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Zeke XA3

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
293
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31
Location
Nassau - Bahamas
# of dives
5000 - ∞
So of the 100 OW certs you have given, you have had to not sign off on two, downgrade 12, and do numerous remedial trainings..... That's not a very good instructor success rate. Maybe you need some tips?

Its hard to gauge your tone on the internet so ill try not to take that as an insult,

double checking my stats. 117 OW. So some points,

  • I personally believe that failing students is a sign of a good instructor not a bad one, i have failed students due to the fact they are unable to safely carry out a dive without professional supervision. In the specific instance of my first two students, I was there to teach them to scuba dive, not to swim. I am not a swim coach/teacher nor did we have the time to do so hence they were "failed" or more specifically, told to come back when they have learnt to swim.
  • Downgrading, i would say most students fall into the category of believing that when they pay for a course they pay for a pass and plan their holiday as such, Many downgrades are because a student was unable to to pass a certain skill and being on a course of up to 8 people and on a time budget (boats have to be back for next trip etc) there is no time left for extra training, 2nd attempts etc.
  • Remedial training, when your dives are timed to a boat schedule, someone having a few mintus trouble equalizing at the start can have repercussions on the training schedule. Many places i worked you literally had 50 mins at a site including jumping in and out. Whereas another place i worked, my current for example, a 70 minute training dive is not unheard of. having to do 5 x 45 min dives is still shorter than 4 x 70 minute dives and is not a reflection of the instructor per se.
  • To pass the PADI course you must have mastery of a skill, this is very subjective but i am obviously either strict or crap at teaching but i emphasis from the start that the aim of the course is to enable the attendee (at open water level) to safely plan and carry out a dive dealing with trained for emergencies with another buddy of the same level. If a student is unable to meet what i believe is Mastery of a skill, they are given as much additional training (or remedial training if you will) until they are able to pass or we have identified what they need to do to pass in the future (i think i only had one literally spit the dummy and quite because they couldn't get something).
  • Lastly , i will toot my own horn here, i am considered a good instructor, by companies i have worked for, commercial boat captains i have trained (i value their opinion), students who have progressed from my OW course to instructor, other instructors partners (i trained several), DMs who have asked me to teach their Instructors (had to explain i couldent) and my OWSI instructor. I believe there are very few cases where another instructor, with the same constraints as what i was teaching under could have had a different outcome.

    Sorry i lied, i did take that as an insult.
 

Jackie Treehorn

Contributor
Messages
330
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251
Location
Page Side, Rage Side
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200 - 499
To pass the PADI course you must have mastery of a skill, this is very subjective but i am obviously either strict or crap at teaching

There you said it yourself. It's a possibility... right???

So looking at your outfits.... your first one you mention is Dressel MX. I know them VERY well. They do not put up numbers like you suggest.

Furthermore, you don't fail anyone. There is the exam that you can fail... and retest. All you do is sign off that the skills and requirements have adequately been met.

OW is the entrance to the sport. You are the ambassator to whole different world of adventure for people. Get off your high horse, show some humility, and lose the elitist mentality. Then maybe you wouldn't have been offended.... because you shouldn't have.

We can all get better.... right?????
 

wnissen

Contributor
Messages
969
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718
Location
Livermore, Calif.
# of dives
50 - 99
One student decided to dive the day before OW with one of his friends and was stupid enough to put a video on FB.
I am curious about this one. I wasn't aware one could fail based on one's actions outside of the class. Was it that you felt the student was showing inherently poor judgement that couldn't be remediated through instruction? Or that they violated the statement you sign that you won't exceed your training, deny uncertified divers use of equipment, etc.? Or something else? I'm not questioning the decision, just trying to understand the rationale.
 

kelemvor

Big Fleshy Monster
ScubaBoard Supporter
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Largo, FL USA
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There you said it yourself. It's a possibility... right???

So looking at your outfits.... your first one you mention is Dressel MX. I know them VERY well. They do not put up numbers like you suggest.

Furthermore, you don't fail anyone. There is the exam that you can fail... and retest. All you do is sign off that the skills and requirements have adequately been met.

OW is the entrance to the sport. You are the ambassator to whole different world of adventure for people. Get off your high horse, show some humility, and lose the elitist mentality. Then maybe you wouldn't have been offended.... because you shouldn't have.

