Most dive agencies around the world now provide an option of online eLearning for the theory section of a range of dive courses. This range is increasing all the time and all agencies are now taking online eLearning very seriously and especially now with the current pandemic.
The online eLearning section of the relevant course covers the theory sections of the course. This includes the self studying part of the course, any relevant quizzes, videos and any final exam. Before eLearning this was only completed with a paperback course manual and a classroom session to go over the knowledge, quizzes and final exam with an Instructor. With the paperback version there is also a DVD to watch for the relevant course which is now included in the eLearning products.
Online eLearning is a great tool to get the course theory material easily to the student and for them to complete this in their own time. It is especially beneficial to Dive Centres abroad to send to their students before they arrive at their holiday destination and also of course for students to complete the theory before arriving.
The eLearning option cuts out a chunk of classroom time as a big part of this is now covered as part of completing it online. Many Dive Centres and students still prefer to teach and learn the courses with the paperback manual option and more quality time in the classroom with an Instructor. We provide both options so our divers have the option to choose based on their personal preferences. I personally prefer the classroom sessions to better explain more theory and to spend more time getting to know the students and their potential strengths and weaknesses.With the eLearning product of course you still have plenty of time to cover the theory and discuss further aspects with the students.
With the manual option we also despatch it with the DVD to the student when we have enough notice, so this can still be completed before arriving in Cyprus. The manual can be with the student in days and the eLearning link can be emailed on the same day of the booking.
When they first started the eLearning products only covered a few courses and they were pretty basic. They have been developed and continually improved over the years and are now a fantastic interactive and visual learning tool. The numbers of courses that are available now with the online eLearning theory is increasing all the time with SDI and Padi among others leading the way. Even BSAC have just started with their entry level course after finally deciding it is an absolute must as a diving agency to offer this option in todays world.
The course manual and DVD theory learning option will still be with us for a long time. Online eLearning is here to stay and will only improve further over time, at least they will struggle to automate us diving Instructors for teaching the rest of the courses content - well not yet anyway !