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CREATING A SIMPLIFIED USER MANUAL FOR ECDIS TRAINING
Captain Ashok Mulloth Singapore Maritime Academy, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract This paper focuses on the need to have a simple user manual for the purpose of ECDIS (electronic chart display and information systems) training as ECDIS equipment will soon become mandatory on seagoing merchant vessels. At present user manuals prepared by equipment manufacturers are cumbersome and difficult to follow as they run into 300 pages, this manual does it in about 100 pages. For the purpose of ECDIS training I have developed a simplified user manual that ensures that competencies required to be demonstrated as per the IMO model course 1.27 (The operational use of electronic chart display and information systems) are clearly explained and made easy for the user to follow. This will ensure that watch keeping officers find it easy to become competent in the functions that they require to master as per the IMO model course for safe navigation and collision avoidance. The manual has been so designed that it can be used with any type of ECDIS training and/or shipboard equipment, this would mean that it is not equipment specific. The manual has been developed using screen shots of key tasks with explanation and pointers on how to perform them in a simple and logical manner. An explanation on the relevance of the task in relation to safe navigation and/or collision avoidance has also been provided. but would also make learning easier and therefore more efficient. The need for a simplified user manual The International Maritime Organisation has developed a model course IMO 1.27 (The operational use of electronic chart display and information systems) to help flag states train their seafarers in the use of the ECDIS. The model course is designed to be completed in 5 days and details, learning objectives that an officer must achieve to be competent in the use of the ECDIS. Some of the course objectives require the mariner to demonstrate competence. This is especially so for the navigational functions of route monitoring and route planning. In this regard the model course could be made more effective if a simplified user manual is attached with it. The manual will be designed to explain the required learning objectives that the ECDIS user must know to help him navigate the vessel in a safe manner. The developed manual can be used to supplement the user manual supplied by the ECDIS equipment manufacturer as it will help the navigator understand the basic principles of ECDIS operation. This I feel is required as most ECDIS user manuals are lengthy. The principles and the theory behind an ECDIS have been explained in several books that are in the market today, but these books do not co-relate with the technical user manual supplied by the ECDIS manufacturer. The developed manual will overcome this shortcoming too. Several simplified user manuals have been developed for common multimedia applications and are used by non IT professionals. Adobe systems provides simplified user manuals for their suite of multimedia software programmes like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop etc. These have been developed in addition to the manuals that are normally used by IT professionals. The manual developed has followed the example of simplified training manuals written by multimedia companies for a user who need to use this software. A simplified user manual for ECDIS familiarization would therefore compliment the ones provided by the manufacturer, enabling the mariner to be familiar and competent with the common navigation and collision
Keywords: ECDIS, SCAMIN, flag states. Introduction
The Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) will become mandatory equipment for all merchant ships by the year 2018. In this regard officers in charge of a navigational watch must be trained well so that they can navigate the vessel safely in all waters using an ECDIS. To navigate safely, navigating officers would need to familiarize themselves with ECDIS equipment on the ships that they sail on, and demonstrate that they are confident and knowledgeable in operating an ECDIS on board. A simplified user manual I feel will not only enhance competence levels
carriage requirements and data procurement responsibilities. using the variable range marker and the electronic bearing marker. Chapter 4 – Presentation of ECDIS data This chapter explains the various presentation rules of an ECDIS. This is because it is the logic behind the step that is important and not the steps per se. As the manual incorporates the detailed teaching syllabus of The IMO model course – each learning objective has been explained in detail with diagrammatic illustrations provided wherever required to enhance text.ISATE 2011 International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education 27 – 29 September 2011. Chapter 2 – Principal types of Electronic charts This chapter deals with the differences between ECS and ECDIS systems and between raster and vector charts. Chapter 5 – Basic Navigational functions and settings After reading this chapter the user will be able to demonstrate competence on how to use the basic navigational functions of an ECDIS display like. The developed user manual mandatory ECDIS training. referencing systems for positioning and other navigational functions and the organization of chart distribution among others. Therefore if the user understands the logic behind an operational task of the Transas ECDIS he would also understand the logic of the same operational task in another manufacturer’s equipment. explained in the manufacturer’s manual while it is highlighted in my manual. This is because the role of the facilitator is crucial in a learning process (Feith 2008). setting the safety contour. overcomes this anomaly. As this is done in a systematic and linear manner. equipment and therefore be able to perform tasks on the ECDIS for safe navigation and collision avoidance in a It would be good for a user to understand the competent manner. An example in this regard is the activation of the chart priority button when route Contents of the manual monitoring/planning. the ECDIS display categories and the different modes of presentation. The manual illustrates these objectives clearly with screen shots and explanations of all the tasks that user should be able to perform for safe navigation and collision avoidance as required by the model course. Sequential screen shots have been provided for objectives that require the user to demonstrate competence. Chapter 1 – Legal Aspects and requirements This chapter deals with ECDIS performance standards. This is not learning objectives of the model course. The manual has been designed with the