Partners from six European countries came together with a view to building on experiences in the maritime sector, using this to develop materials for those working with work-based simulation tools in inland waterways transport. The resultant Didactical Manual is presented over 8 separate chapters and provides the basis for a future Training of Trainers course, with numerous exercises, materials and templates forming a part of the manual. The Manual confirms the importance of simulation, as an integral part of training, enabling real-world scenarios to be presented and providing learners with the opportunity to confirm the required knowledge, skills and attitudes. In addition to providing a course introduction, individual texts centre on the Role and Functions of Simulator Training (chapter 1), Basic Simulator Design (chapter 2), the Scope of Simulator Training in Inland Navigation (chapter 3), the role of the Simulator Trainer (chapter 4), Conceptualising a Simulator Training Programme (chapter 5), Effective Interpersonal and Communications Skills (chapter 6), Conducting an Simulation exercise (chapter 7) and Assessment and Evaluation (chapter 8).
Whilst the Didactical Manual focuses specifically on the use of work-based simulation for a specific sector (inland waterways transport), it provides a good starting point for others, in other sectors, wishing to develop similar simulation programmes. Learning goals are easily able to be adapted as are many of the broader descriptive texts with only occupational or sector-specific references requiring full adaptation. Some of the original questions that sit at the heart of this project (what makes a simulator an effective tool for education and training? what are possibilities and limitations of a simulator? what is the role of the instructor and assessor?) are equally applicable to other occupational sectors.