We’ve all seen the disclaimers: These people are trained professionals. Do not try this at home. And what do warnings such as this help guarantee? That some idiot will, indeed, try this at home. That’s why there are the Darwin Awards. Thank goodness this sort of nonsense doesn’t go on in the diving community. Or does it?
Even though it has been around for roughly 15 years, few things in diver training remain as controversial as eLearning. Just this past year, Dive Center Business published a scathing article pinning the blame for the current decline in equipment sales — at least in part — on eLearning. Many dive retailers and instructors will tell you, at length, what they don’t like about eLearning.
I was certified through your store ten years ago. I’m leaving on a vacation next week and can’t find my certification card. Can you get me a replacement?
Does that set off alarm bells? It should, because it could easily be the sign of an accident waiting to happen. Here is just one story that illustrates what can take place when you issue replacement c-cards on a “no questions asked” basis.
Most of us are aware of a trend in public education in which students are not allowed to participate in competitions or games that have clear winners and losers, or in which everyone who participates doesn’t receive some sort of trophy or medal. The rationale is that it is better to leave students totally unprepared for the realities of life than it is to bruise anyone’s fragile ego. Well, guess what? We’ve apparently reached that point in diver training as well.
What happens when the people we rely on most to provide good role models for new divers drop the ball? That’s easy. The divers get bad information and, as a result, make poor decisions. This is why being a role model is so important.
If you share our passion for creating better, more environmentally responsible divers and for making buoyancy control a habit and not a “skill,” then you probably wouldn’t mind having a few memes you can post on Facebook so that you can share these sentiments with your fellow divers and instructors. Well, we just made it easy for you.
Those of us who teach scuba know all about That Student. You know the one. He or she is a likable person, and it’s clear this person really wants to dive. Overall, his or her skills aren’t absolutely horrible. But there is that one skill (as often as not it’s mask clearing) which has this person absolutely stymied.
A recent Facebook group discussion on an entirely different topic eventually devolved into What should a training agency’s Instructor Crossover process consist of? It’s an important question, especially considering that, depending on the agency, the process can vary considerably.