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Open Source Instruction for Entry Level Scuba

Discussion in 'Research and Development' started by awetmedic, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,654
    2,671
    113
    I can list some.... from the PADI course, Ditch and Don, Buddy Breathing, Tables.
     
  2. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,115
    113
    There have been some cuts.

    Research indicated that buddy breathing (sharing one regulator) often led to two casualties rather than saving the one person who had gone OOA. Research indicated that it took on average 17 repetitions to become fully competent in the process, and retesting after a period of time showed that the skill is lost quickly without repeated practice. It is now very rare to find anyone diving without an alternate air source. CESA is truly a simple and safer alternative for an OOA diver. Putting all of that together, some agencies have determined that buddy breathing should not be taught at the OW level because there are safer alternatives, and using it in a real emergency is all too likely to lead to greater problems. Consequently, some agencies have dropped buddy breathing from the course. There are instructors, however, who feel this is a mistake and who see it as a lowering of standards rather than a decision related to diver safety.

    If you go back to the 1960s, there were essentially only two certification levels: diver and instructor. Diver instruction was very long and intense, leading to only highly motivated students with the time and money to go through it all being certified. In the 1960s, some agencies decided to try a different, modular approach that divided basic recreational instruction into separate courses. The first would be a much shorter course designed to prepare a diver for basic sport dives at moderate depths, and the later courses would add more instruction that a diver could choose if interested. For example, it did not make sense to prepare a diver for high altitude diving unless the diver intended to dive at high altitudes. Consequently, rather than one very long and expensive course that taught everything a non-instructor would need to know, separate courses were created to let divers choose the training that fit the kind of diving they intended to do.

    Some people think that was a mistake and believe an OW diver should still know everything about diving short of instructional technique. The debate on this raged on ScubaBoard only recently.
     
    fjpatrum likes this.
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,115
    113
    More information....

    In the recent raging debate on this topic, altitude diving and tide charts were the two most often cited items dropped from OW that one fervid participant hammered on repeatedly. Both are mentioned in OW instruction, but only to the point of saying a diver may need to know about them. The person arguing abou the diminishing of standards said that all divers should know the details about both.

    The other side of the argument is that many divers will never need to know about either, and if they go years before encountering a situation, they are not likely to remember what was taught in the OW class. Living at high altitude, I have done a lot of altitude calculations, and I show my students how to do it when we dive here. I would guess that the overwhelming majority of divers will never dive at an altitude that matters. I don't spend any extra time on tide charts, though. In my entire diving career in quite a few locations (see my profile), I have only had to factor in tide charts exactly one day of my life. More importantly, if you really understand tide charts, you will know that you really need local knowledge of tidal effects anyway--and that is what I relied upon. Consequently, it makes sense to me that a diver should only need to learn about altitude and tides if planning to dive where that knowlede will make a difference.
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,636
    17,115
    113
    Here are some tips for those who run organizations that teach scuba and think the OW certification is incomplete:

    1. Run a combined OW/AOW program. Lots of places do that. No need to invent new curriculum at all.

    2. Create distinctive specialties. Thinking that the recreational program leaves some key concepts (like gas planning) out, I created an approved PADI distinctive specialty called Dive Planning that includes just about everything that was left out. It teaches what I think is important, gives the student an official card, and has the blessing of the insurance carrier. PeterGuy on SB has a PADI distinctive specialty called Intro to Tech that covers much of the same stuff.

    3. Just teach what you want. I add a lot of stuff to the OW class and teach it until I see the students understand it. Technically, I can't require it for passing the course, but since I see they understand it through informal evaluation, there really isn't any difference.

    4. Create workshops that teach the skills you think are missing. I created one that looks a lot like GUE fundamentals. It doesn't lead to a new certification, but so what?

    All four seem a lot easier to me than essentially creating a new agency.
     
  5. awetmedic

    awetmedic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    130
    4
    18
    My chief pet peeve of skills that have been deleted for safety sake, is livesaving training for divemasters. Not diver to diver, but swimmer to swimmer. The first time that an instructor gets to evaluate a student is during the swim test, and if they fail the swim test or have heart attack? I can't recall lifeguard training every being a pre-req which would have actually made more sense.

