By Colin Bransgrove 29 April

The Marina Industries Association (MIA) has ramped up its online learning for the marina industries since the onset of COVID-19. In 2019 MIA delivered two different types of educational online programs; a course and webinars. Now the MIA’s online offering has increased to six types of online programs. This year MIA expects to deliver a minimum of 17 online educational activities.

MIA President Andrew Chapman said momentum for online learning was already growing pre COVID-19. “12 months ago we launched the Club Marina Extreme Weather Preparedness Course online. While initial take-up was slow there has been a 60% increase in course enrollments from nine countries this year.”

According to the MIA’s Industry Education Officer Vijaya Selvaraj, studying online has practical advantages not just during the COVID-19 crisis. “Shorter, more intensive and self-directed online learning gives our members greater flexibility to choose when, where and how they study. Members can participate from anywhere in the world and experts can be brought in via recorded interviews or live webinars. This enriches their learning experience and gives our members the opportunity to gain a truly global perspective and develop their networks.”

“Online learning methods can mimic actual classrooms with required attendance at specific times. It can be self-paced, or blended, and use a variety of tools to engage students and support learning. MIA’s Extreme Weather Course is self-paced and the materials can be accessed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and participants are given 30 days to complete the Course. We are also rolling out a course focused on marina boat fire prevention which will be a blended online course. The course will consist of two parts; the first self-paced while part two will consist of virtual classrooms. Virtual classrooms require both the instructor and the participants to be connected to the learning platform at the same time. This allow the participants to interact, ask questions to each other and the presenter, and conduct themselves as they would in a traditional classroom.”

In July MIA will conduct its first ever online Intermediate Marina Management (IMM) Course. Traditionally this face to face course is conducted over 4.5 days. The online IMM will be conducted over a period of four weeks. The Course uses the ‘flipped classroom learning’ strategy. Students will be required to self-study each of the eight course topics (mostly online). On three occasions they will interact with the presenters in the virtual classroom to review their learning and discuss the topics with their fellow course students.

MIA CEO Colin Bransgrove said “face to face learning will always be a core part of MIA’s education offering in normal times. The use of online learning however is suited to the MIA membership that is scattered across many countries from the Middle East to New Zealand. With 300 plus members across such a vast area of the globe it is inevitable online learning will become an increasingly important component of MIA activity to support the sustainable growth of the marina industries.”

To view the MIA’s 2020 on-line learning calendar of learning activities go to