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How many students fail your course?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by CAPTAIN SINBAD, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Scuba Scott

    Scuba Scott Instructor, Scuba ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The difference between being an "expert drysuit diver" and being able to show a drysuit specialty card only matters if you want to rent a drysuit some place you are not known. I dove dry many years without the specialty in my personally owned drysuit. I eventually got the certification before teaching it so I could be sure I was providing the best training.

    Certifications are generally just a ticket to use someone else's equipment, be it a tank, a boat, or a drysuit.
     
  2. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
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    I've never really documented or kept track of the specifics of why the failure rate is higher with certain agencies , but it has been my experience that it is more so the academics and not so much the physical aspect of the skill sets. Looking back now, I see a trend that people who do online academics learn quicker and easier than those that learn in a lengthy classroom environment. Heck, even I do now days. If I want to learn something, where do I go? YOUTUBE!!! The reality of online training is simple. It works and it is here to stay. People can learn better from a computer screen than they can from a Salty Instructor like me. Of course there will always be a few exceptions. These numbers may start to change now that PDIC and SEI both have online programs as well. And as stated, most of the failures we refer to another agency (in reality I referred them to myself, as I teach across multiple agencies), I have them purchase their books for that agency, and of course I will give them credit for any skills they have already learned that matches the new agency's standards, and then after they meet all the standards of that agency, they became certified. So would I call this a failure, or something else (who knows). If their goal was to become certified, then I guess its not a failure if they didn't pass one agency, but got certified through another. In the end, they reached their goal. As some would say, there is always more than one way to skin a cat. In general, all the agencies we teach through have the exact same physical requirements (24 basic skill set, swim test, etc.), but they differ greatly in the physics, and even in the structure of the classroom settings.
     
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,634
    17,063
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    When PADI online training started, I worked for a dive shop whose training director, a Course Director, refused to allow it. As he explained it, years before he had taken an online course in another field, and it totally sucked. He therefore assumed all online education must totally suck. Eventually, a decision was made to allow it. I think it was maybe my 12th online student who was the first one to miss a question on the final exam. He missed one question--silly mistake.

    When people compare the length of scuba classes during the wonder years (1960s and 1970s), they invariably include the time spent in class listening to the instructor teach the academics in the old days while omitting the time spent on online academics today, as if academics are no longer taught. Even if they were to include the time spent on online academics today, there would be a pretty big time difference, because the the online learning is so much more efficient and leads to greater student retention of information. So which is more important in scuba training--spending more time in class or learning more?
     
  4. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
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    I have only done a couple of online courses. I found them ok but very basic like some of the course materials. But if the point is to teach students certain basic material that is fine. In my own case I usually wanted more in depth so I often supplemented the class materials, be they written or online, with more in depth discussions with a more experienced person, often an instructor, or reading more in depth materials. But that is just me.
     
  5. Lake Hickory Scuba

    Lake Hickory Scuba Course Director

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taylorsville, NC
    301
    315
    63
    That all depends on the Instructor. Some, which I hate to say, was me back in the day, and may still be on a very small scale, just like to hear themselves talk. One of the things I teach all my Divemasters, Assistant Instructors, and Instructor Candidates is, once you have reached the professional level of scuba diving, its no longer about you, its all about the student. I too was against the online training, from all the agencies, but have grown to embellish it, and now I am a firm supporter of it. I'm also a firm believer that the skill sets are more important than the academics. This doesn't mean the student doesn't need to understand the academics, but the last time I checked, I can use a calculator without needing to know all the technical aspects of how the math works on paper. I know that is a stretch from Scuba Training, as to my knowledge no one has ever died from a calculator, but the principle is the same. Technology makes things easier to learn, and funner to do. Not to mention, it makes it more convenient for a person to learn on their own time versus having to learn during the Instructor's / Store's time.

    Our average classroom session for Open Water takes 10-15 hours of work (broken up over several days of course). For the students that do the online training, we still spend 5-10 hours of classroom with them. Especially students who are under the age of 16. All Junior Student Divers get the full 10-15 hours of classroom time, even if they do the online training before hand. So the Academic Classroom Setting is still present even in the digital day and age, at least through our shop it is.
     
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,634
    17,063
    113
    Online education used to be my profession. I was the Executive Director of Curriculum for one of the world's largest online education companies.

    In the early days, colleges frequently told professors to create an online program in their spare time while giving next to no instruction on how to do it. Many of those classes were little more than lists of reading assignments from a textbook. Others were a little more complex, with some written material delivered online or videos of lectures. In contrast, when we made online courses, they was made by teams of specialists designing content, creating visuals aids, and using specialized software to make the courses interactive. Creating a single course would typically cost us about $100,000. That was a decade ago, and I am sure that cost is now significantly higher.

    The range in quality of online courses is enormous.
     
  7. shurite7

    shurite7 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: MT
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    Student retention. Regardless of the format used for teaching (eLearning, lecture, video watching, symposium, seminar, prescriptive, grueling testing, etc) student retention is key, in my view.
     
    Steve_C likes this.
  8. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    11,967
    2,520
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    I've never even seen an online course anywhere, but figure it's the best way. 30+ years ago when I was teaching, I thought it would be a great idea to give each family a VCR so kids could learn something like math, science, etc.--from tapes of experts teaching the subject.-- without all the wasted time sitting in a classroom when others needed more time to "get it". Or feeling I you yourself needed more time than what was given. Too bad it wasn't practical as some parents would've sold to VCR for beer money.
     

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