Instructor Development News September/October Edition 2012

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1 Instructor Development News September/October Edition 2012 Bridging the Gap Dive Theory and the PADI Divemaster Program The last iteration of the PADI Divemaster program included a revision to the PADI Divemaster Exams. Before the revision, there were eight individual exams that covered, among other things, instructor-level dive theory on topics like Physics, Physiology, Equipment and the Recreational Dive Planner. Now, the individual exams have been consolidated to a single 120-question exam with 60 questions covering training programs and applicable standards that PADI Divemasters can conduct, and 60 questions covering dive theory. The exams now better address information and dive theory knowledge useful to PADI Divemasters but don t have the same depth of dive theory knowledge necessary for divemasters entering an IDC program or PADI Assistant Instructors enrolling in an OWSI program. This also reflects the varying wants, needs and desires of divemaster candidates, allowing for those that want to focus solely on divemaster as well as those that want to continue on to instructor. So how do PADI Divemasters or Assistant Instructors acquire instructor-level Physics, Physiology, Equipment and Recreational Diving Planner dive theory knowledge? There are several ways these candidates can meet instructor-level dive theory knowledge requirements: 1. Complete Dive Theory Online. This also allows candidates to skip the Dive Theory Exams during the OWSI program by presenting their erecord (dated within the last 12 months). Instructor Candidates will still need to successfully complete Dive Theory Exams during the Instructor Examination. 2. Use the Diving Knowledge Workbook and The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving. This is how many PADI Divemaster candidates developed instructor-level knowledge prior to the program revision. 3. Use the 2.xx version of the PADI Divemaster Exams. Candidates can use the exams as a study tool by completing Exam A to determine areas of improvement. Then, after fortifying these areas, candidates can complete Exam B to determine if they have mastery of the information. 4. Participate in an Instructor-led workshop. PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, Instructors, IDC Staff Instructors and Course Directors can offer a Dive Theory Preparation Workshop either pre-idc or pre-owsi by using dive theory segments from the previous Divemaster Course Presentation Outlines (available for download in 15 languages from the PADI Pros Site) and the previous version of the Divemaster Lesson Guides. Have questions about bridging the gap? Contact a Training Consultant in your PADI Regional Headquarters You Make the Call Test your evaluation skills by scoring these PADI Open Water Diver course Open Water Training Dive 3 skills Free Descent with Reference and Achieve Neutral Buoyancy by Oral Inflation. The Briefing The instructor, certified assistant and six student divers assemble on the beach. The Instructor addresses the group, Good morning, today you will be completing your open water diver certification. Pointing to the assistant instructor, the instructor continues, All of you are familiar with our assistant instructor who helped out with the confined water sessions. During this dive, we ll expand on two skills that you demonstrated during the first two open water training dives yesterday. First, we ll use the five point method and descend to 6 to 9 metres/20 to 30 feet. This descent will be a free descent with reference. Once on the bottom, we will use buoyancy control to achieve neutral buoyancy by inflating the BCD orally. 1

2 Pointing at the surface float located 18 meters/60 feet from the shoreline, the instructor says, Like yesterday s second dive, we will be descending along the line attached to the float. Today, however, you will use the line as a point of reference and not hold the line to control your rate of descent. Today, it will be very important for all of you to let the air out of your BCD very slowly so you can effectively control your descent. While you will use the line only as a visual reference during the descent, I want you to be close enough to the line to make contact if you are having an issue equalizing your ears and need to stop for a few moments to correct the problem. I also want you to descend using the five point method we used yesterday during our descent on dive two. Can you tell me those five points? Various divers provide four of the correct answers. The instructor looks to the certified assistant and says, That s four points. What s the fifth? The Assistant Instructor responds, Note the time. The instructor nods and responds, That is correct. Always remember to make a note of the start time of your dive. The instructor continues, Remember to descend feet first, keep the line as your visual reference, equalize early and often, stop your descent by making contact with the line if you experience an equalization problem, add small amounts of air to your BCD to maintain neutral buoyancy as you descend, and last but not least, demonstrate environmental awareness by being careful not to disturb or damage anything when we reach the bottom. Our second skill today is neutral buoyancy using oral inflation. During our confined water sessions, we practiced several methods of achieving neutral buoyancy underwater. One was the fin pivot method, where you lie face down with your legs extended behind you and use the low pressure inflator mechanism on your BCD to orally add air. You do this until your chest and upper body rise off the bottom when you inhale and slowly returns you to the bottom when you exhale a fin pivot. The instructor shows a fin pivot using his forearms to demonstrate the rise and fall before continuing, Please remember to take a deep breath before removing your regulator from your mouth to orally inflate your BCD. When the regulator is out of your mouth, always remember to blow bubbles, then hold down the deflate button on your low pressure inflator and deliver approximately one-half of your available breath into the BCD. Be sure to keep the regulator in your right hand because you will need to replace it after delivering the breath. Next, once you replace and clear the regulator, check your buoyancy by inhaling a breath exactly as you practiced it during our confined water sessions. If you are not yet neutrally buoyant, repeat the oral inflation of your BCD until you achieve neutral buoyancy. You will know that you are neutrally buoyant when your chest and upper body rise off the bottom after an inhale and return to the bottom on your exhale. I will give you the cut signal when you have completed the skill. The instructor demonstrates the cut signal and continues, Once everyone is ready to dive, we will enter the water and surface swim out to the float. Once there I want you to buddy up with the same buddy you dove with on dive two yesterday. After each buddy team goes through the five points in preparation of the descent, I will descend first with two buddy teams and my certified assistant will follow us with one buddy team. Remember to stay within reach of the line in case you need to stop your descent. Once all eight of us are on the bottom, I will position you in a line and ask our certified assistant to monitor you from one end of the line. I will face you on the other end of the line. I will then ask each of you to leave the group one at a time and approach me. Then I will ask you to empty any air remaining in your BCD and begin the neutral buoyancy skill. After you have successfully completed the skill, I will signal you to return to the end of the line closest to our assistant instructor. The next diver in line will come out to me to complete the skill. Showing the appropriate hand signals, the instructor says, Some signals I will use to communicate with you underwater are the signal for the five point descent, grab or let go of the line, slow down, okay, do over and add a little bit of air to your BCD. 2

