Computer-assisted learning : its uses and applications in maritime education and training
Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Maritime Education & Training
Computer-assisted learning (CAL) is rather new in maritime education and training (MET). Research has demonstrated that computer programs can be used in MET. However, there is a lack of theoretical support. Should the computer be used at all? Is it beneficial? How far can CAL be taken into MET? In this paper, the capability of CAL in helping the student to learn is evaluated. The suitability of CAL for MET is examined. The opportunity of providing a better solution or option to MET with CAL is investigated. The roles and potential of CAL are also discussed. The definition of CAL is made at the beginning of the paper. A classification of eight modes of CAL is suggested and their typical strengths and weaknesses are commented upon. The paper is oriented from a theoretical viewpoint. The theories underpinning the use of computers in the teaching or learning process are investigated. Arguments are put forward concerning the general scope of MET. The possible use of CAL in MET is then discussed. A set of criteria for evaluation purposes is suggested and two existing maritime CAL programs are evaluated. The advantages and limitations of CAL in MET are established. The costs and cost-effectiveness of computer-based education are analyzed. The considerations determining the feasibility and suitability of CAL in MET are also discussed. It is concluded that CAL is suitable for MET. However, its value is reliant on the proper use of this tool to advantage. The basic factors determining the admission of CAL include the cost-effectiveness and significant advantages over other teaching approaches.