facilitator in mind. saving and entering mariners notes and using the pick report. The chapters of the manual are as follows: The manual helps the facilitator as all the learning objectives of the IMO model course have been explained clearly using text and enhanced graphics. implication of a task and not just do it without understanding why. based on the general sequentially when the vessel is on passage. their limitations and integrity. Most user manuals do not tell you Trainers could use the manual to help facilitate the purpose of a task. 10 67 . This is done to ensure only mandatory ENCs are loaded automatically and The manual has 11 chapters. doubts in relation to all learning objectives have been addressed. Chapter 3 – ECDIS data This chapter outlines the steps in the creation of an ENC. Bulleted text has been used to ensure that the steps required to achieve a required task on ECDIS has been shown logically and sequentially. It would also help the facilitator. monitoring key navigational parameters. Chapter 6 – Sensors The chapter highlights the various sensor inputs provided for in an ECDIS. to facilitate the Users are seafarers who will use the manual to training in the operational use of the ECDIS in a more understand the operational principles of the ECDIS efficient manner. ensuring that the relevant knowledge transfer from a trainer to the student is correct and clear. Operational steps in the use of the ECDIS are based on the Transas Marine ECDIS.27 as a guide. the data structure of an ENC. The User Manual The manual has been developed with the learning objectives of the IMO model course 1. Singapore User Profile avoidance planning and monitoring tasks on an ECDIS.
Screen shots of the logical sequential steps to be used in completing an ECDIS task were taken on a Transas ECDIS while I was on attachment with the company in Singapore. 11 68 . where to click the mouse to extract data. monitor these routes on passage by setting and checking the various alarms available on an ECDIS. flow diagrams. The text books are ‘The Electronic Chart’ by Horst Hecht et al. This has been done as follows. Other methods used to simplify the manual include the use of simplified flow charts. the menu path to do this. These are illustrated below. would make the operation of the ECDIS much simpler to understand for an untrained user. Chapter 9 – Updating After reading this chapter the mariner will understand the importance of updating and will be able to demonstrate how to update an ENC or a raster chart. Material was also taken from the several user manuals that were provided to me by Transas. The first graphic shows detail on an electronic approach chart with the SCAMIN attribute ‘off’ while with SCAMIN ‘on’ details that are not required are removed decreasing chart clutter. An untrained user would thus easily be able to understand how the ‘SCAMIN’ attribute works. Singapore Chapter 7 – Route planning The Scale minimum (SCAMIN) ‘attribute’ The user will be able to demonstrate competence in planning and constructing a safe passage using the ECDIS from a known departure point to an arrival point after reading this chapter. and ‘ECDIS and positioning’ by Dr Andy Norris. To be competent in the use of ECDIS equipment a user must know how to extract data required for safe navigation. but a reader’s doubt in understanding the SCAMIN ‘attribute’ will be reduced with the enhanced graphics used in the manual. a screen shot using graphic pointers showing. SCAMIN ‘on’ Information displayed on the Electronic navigational chart (ENC) An ENC is a vector chart where data can be displayed when required as it is arranged in layers. test yourself questions. Even though this has been explained using text in the manual. Graphics used in the manual have been enhanced with text. He will also understand how manual updates are done. Some examples of illustrated graphics with text are appended below. This makes reading of the manual simple and easy as key concepts explained using text have been illustrated with enhanced graphics. Chapter 8 – Route monitoring After reading this chapter the user will be able to call up saved routes as required. Chapter 10 – Documentation This chapter describes the voyage recording functions of an ECDIS. Excerpts from the simplified manual The manual has been written in a simple manner. SCAMIN ‘off’ The SCAMIN ‘attribute’ has been adequately explained using text. Material for the manual was taken from Transas’s user manuals and from recognized ECDIS textbooks that have been written for the Mariner. Chapter 11 – Making the ECDIS a safe tool for navigation Lessons learnt from real life case studies and methods of monitoring ECDIS performance have been illustrated in this chapter. lessons learnt from case studies and bullets to magnify key points.ISATE 2011 International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education 27 – 29 September 2011.
This is illustrated in the radar overlay graphic of the manual and is as below: ECDIS menu path presentation_1 ECDIS menu path presentation_2 The use of flow diagrams and flow charts These have been used in lieu of a check list so that a new user does key operational tasks in the correct sequence and does not miss tasks. The use of the radar overlay 12 69 . Singapore Understanding the menu path for key operational tasks The methodology used is shown in the graphic below. Good sequential graphics explains this along with textual explanation will enable a new user to understand the logic used in the equipment. navigation and collision avoidance. To use the overlay there are several operations that an untrained user must do to ensure safe navigation and collision avoidance. Operational procedures to do this must be clearly explained. An effective graphic that shows key operational tasks will make understanding easier. as is the case when following a simulation exercise in a classroom. An example in this regard would be the operational tasks to be performed to use the radar overlay. Illustrative text on this graphic shows the position of the Most ECDIS systems have several menu paths to do key cursor and the menu path for getting the information operational paths and for the extraction of data for safe required. As tasks are several a new user must understand the logic behind the operational menu path of the ECDIS system. Just plain text may not be able to explain these procedures fully. that are key for safe navigation and collision avoidance. This provides for a better understanding as illustrated in the two photographs below: Buoy ‘attribute’ Illustrating key operational procedures with enhanced graphics The main function of the ECDIS is to provide for safe navigation and collision avoidance.ISATE 2011 International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education 27 – 29 September 2011.