    There are a number of drownings during swim tests, not just with scuba. The point is, drowning is a very common occurrence and you would think preventing that should be addressed at the swim test level.

    Right now entry level, divemaster and instructor have skill standards set by ANSI, public domain easily downloadable. The major agencies don't have to follow them, it is not against the law to ignore them, but if you are trained to ANSI standards that what is the difference who does it?

    Oh, and who developed the standards? Why the RSTC, after skills like lifesaving were dropped.

    This isn't a skill but it certainly is a very significant deletion made with no other goal than profit, and one that clearly puts profit over safety. Letting a student sign their own medical saying that they are fit to dive! I can witness to a scuba diver being paralyzed from that very thing. I treated him in a hyperbaric chamber from Sat morning till Wed. Evening before we could even move him to a bigger chamber.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
    fjpatrum likes this.
  6. awetmedic

    awetmedic Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    130
    4
    18
    I strongly agree with the con-ed, I have always pushed the advanced and the OWII saying that training is not complete until they are, but they can quit at the O/W level. 80% of accidents occur within the first 5 dives of certification and O/WII and advanced do a great deal to keep your people safe.

    And it was difficult to create "the agency", no easy process but it is done. It wasn't created for scuba, and we will be doing a lot more of sailing instruction and other sports than scuba. Scuba and sailing go along quite well together.

    I am still very paranoid about adding or subtracting from a PADI course. I have students exit the water and then inform them the PADI course is over. Would they like to get back in and continue with more training? I then show them skills taught by other agencies for the open water level.
     
  7. Dirty-Dog

    Dirty-Dog Frequently Censored ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pueblo West, CO, USA
    1,988
    1,008
    113
    Nonsense. If the person doesn't have any health problems, then they can sign. If they do, then they need to get their PCP to sign off. Of course, their PCP doesn't actually have to know anything about diving.

    Personal responsibility. Big Brother can go sit on the corner, because I don't want him in my house.
     
    fjpatrum and mathauck0814 like this.
  8. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    15,396
    8,167
    113
    I've always viewed the 4 dives as a minimum requirement. I don't think there's any reason why you can't run a 5 dive, 10 dive.. 15 dive OW course if you so desired. The question is whether you can introduce new material, or whether you should limit to reinforcement of existing course skills.

    I offer all my students additional 'reinforcement' training. I also have a learning agreement that states additional dives will be used, should the student not reach the required standard in the minimum dives stated for the course.

    Sadly, most of the uptake for the additional training tends to occur at higher levels - particularly for specialist areas like wreck and deep. Most of my OW students are on a limited timescale (vacation divers) and don't tend to think further ahead with regard to skill development and/or don't appreciate the value of further reinforcing and ingraining the skills they have learned.

    I also offer workshop (non-certification) classes on a variety of subjects (wreck, deep, doubles, gas management etc) - or tailored private consulting (one-to-one) that addresses a student's individual needs or interests. I didn't assume these'd be popular (no plastic card!) but they are actually doing very well. At OW level, there is a need for a c-card. When it comes to specialist training, especially stuff that targets individual needs, then I don't see the need for a card. Hence, no need for an agency.
     
    Jim Lapenta likes this.
  9. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    7,223
    1,879
    113
    To be a DM you need to be a rescue diver, which requiers EFR, in other words, there IS lifesaving requirements for DMs..
     
  10. rupidup

    rupidup Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Sydney
    2
    0
    1
    17 pages of negatives:shocked2: ... Nice work.

    I think an open-source diving course-ware would be a great resource for all divers.
    Sure there are a heap of issues to overcome. That does not make it a bad idea.

    Only one caution, AUSI documents are not really open source licensed by my reading. The AUSI 'open source' license appears to prevent modification and ties usage for certification to registration with AUSI. Understandable, but not really in the spirit of open source as I understand it. Make sure you read it: Ausi Open License

    For more published, not open source, material I found:
    owd esa filetype:pdf - Google Search
     

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