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When No to Pass a Student

Discussion in 'Going Pro' started by MikadoWu, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    4,081
    2,649
    113
    Unless one goes to a model where each student is filmed and the films sent to one person who evaluates, like the NHL does for goals, the reality is that passing is at the instructor's discretion no matter what wording is used since it requires evaluation and that always has a personal element in. This is especially the case with skills as opposed to a fact.
     
  2. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    2,325
    2,500
    113
     
  3. Adam Grose

    Adam Grose Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson, AZ
    404
    102
    43
    Not to mention a MODEST one. :)

    <SNIP>

    Of course, she had a great instructor :)

    <SNIP>
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,069
    113
    As someone who taught mastery learning to teachers long before I even thought of scuba diving, I am quite familiar with how it works. I have conducted workshops on how to do it, especially on how to train assessors in performance assessments. I have trained assessors in performance assessments. The exact same system is used around the world, including in the grading of Advanced Placement exams, SAT essays, Law School application essays, etc. I was quite pleasantly surprised when I became a scuba instruction and saw that they were using the system, because I knew how well that system works

    I am truly sorry you do not understand it. I am truly sorry that you did not learn it when you got your instructor training.

    Or did you get the message?

    For all those who are reading this, we have been down this road before. Here is how it works. Andy (DeconDiver) starts off by misstating the standard in the way he did in the second line of post #16, omitting the part about it being done at the skill level appropriate to that level of certification. I then quote the whole standard and explain the difference. He then goes on about how "mastery" to the general public means "excellence," a step he prepared for with his non-sequitur about all students being excellent. I short circuited by anticipating that step and giving my normal response before he made his next move.

    The next steps require me to spend many, many posts and many, many paragraphs explaining how it all works, dusting off the lessons I used to teach when I was a teacher trainer. So He has had it explained to him before, but he still trots out the same inaccuracies from time to time. I am very, very tired of it. I don't feel like explaining it all to him again, because he has heard it all before. I cannot tell for sure whether his inaccuracies are intentional, or if he is just ignoring the information.
     
  5. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,069
    113
    There is no question that some dive operations skip standards in order to shorten courses. I am the product of just such an operation.

    Years ago, when I was a high school basketball coach, I took a University summer school course in weight training for athletes. It was a one week, one credit hour course. On the first day, there had to be 60 people in the room. The instructor called the role, and naturally I was one of the first names called. As the instructor continued, the person next to me answered "Here!" for about 5 people. When I looked at him in amazement after one of those occasions, he smiled and told me he would explain it later. After the role was called, the instructor made the following three announcements:
    1. The class was pass/fail.
    2. The only criterion for getting a passing grade was attendance.
    3. He would not take attendance again.
    Then the man next to me explained that this guy taught all his classes that way, and he and all of his friends took all their required teacher continuing education courses from him. They drew straws each time to see who actually had to go the first day and say "Here!" for each of their names. At the end of the week, I was one of 5 people still attending, and the instructor was clearly annoyed that we had showed up, because he had things to do. (It was a field trip to a local gym, so the gym operator did all the actual instruction. Ou instructor just hung around until the time was up.

    This sort of thing happens all the time in all kinds of classes around the world. It is not good, but nothing will be done unless complaints are lodged. I did not send in a complaint about this instructor, and I did not send in a complaint about the operator who certified me, largely because it was quite a few years before I became an instructor and realized how many standards had been skipped.
     
    wetb4igetinthewater likes this.
  6. NorCalDM

    NorCalDM Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vacaville California
    370
    182
    43
    Maybe another question we should ask is when should there be a no pass to a new instructor? Too many puppy mills out there that boast their 100% pass rate.
     
  7. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    25,635
    17,069
    113
    Those mills do not do the passing. Their students must go to an independent examination.

    However....

    That is indeed part of the problem. those mills get a 100% pass rate by having their students practice very elaborate routines that are sure to tick off any box that any examiner might have for a skill. They do them on the knees, firmly planted on the bottom, so that their bodies do not waver while they go through those routines. They practice and practice and practice until, as one instructor examiner told me, if you put them all in the pool at the same time and had them start simultaneously, it would look like a synchronized swimming event.
     
    NorCalDM likes this.
  8. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    1,766
    933
    113
    So, how often does the PADI - or any other Agency's - "inspector of training quality" fly in unannounced, reassemble a freshly certified group of people and test their skills to see if mastery has indeed been achieved and in how far so and then gets back with the instructor with "feedback".

    If that job does not really exist, if those checks do not really happen (I don't know), then what do the words mean in "the standard" ?

    I am not saying there is no enforcement here, there is, and it seems to greatly depend entirely on the instructor - who has conflicts of interests nagging on him her as it is hard to sell equipment (or further classes) to people who did not pass the course.

    I guess some here (or many) are thinking they witnessed divers at work in such a manner that it was hard to comprehend how they possibly could have gotten OW certified or AOW certified or drysuit diver certified or.... Yet they were certified. (And hey maybe that includes me too, maybe I have just an inflated opinion of myself hopefully not, but I am sure if that was the case, I would not be alone).

    Anyway, the wisdom I read here about when to pass a student and when not to pass a student is really nice. I like what I am reading here.

    So, why am I thinking: But I keep seeing divers (not a majority, but not an exceptionally rare one here or there either) that dive such to have me think that there definitely are instructors passing divers who maybe should not have been passed?
    Is that happening -or is it just that I need an adjustment on my thinking on what I am observing?
     
  9. KatieMac

    KatieMac Photographer

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Small town Ontario, Canada
    1,867
    1,963
    113
    I agree. But I think there is a disconnect between what PADI and DIs think and what paying student's think. Some students (and I'm sure most people on this board have dived with some of these folks) think they are paying for a cert. And there are some instructors that think they need to be catering to that so they will get good reviews on tripadvisor.
     
  10. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    4,081
    2,649
    113
    After I got my DM, PADI called and asked me some questions about my training. Questions seemed generic. Near as I know it was one of those random follow ups for quality control. Never heard from them a second time and I had no complaints about the instruction.
     

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