The voyage plan was implemented without the safety check for safety parameter violations. The CFL Performer case The CFL Performer grounded on Haisborough Sand.7. Test yourself Each chapter has a test yourself exercise. The vessel was sailing from Suriname to Grimsby. Lessons learnt were as follows: Auto updating – flow diagram ECDIS training is paramount for safe navigation. safety depth and the shallow and deep contour features of the ENC.1 – Test yourself Select one of the display categories. An example of a test yourself exercise is as below: 6. They did not know how to use the safety check feature for checking a planned route for safety Route monitoring flow chart violations. The exercise highlights key tasks that an untrained user must practice to gain competence in using the ECDIS for collision avoidance and safe navigation. After route planning on the ECDIS the route must be checked for safety parameter violations. Under or over scale the ECDIS display and check the feedback. Self training is not acceptable for the ECDIS. off the coast of Norfolk.9 metres and grounded on Haisborugh Sand where the charted depth was less than 2 metres. The manual has illustrated 3 case studies and one of them is summarized. Change the presentation mode from ‘N UP’ to ‘H UP’ on an ECDIS display. 13 70 . Case studies Relevant case studies help a new user understand lessons learnt from others mistakes. The Chief Officer and the Second Officer were not trained in the operational use of the ECDIS. Check the projection of the ENC in use. Unquestioning trust must not be put on the ECDIS. As a result of their lack of training and their ignorance. The facts of the case and lessons learnt from this accident are as follows: The vessel had a draft of 5. Singapore An enquiry was conducted to determine the cause of the accident and the results were as below: Illustrative graphics show the flow chart to be used for route monitoring and the flow diagram for the automatic The Chief Officer amended the voyage plan on updating of ENCs. Bullets have been used to illustrate key points. In this regard they were not aware of the safety contour. the vessel grounded on Haisborough Sand. The voyage plan was completed in 5 minutes. They did not know how to establish a watch vector to trigger safety alarms (the safety frame of the Transas ECDIS). edited if required and then implemented. the electronic chart so that the vessel could arrive at Grimsby an hour earlier.ISATE 2011 International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education 27 – 29 September 2011. Equipment specific training will be required for the ECDIS.
The Netherlands.The operational use of electronic chart display and information systems. International Maritime Organisation . The manual would also make the learning objectives easier to understand for both the learner and the facilitator. Even though these tasks are those performed on the Transas ECDIS – the steps will be logically similar for the same task on another manufacturers equipment. Change the display setting from day to night to dusk and see what happens. (2002). This is especially important as demonstrating safe navigation principles and guidelines I feel determine the success of an ECDIS course. Check the ENC and RNC numbers. Nothing will be left out that is required to ensure the mariner has developed the required skills for safe navigation and collision avoidance. ECDIS and positioning. Jeppesen on board. Upload a harbour chart and then an approach chart and note the difference in the data detail. Principal Matters autumn 2008. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the authors. (ECDIS) (2000). Singapore Look for ancillary information on an RCDS display and note at least five of them. Copyright statement Copyright © 2011 Ashok Mulloth: The author assigns to the ISATE conference and educational non. Nautical Institute. Select ‘true motion’ as the motion mode. A disc provided with the manual illustrates how key tasks are performed on the Transas ECDIS in a systematic and logical manner. Hecht Horst et al. Lemmer.exclusive license to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. GITC bv. This not only makes learning easier but also makes it more efficient as the facilitator can use the disc and project it on a screen in a media classroom to explain key tasks. Norris Andy (2010). Check and note some meta – data of an RNC.profit institutions a non . END Conclusion The developed user manual I feel will complement the IMO model course and will help standardize training as all the learning objectives have been explained in a systematic manner. References ECDIS – Electronic Navigation Charts No1 – April 2010. The 14 71 . Finally I would like to emphasize that the user manual was designed and developed with the facilitator in mind as his role is crucial in any learning experience. This is because the model course only states what the objective is but may not be very clear on the desired outcomes of a learning objective – by explaining the objective in detail a facilitator would know exactly what he has to teach. Using multimedia to enhance learning. Feith David (2008). The Electronic Chart.ISATE 2011 International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education 27 – 29 September 2011.
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