Saturday, January 2, 2021

2021 COVID19 Learning Journey Aboard the Amani: a cruise ship operations & management course. In situ learning

COVID19 Learning Journey Aboard the Amani: 
a cruise ship operations & management course.  
In situ learning

COVID19 Learning Journey Aboard the Amani

Amani Cruise Ship, Limiland

The Amani Cruise Ship sets sail for an extra credit learning journey for San Jose State University in late January 2021. Preparations are still ongoing for the maiden voyage for students of the cruise ship operations & management course. At the heart of this immersive activity is the reality of the lasting impact COVID19 will have on the world in general, and the cruising industry specifically. 

An Opportunity for Immersion & Reflection

Students acting as investigators for the cruise ship company will explore various areas of the ship and reflect on information there about how COVID19 will continue to challenge the cruising industry. They will create a field study report that documents their findings with screenshots, and turn it into the learning management system at the end of the semester.

As with any activity, the learning objectives for the course guide the design for this reflection journal. Specifically, however, this assignment aligns with the following:
  • Describe the economic significance of the global Cruise Industry
  • Describe operations management on board a cruise ship involving its major functions, processes and procedures
  • Explain the importance of staff training for cruise operations & maritime law which is SOLAS, ARC, CLIA, IATA, CST, etc.
  • Explain needs for customer services and security on board a cruise ship

About the Amani

The Lido Deck

The Amani cruise ship (built by Josh Boam) is enormous, and came almost entirely furnished. For example, in multiple locations like the main dining room, there are many tables and chairs with full place settings for a meal. The Lido deck features a pool, hot tub, lounging chairs, recreation equipment, and a poolside bar. There are also multiple fully furnished guest cabin suites. 

Behind the Scenes

The Galley
What needed to be created, however, were areas of a ship more specific to a student of cruise operations management. Fortunately, the ship was large enough to create these additional areas just by adding some interior walls. Thanks to the many creators who share their content in OpenSim, these spaces are being furnished with objects to provide a bit more realism to areas of a cruise ship not often seen by guests. A few of the newly created areas include the Galley (kitchen), the Infirmary, Housekeeping, and the Purser’s Office. Other areas may be developed as time goes on.

One caveat; a location might have information that in real life would be related to a different department. It was necessary to keep things as simple as possible, however, while still allowing for a sense of realism. Some of the furnishing too might not be entirely accurate, but that should not distract from the intention of the activity.

Ms. Marina Amania (NPC)

Ms. Amania, junior assistant purser

Ms. Amania is the junior assistant purser and a non-player character (NPC) who greets visitors at the entrance to the ship. When you click on her she delivers a brief audio greeting. She also appears in a few other strategic locations to provide an additional sense of place and storytelling. In the future, additional characters may also be added. 

Extra Credit: Field Journal Report

The Amani report will use this format, and be open for the entire spring semester. Here are a few additional details.

Learning Management Tutorial Page. This page will have information (and a video) on how to create an account, get into Limiland, and how to get to the Amani cruise ship.

Google Document Template - Investigators will be provided with a template of the format their journals should take. They will be prompted to record dates of in-world visits, screenshots, and short reflective entries about different locations.

Embedded Information Givers. Ms. Amania will deliver brief verbal message, and other signage or information givers will also prompt students to think more deeply about how all company employees must work together to manage the impact COVID19 or other future viruses will have on the industry and student’s careers. Resources will include infographics, notecard givers, and other embedded information relevant to that particular area of the ship.

Onboarding & Other Opportunities for Engagement

In addition to the information page in the learning management system, there will be a Zoom session at the start of the semester showing students the process of logging in and navigation. During the semester, weekly events will be hosted in the evenings, likely a poolside hangout or a dance party, as an added incentive for students to come in and socialize. These sessions will allow for in-the-moment feedback from students, but also serves as an opportunity to offer technical support.

Stay tuned for an update in the spring semester!



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