Recently, there is an increasing interest in the development of maritime students’ learning skills including critical thinking, problem solving and analytical skills, innovation, communication, and collaboration. The traditional method of teaching and learning is a teacher-centered approach where students are required to memorize knowledge and are not encouraged to engage in critically. Also, many students are not able to produce satisfactory interpretation of the observations or results. So, educators have been called upon to make their students more active participants in the learning process. One of the best ways to develop these skills in maritime studies is to use the case-based learning approach.
ISOL-MET uses the Case Study methodology for the development of soft skills courses. Case Study methodology is increasingly popular form of teaching and has an important role in developing skills and knowledge in students. A case study transfers reality in the classroom. Cases recount—as objectively and meticulously as possible—real (or realistic) events or problems so that students experience the complexities, ambiguities, and uncertainties confronted by the original participants in the case. These cases link theory to practice and encourage the use of inquiry-based learning methods; it encourages learning through students’ application of knowledge to maritime business cases, enhancing the relevance of their learning and promoting their understanding of concepts. it develops and improves soft skills more effectively such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking and leadership; it involves learning to solve problems and encourages the development of analytical skills; it can be used to highlight specific academic topics and related issues in real practical applications as well as to increase motivation for students to participate in classroom activities, thereby enhancing learning skills and thus increasing quality in performance. As they “inhabit” a case, students must tease out key components from the real messiness of contradictory and complicated information. Cases compel students to:
The benefits of using case studies as an interactive learning approach, are arising from shifting the emphasis from teacher-centered to more student-centered activities; all courses in maritime academic studies are lecture-based approach and the MET (Maritime Education & Training) should focus on developing some skills that relate to being learner-centered in some courses and focus on other skills.
The rationale for the case method is that maritime organizational learning is most effective when knowledge is shared in usable ways among organization members, and that knowledge is most usable when it is:
A maritime case study is a way to disseminate the experience and wisdom embedded in the stories of shipping officers and other team members. A documented maritime case story engages participants intellectually and emotionally through their involvement in virtual decision-making, sharpening their analytical, problem-solving, and managerial skills by sparking insight and creating connections between events, incidents, or systems.
Case-based learning at maritime is active, experiential, and takes place within a context—all keys to the effectiveness of the case study as a knowledge-management tool. An effective case study…
No less than any other maritime project, the creation, development, and implementation of case studies is process-driven, and the process must be managed systematically. Likewise, it must be deadline driven— recognizing that some flexibility should be built into the process, since, as in any project, exigencies may warp the schedule. A case story incorporates many elements—human and technical aspects—as well as lessons learned. Good case writing takes time and effort.
Developing a maritime case study is a unique endeavor, given the nature of shipping business. The principles of the case method of teaching, however, are universal. Told the right way—accurately, vividly, and with clearly defined learning objectives—a maritime case study has the potential to educate effectively.