and the task all contribute to the learning process in training DPOs in a simulator-based exercise. In particular, the relationships between instructor and students are crucial elements for the training and learning process in simulator-based team exercise. On the contrary, a realistic simulator environment is a less critical factor in co-constructing the outcome of the students’ learning experience in DP training. The findings imply taking a holistic view of learning through simulations, considering how training in virtual environments fits into a number of learning activities within an educational program.
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