two persons in a ship

Project: Evaluation of quality-enhancing measures within supervision at sea

The ship-based practice forms a central part of maritime education. During their time at sea, supervision is important for pupils and students' opportunity to learn and to develop their professional identity. In this project, we evaluate possible quality-enhancing measures for supervision in vocational education.

Project information

Project manager
Magnus Boström, Linnaeus University
Other project members
Johan Boström & Karolina Stark, Linnaeus University
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
The Swedish Mercantile Marine Foundation
1 May 2023–30 April 2025
Maritime science (Kalmar Maritime Academy, Faculty of technology)
Research group
Maritime Science

More about the project

Workplace-based training is an important part of vocational pupils and students' professional development. Supervision in vocational training has been shown to have a central role for students' opportunity to learn, to develop their professional identity and to foster a sense of belonging to the profession. Supervision takes place between the supervisor, a practitioner who has professional knowledge and experience, and the trainee.

However, there are no regulations that describe how the supervision should be carried out. Supervision can thus look different, both depending on how and where it takes place, and which people are involved. Previous research shows that the time spent on board and the supervision are of great importance to the student, and can be decisive for whether they decide to invest in a future career at sea.

The project's overall aim is to test and evaluate possible quality-enhancing measures related to the supervision of pupils and students during their workplace-based learning (arbetsplatsförlagda lärande, APL) and ship-based training (fartygsförlagda utbildning, FFU), i.e. during maritime students' on-board practice.

The problem we want to answer is how supervision can be adapted to create a high-quality and equal learning for pupils and students during their onboard training. Hopefully, this will contribute to the supply of skills in shipping and improve the work environment for trainees and supervisors.

The project will be carried out as participatory action research, which means that researchers will work closely with practitioners in the field to jointly define the problem to be investigated and possible approaches. Action research should be seen as a way to both generate new knowledge about an area and create an understanding of factors that enable change processes within that area.

Afterwards, the intention is that the project's results and conclusions are disseminated within the shipping industry so that good examples can be applied by supervisors on other ships, and possibly also within other domains.

The project is part of the research in the research group Maritime Science