We can all get better.... right?????
If everyone (or almost everyone) passes a course first time out, then the bar for passing is probably too low. Unless your intent is just to sell c-cards rather than educate. Or maybe you just happen to be the world's best teacher.

If you polled college professors, I think you would find the best educators have some of the most difficult to pass courses.
 

lowwall

Contributor
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Chicago
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OW is the entrance to the sport. You are the ambassator to whole different world of adventure for people. Get off your high horse, show some humility, and lose the elitist mentality. Then maybe you wouldn't have been offended.... because you shouldn't have.
You act like OW should be guaranteed. That's wrong and dangerous. An OW card means that an instructor has certified that the diver meets a set of requirements that the certifying agency has determined are necessary for a safe, independent dive.

Refusing to pass someone who does not meet the standards is a sign of integrity and concern for the well-being of the student and other divers, not "elitism". And some of those standards are strictly quantitative, no judgement required. Notably the swim test.
 

boulderjohn

Technical Instructor
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It's amazing that so many people still don't understand the concept of mastery learning, the theory upon which nearly all modern scuba instruction is based. In traditional education, you teach someone for a certain period of time, assess the progress, and give a grade indicating the student's performance in comparison to a standard. In mastery learning, you teach someone for however long it takes for them to meet that standard. It is literally the instructor's job to identify the problems a student is having and intervene in whatever way is necessary to bring that student to success.

In that way, it is similar to trades like plumbing. When you have plumbing problems, the plumber does not work for a specified number of hours, turn on the water, and accept payment for the percentage of leaks that have been fixed. The plumber works until all the leaks have been fixed. Some are easy to fix, and some will require all the skill the plumber has gotten over the years.
 

Barnaby'sDad

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If everyone (or almost everyone) passes a course first time out, then the bar for passing is probably too low. Unless your intent is just to sell c-cards rather than educate. Or maybe you just happen to be the world's best teacher.

If you polled college professors, I think you would find the best educators have some of the most difficult to pass courses.

As you said...the high first time pass rate is an indication that the standards are not REALLY that high. That and anyone that finished a 1-2 day course and thinks they mastered anything is delusional.

The words “master” or “mastery” appearing anywhere in the OW standards is an exaggeration that’s likely just intended to give people an inflated sense of their abilities and encourage them to dive more, take more classes, and make the agency more money.

If certification agencies told people “here’s your OW card...you demonstrated marginal proficiency,” that doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it.
 

kelemvor

Big Fleshy Monster
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It's amazing that so many people still don't understand the concept of mastery learning, the theory upon which nearly all modern scuba instruction is based. In traditional education, you teach someone for a certain period of time, assess the progress, and give a grade indicating the student's performance in comparison to a standard. In mastery learning, you teach someone for however long it takes for them to meet that standard. It is literally the instructor's job to identify the problems a student is having and intervene in whatever way is necessary to bring that student to success.

In that way, it is similar to trades like plumbing. When you have plumbing problems, the plumber does not work for a specified number of hours, turn on the water, and accept payment for the percentage of leaks that have been fixed. The plumber works until all the leaks have been fixed. Some are easy to fix, and some will require all the skill the plumber has gotten over the years.
The plumber is a professional who already has some sort of education on the subject unless he's a scammer. Maybe it's a formal certification/degree or maybe he was an apprentice/ojt.

But that's not what we're talking about. Scuba students are people who have signed up for a formal scuba diver (aka open water in some agencies) course. At the end of the course, the instructor has to certify that the student has met the criteria to pass.

The "problem" if you can call it that, is that the criteria are apparently vague (aka flexible). One man's description of "has mastered xx" seems to differ greatly from another man's.

That's a fine approach, but then you can't have a fixed duration for your class. You have to wait for the student to meet some criteria, then pass them. Are you prepared to have one student take 6 months of 2 day per week four hour classes because that's how long it took them to master the course? I think you're talking about passing a student who doesn't meet the criteria so they can learn after the fact rather than mastery learning.

Just to be clear, I was in no way calling out the agencies on the topic. Just pointing out that the instructor who passes every student is doing some of those students a disservice.
 

