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GUE Materials

Discussion in 'DIR' started by ScubaFeenD, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. ScubaFeenD

    ScubaFeenD Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    1,573
    97
    Ive never found the GUE materials to be particularly hard to understand, but I have found them to be sparse when is comes to illustration and depth of information. Based on another thread and other conversations I have read/heard, what do you all think GUE needs to do to their materials to make them better.

    I just want more information to refer to as an "encyclopedia" of diving, but I am really a reference-phile, so I am not sure how realistic this desire is.
     
  2. nielsent

    nielsent Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    213
    36
    All the stuff i have read from GUE sources has been very good, as i have related on a previous thread. The only exception to this is that i find Dan McKay's "Dress for Success" To have a lot of type-o's. On the other hand, most diving references have their own unique goof ups, no matter whether they are GUE or not.

    I find that if there are a few errors in the books, but the information is understandable, that is fine. Especially since we are supposed to only be reading books about diving when we are not diving, and we should be diving enough that we don't have time to read books :)
     
  3. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: British Virgin Islands
    11,299
    10,729
    I have only read two GUE manuals (plus Jablonski's fundamentals) and I thought they were all pretty good. Certainly when set against TDI manuals which are pretty awful...

    I have always thought there might be some money to be made in someone writing a reasonably comprehensive "Encyclopedia of Technical Diving" in the same fashion as the PADI Encyclopedia of Recretional Diving.

    Where is Doppler when you need him...?
     
  4. Spg01

    Spg01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Orange County, Ca
    714
    78
    One thing that would be nice is to let students have access to videos that demonstrate the skills you are expected to perform in the class. Not just show them once or twice during the class and then expect you to pay a another membership fee on top of the class if you ever wanted to watch one of them again.

    The videos would be a great reference during and after any class. Yes I know there a lot of demostration videos on you tube, but I think they should give you access to all the training material used during any class.

    /End Rant
     
    parkerco and HenrikBP like this.
  5. ScubaFeenD

    ScubaFeenD Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    1,573
    97
    GUE always references an encyclopedia as recommended reading, but as of yet it hasnt been finished yet. A lot of the books by JJ are pretty good too, but I always wish there wer graphics and such to go along with it to make it a tad more illustrative and comprehensive. It is unfair for me to expect that though.
     
  6. ScubaFeenD

    ScubaFeenD Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    1,573
    97
    I agree; at least allow access for the time from registration to class completion.
     
  7. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    36,349
    13,626
    I'm going to be speaking primarily about the Tech 1 and Cave 1 manuals here. Both are in need of an editor. There are repeated passages and even whole pages, and a lot of errors in syntax. IIRC, there are also references to figures that don't exist.

    Both could use revision to be a little less wordy, and have more visual aids.

    They are far more readable, even with the problems, than the manuals for similar courses from a number of other agencies. I think I own the Cave manual from every agency that offers a cave class, and I concluded that I liked the NAUI one the best. It had a good balance between narrative and "how-to". The GUE manuals are basically all narrative and theory, and don't form a good reference if you want, for example, to go back and refer to how a particular procedure or protocol is done.
     
  8. Leejnd

    Leejnd Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
    1,675
    217
    I just found this forum - didn't even know it was here. Now I do! :)

    To answer the question - ScubaFeend I assume you are referring to the famous "Fundies kicked my a$$" thread in Basic Scuba Discussions, in which I voiced my displeasure with the course materials I received in Fundies. I was happy to find out that I'm not the only person who felt that way!

    Having only done Fundies so far (and not even passed yet - still provisional) I can give you my thoughts from the perspective of a DIR noob. The problem is that, other than the Fundamentals of Better Diving book that I was told to purchase (which is very high-level), the only other materials that I got were a bunch of handouts with worksheets on them, and copies of the Powerpoint slides. The problem with the handout/worksheets is that they dive right into the math, without giving a good fundamental explanation of what it all means - of the BASICS. I read those handouts over and over and over, and I didn't get any of it until I sat down with my instructor. Once he explained some of the basics, then it all made sense...but the course material was (to me) useless in and of itself. And it was particularly frustrating for someone like me, for whom math is a challenge anyway.

    Also, the handouts print out in an illogical order. The first handout is Deep Stops, which is fine - that was pretty simple - but the next one plunges right into gas management for dissimilar tanks. I started reading that and my head started spinning around! WHOA! It was so beyond my understanding that I seriously considered cancelling the class right then and there, because I felt too stupid to take it. If there is an order in which those handouts should be read, it sure doesn't make it clear!

    Now, I had an unusual situation that, for me, really emphasized the failures of the course material: I took my Fundies class in November, and shortly thereafter I had to have major surgery, which kept me from diving (or doing anything, really) for months. I'm finally healthy again and just now getting back into diving, but during my recovery I really didn't think about diving, or Fundies, at all. Now I want to get back into it, so I went back to my materials...and it was like reading Swahili. There was just no way for me to be able to regain the knowledge from the materials alone.

    Last night I spent three hours with my Fundies instructor, getting a 1:1 refresher. That was NOT CHEAP (although he earned every penny of it). Had the materials been good enough for me to really be able to pick them back up and re-learn the parts I'd forgotten, I could have saved myself that money. And it really highlighted the failings of the materials: they are just not designed to be usable without an instructor.

    Now, this might be at least partially by design: GUE may want to dissuade people from thinking they can learn what they need to learn on their own. I get that...but I disagree. I feel the materials should be able to stand on their own. Most people learn better from a combination of reading, listening, and doing... REAL learning can't take place without all three anyway. But the materials should be complete. One of the reasons that's important is that people can only absorb so much in one sitting, and the Fundies class crams SO MUCH information in such a short period of time. While this type of immersion training is effective, most of us simply can't assimilate it all. We need time to let it percolate, let the concepts gel, and it REALLY helps to have the materials to refer to later. And they just didn't work for me.

    I should point out that I'm an educator myself (I'm a training manager at a Biotech firm) and part of my job is to develop and write training materials, so I have some background in what good training looks like. And while the overall class , and certainly the information imparted, is excellent, the materials suck.

    Gareth from GUE popped into that other thread and mentioned that the materials have all been re-written and will be released soon. I sure hope previous Fundies students are provided with a copy! I still have a lot of assimilating and gelling to do, and it would really help to have some usable materials to assist me.

    I couldn't agree more. I've been trying to practice my kicks and it would REALLY help if I could refer to the videos we viewed in class. I feel the same way you do: I paid for the class (and it ain't cheap) and I shouldn't be forced to watch them once and then never get to see them again.
     
    tracydr, Spg01 and parkerco like this.
  9. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: British Virgin Islands
    11,299
    10,729
    To be fair, those comments could be applied to a great many publications in the diving sphere...

    The trouble is that diving experts seem to get other diving experts to do their proof reading. I wish to goodness they would broaden their proof reading circle.
     
  10. Spg01

    Spg01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Orange County, Ca
    714
    78
    That is good news, but I would like to know what there idea of soon is. GUE also said they were looking into letting students view the videos online 6 months ago and that has not happened yet. I think I still have a month left to download the course files, so if the new material is released by then I should be able to download them.

    But I also doubt they will send an email about the new course material being available.
     

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