In the modern world, technology plays a key role in numerous aspects of people’s lives, including shopping, how they work, and how they get their news. And now it is having an effect on how we learn. Webinars are in vogue as a format for tuition and are even being used for advanced education, such as university lectures. This platform is becoming more popular for tutorials, such as engineering refresher courses, explaining maritime industry trends, and regulation updates. Indeed, SKF Marine recently hosted a webinar on condition-based maintenance. But how effective is this medium and why is its popularity on the up?
What are the benefits of webinars?
For a start, webinars allow for remote access to content. Where once people would only be able to participate in an event if they could visit in person, they can now access content from their place of work or even their own home. This allows for wider participation from attendees who may otherwise not have access and enables hosts to reach a broader audience.
Webinars are an effective solution for reaching an international employee base— something that is crucial in the maritime industry.
For the maritime industry, this can be a huge advantage as organizations often have employees located throughout the world. Additionally, remote participation to a lecture or seminar means that knowledge can be transferred more internationally—potentially crucial in establishing industry standards and practices, such as vessel maintenance procedures.
A cost-effective option that benefits both parties
Furthermore, teaching and learning with webinars is significantly more cost-effective, with many organizations offering free webinars on vital industry topics and updates. While this may not always be the case, enrolling in a webinar is significantly more flexible. Participants can choose which ones they wish to attend based on whether they are relevant and do not need to spend money on travel costs.
And it isn’t just attendees that benefit. The host can reach a wider and larger audience with reduced effort. They can target people who the webinar may be relevant to by inviting a potential attendees from topic-related organizations or groups. There is no need to hire a venue or many of the other pricey aspects associated with hosting an event in person.
Potential challenges of learning online
Are there limitations to this digital format though? Something that presents issues is the possibility of technical complications. There is always the chance that video or audio might malfunction, unlike in a conventional session. What’s more, organizations may require new technologies to host a webinar, some of which can be initially expensive. However, technology is advancing all the time, with webinars becoming both more interactive and reliable.
Riding the waves of change
While the maritime industry, and society in general, is possibly still in the experimental stage with getting the most out webinars, there is no denying they are becoming a more common method. People are able to learn about what they want and from any location. Alongside the reduced costs, maritime professionals throughout the world can expect to learn like this in the future. And with technology improving every year, the experience and quality will only get better.
Here are some examples of maritime organizations using webinars to educate shipping industry professionals:
- The key to data smart quality and HSE management in the shipping industry – DNV GL
- Complying with the EU MRV regulation – Verifavia Shipping
- Beyond 2018 – laying the next decade’s foundations – Lloyd’s List
- Dredging equipment – International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC)