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SSI Online Academic Program?

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by clint@uniquescuba.com, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Skooter

    Skooter Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
  2. I have had a chance to review SSI's new online program and have to say that it fell far below my expectations. I was hoping for so much more.

    I think it's great that they wanted to create an online presence that would help support their member stores, I guess they only had a few thousand dollars in the budget for this project though.

    Scanning in the pages from the open water manual.....is this a joke?

    It's to bad, I was soo excited to see what they were gonna "stir up the industry with"

    Oh well.:confused:
  3. colo_diver

    colo_diver Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: western colorado
    Until all the bugs are out I think we will just keep it in the shop
  4. H2O Photo Pros

    H2O Photo Pros Instructor, Scuba

    Although it may not be perfect, Im sure they will work out the kinks as we all give them our input and ideas. One thing they should really be commended on is that they designed the program so that the students still have to go to the SSI stores and pay for classes...they are not keeping the money themselves and cutting into dive shop profits in any way.
  5. I agree, if the student goes into an SSI facility after they have taken the course online and they pay the shop for training, and all the money goes to the shop, than that is a very noble system.

    However, and I don't know this for certain, does that student still have to buy SSI educational materials from the store?


    Since the student has already passed the educational , home study portion of training, are they exempt from the SSI requirement to buy their very own student kit?
  6. JMcD

    JMcD Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario, Canada

    I don't know 100%, but the web site does suggest that a student will need to purchase a student kit. This is from the SSI site:

    SSIÃÔ Online Training - the scuba diving academics - are totally free!!

    If you decide to continue your education and want to become a certified diver, you will need to sign up for an SSI Open Water class at your local SSI Dive Center.

    The SSI Dive Center you choose will provide you with additional training material (such as a DVD, Total DiveLog, etc.). They will have a variety of class times and course fees available for you to choose from. You can pick what best fits your schedule and pocket book.

    I really like the idea that someone can use the web to learn, but I wouldn't be 100% comfortable that "checking off boxes" on a web site demonstrates they know the material as they need to know it. For one, how do I know who really did it?

    How often have you seen family members learning together where one supports the other more than they should? As an instructor, I can manage that in a class, but if someone essentially did the web version with a friend/family member and didn't see anything wrong with providing significant support in an effort to be "helpful" (not realizing that the "weaker" individual needs to have a complete grasp of the training as well - they will be a certified diver and need to be able to be safe independant of the other) you'd have someone that looked like they passed the material and still doesn't know what they need.

    I agree that the web materials are not perfect, but what I have seen (section 1 only so far) looks pretty good. Some portions fails to take advantage of what a web delivered system could provide (at times it is a bit like just book text on a web page), but it is a great start. Also, I suspect they do need to balance bandwidth concerns for some potential users and it needs to be pointed out that this is a support for SSI locations, not a replacement for them - SSI is very strong in supporting the industry, not just certifying divers. All in all, I think a pretty good job - yes more can be done and it can be refined, but walking before running is always a good idea. :clapping:
  7. kykajun

    kykajun Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Louisville, KY
    I just finished the confined water training and completed the online training. I did have to buy a training kit from the LDS. Because this is so new, I was their first online student, and evidently SSI had not given them much direction on how to handle me. They were great though - We reviewed my knowledge a d I took the written exam with the other students. We did spend a good bit of time on the dive tables in the classroom, which I was grateful for, because it cleared up some confusion I had from the online training.

    Overall, I was pleased with the experience.
  8. Just curious, did you have to buy a new Open Water Manual and DVD as well?
  9. Ponyfeathers

    Ponyfeathers Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: florida
    My 2nd dive is tomorrow, and I did my classes online. We couldnt get off work for the stores class time, so we were the first guinea pigs for the online training. LDS still had us pay 80 for materials, and 20 for a DVD. We got an online kit, which had the same DVD (which he kept for the store), a study guide, a car decal and a tote bag and bookmark.

    We still had classes on Thursdays for the pool session. I liked being able to spread out the training at home and then go in to review and take the written test when i was ready. I didnt like having to buy the DVD though. After watching it, it was basically a review of the learning materials. But the online classes had the majority of the clips from the DVD in it.

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