TMHeimer

Contributor
Divemaster
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Its hard to gauge your tone on the internet so ill try not to take that as an insult,

double checking my stats. 117 OW. So some points,

  • I personally believe that failing students is a sign of a good instructor not a bad one, i have failed students due to the fact they are unable to safely carry out a dive without professional supervision. In the specific instance of my first two students, I was there to teach them to scuba dive, not to swim. I am not a swim coach/teacher nor did we have the time to do so hence they were "failed" or more specifically, told to come back when they have learnt to swim.
  • Downgrading, i would say most students fall into the category of believing that when they pay for a course they pay for a pass and plan their holiday as such, Many downgrades are because a student was unable to to pass a certain skill and being on a course of up to 8 people and on a time budget (boats have to be back for next trip etc) there is no time left for extra training, 2nd attempts etc.
  • Remedial training, when your dives are timed to a boat schedule, someone having a few mintus trouble equalizing at the start can have repercussions on the training schedule. Many places i worked you literally had 50 mins at a site including jumping in and out. Whereas another place i worked, my current for example, a 70 minute training dive is not unheard of. having to do 5 x 45 min dives is still shorter than 4 x 70 minute dives and is not a reflection of the instructor per se.
  • To pass the PADI course you must have mastery of a skill, this is very subjective but i am obviously either strict or crap at teaching but i emphasis from the start that the aim of the course is to enable the attendee (at open water level) to safely plan and carry out a dive dealing with trained for emergencies with another buddy of the same level. If a student is unable to meet what i believe is Mastery of a skill, they are given as much additional training (or remedial training if you will) until they are able to pass or we have identified what they need to do to pass in the future (i think i only had one literally spit the dummy and quite because they couldn't get something).
  • Lastly , i will toot my own horn here, i am considered a good instructor, by companies i have worked for, commercial boat captains i have trained (i value their opinion), students who have progressed from my OW course to instructor, other instructors partners (i trained several), DMs who have asked me to teach their Instructors (had to explain i couldent) and my OWSI instructor. I believe there are very few cases where another instructor, with the same constraints as what i was teaching under could have had a different outcome.

    Sorry i lied, i did take that as an insult.
I like your approach. I think we all agree that "mastery" is subjective (there was a thread on that a long while ago).

You didn't talk about this, but in reading your post I get the feeling you agree that taking a scuba course shouldn't be just a whim-- like someone seeing a sign or ad and thinking ie., buying a "pass" and now a tropical dive vacation..... Despite having very little "water" experience, let alone knowing how to properly swim.
 

Zeke XA3

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
293
Reaction score
31
Location
Nassau - Bahamas
# of dives
5000 - ∞
There you said it yourself. It's a possibility... right???

So looking at your outfits.... your first one you mention is Dressel MX. I know them VERY well. They do not put up numbers like you suggest.

Furthermore, you don't fail anyone. There is the exam that you can fail... and retest. All you do is sign off that the skills and requirements have adequately been met.

OW is the entrance to the sport. You are the ambassator to whole different world of adventure for people. Get off your high horse, show some humility, and lose the elitist mentality. Then maybe you wouldn't have been offended.... because you shouldn't have.

We can all get better.... right?????

I said it in jest as a response to your post but yes its a possibility, just like it is possible in quantum mechanism for me to walk through a solid object, its possible but based on all the evidence its extremely unlikely.

As for dressel divers, i didn't do any OW courses with them just my own up to DM. However they did have strict times, to the point of telling us how long to spend walking around the pool getting people to sign up, how long for lunch, which way to walk through hotels etc. So i would doubt there would be much leeway for extra time with students. It was a very sales heavy environment rather than customer satisfaction but that was just my experience.

I really disagree that calling someones ability to do their profession into question is something you shouldn't be offended about. You read the numbers and assumed that i need tips on how to do my job. There are many ways that those numbers could have easily been changed. I could have worked at an OW factory for year and had another 300 passes and no fails, i could have had an extra half hour with many of those students and got them through, a few i could have had got through if only better weather.

As for the semantics of "i dont fail people i only sign off...." come on , your picking apart the exact words, you know exactly what the intent of the phrase "fail students" meant in the context of this thread. It would be like me picking out that apparently all an instructor does is "sign off that the skills and requirements have adequately been met."...

OW is the entry to the sport but it still has minimum standards and if i believe you pose a safety threat to me, yourself or others i will not pass. This is the high horse i will live on. I have no elitist mentality, im a tech diver who still does barrel roles and handstands in the sand underwater because i enjoy it.

I cant believe someone is calling into question the ability of an instructor based on the fact they followed the rules. Thats a new one for me!

Me and my high (sea)horse are riding outta here.
 
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