I would like your opinion of SCUBA training. As some of you know, teaching diving is my avocation. My “real” job is in the education field, specifically distance/online education. So when I recently had the chance to review some online SCUBA materials, I jumped at the chance.
Now, using the internet to deliver SCUBA training is not a new concept. Recreational SCUBA agencies have been using it for years. The course materials I reviewed were for TECHNICAL diving classes. The modules are designed to present the academic portion of a given course as well as present demos (via video clips) of some of the in-water skills. Obviously you cannot deliver an entire technical diving course over the internet, but it may be helpful for students to go through the academic portion prior to the in-person sessions. The academic modules I saw were PowerPoint-style slides with narration and the occasional video clip. Just to be clear, students are still required to read the student manual, so if you prefer to see things in print, or are a computer-phobe, fear not.
So what do you think? If you’re already a tech diver, think back to your last tech course, would you have benefited from reviewing the entire “classroom” session before meeting with the instructor? Would you have liked to have seen videos of the in-water skills? If you’re not a tech diver (yet), would the online experience I’ve described sway you one way or the other? If you think an online component would be valuable, what dollar amount would you put on it? Would you pay $50 to access these materials? $75? $100?
Feel free to respond. I’m curious what people think.