Online SCUBA Training?

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.

2 thoughts on “Online SCUBA Training?

  1. I think the online lessons are valuable fr some, but should be suplimented by classroom work. I'm not a Tech diver (yet), but Thinking back to OW/AOW the most valuable portions of the course to me were the stories and practical advice the instructor added beyond the content of the books. I should hope by this level a potential tech diver should be able to read a book (or powerpoint) and understand most, if not all, of the information presented. Some classroom time could be valuable to clear up any confusion and expand beyond the straight coures content.

    I would be willing to pay about the same, or slightly less, for the course online. If the online content were a limited time deal, I would likely buy books instead. I prefer having the option to reread that material a year or two later, If I want. Most online learning I've seen in other areas are a semester or one year login and you can't use the material for referance later.

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