3 The Dive At the float, the instructor positions the buddy teams loosely gathered around as reviewed in the briefing. Giving the signal for the five point descent, the instructor says, Okay, please begin your descent skill. Remember to use the line for reference, stay in position with your buddy and remain close enough to the line to grasp it if necessary. Beginning the five point descent skill, one diver neglects to make the snorkel/regulator exchange. The instructor stops the buddy team and reminds the diver to make the exchange. He then asks them to start the five point descent again. This time, the diver completes the five points correctly and the first two teams move into position to begin their descent. The instructor starts the descent with the entire class, all six divers in buddy teams with the assistant bringing up the rear. The instructor signals the assistant frequently, making sure everything is going well. A diver in the second buddy team reaches out and grasps the line while continuing with the descent. The instructor sees the diver grasp the line and checks to see if the diver is okay. The diver responds with an okay signal, so the instructor signals that the diver should release the line. The diver complies and all three buddy teams make a slow descent. The instructor checks with the certified assistant and both divers in the third buddy team, receiving an okay signal from each. The instructor, certified assistant and six divers reach the bottom and settle on a bare sandy spot near the line. Once everyone is settled, the instructor shakes each diver s hand and directs the certified assistant to one end of the line with a signal to watch five of the divers. The instructor then notices a sea star close to one diver s knee. The instructor swims over and carefully relocates the sea star a safe distance from the group. The instructor checks in with the certified assistant, then asks the diver at the closest end of the line to come forward. The instructor then gives the fin pivot signal and asks if the diver is okay to complete the neutral buoyancy skill. The diver lets the air out of the BCD, lies horizontally in the sand, depresses the deflate button on the low pressure inflator and orally adds some air to the BCD. Then, the diver inhales but without the upper body lifting off the bottom. The diver uses hands to push off the bottom. The instructor corrects the diver with a no push-up signal and reminds the diver to add more air to his BCD. The diver complies and, this time, the inhalation provides enough buoyancy. The diver completes another few breaths demonstrating neutral buoyancy. The instructor shakes the diver s hand and then reminds the diver not to push off the bottom. The diver gives an okay signal and the instructor directs the diver to the certified assistant. The instructor checks in with the certified assistant, and signals to keep an eye on the five divers not under the instructor s direct control. The instructor then motions the next diver to come forward. This diver empties the air out of the BCD but, rather than assuming a horizontal position on the bottom, simply orally inflates the BCD from a kneeling position. The diver s knees rise off the bottom on inhalation and settle back to the bottom on exhalation. The instructor shakes the diver s hand and directs the diver to the certified assistant. Before bringing the next diver out of line, the instructor checks with the certified assistant and signals to check the tank pressure of each diver. The remaining student divers complete the skill without error. The Debriefing Once the divers are back on shore and have stowed their dive gear, the instructor gathers them for the debriefing, That was a great dive. I really like how all of you made a nice controlled descent to the bottom and added a little air to your BCD as necessary to maintain neutral buoyancy. Remember, you may not always have a line to hold on to when descending from the surface, so it is important to get comfortable making a free descent. You will have another opportunity to demonstrate this skill on our next dive. 3

4 During the neutral buoyancy skill, one of you wanted to push off the bottom instead of adding more air to your BCD to become neutrally buoyant. Pushing off the bottom does not give you a good indication of neutral buoyancy. It is much better if you exercise a little bit of patience after you inhale to check your buoyancy because it takes a few seconds for the increased buoyancy provided by your lungs to take effect. Some of you also completed this skill from a kneeling position. While we didn t specifically discuss it, that is definitely one of the alternative methods that we practiced during our confined water sessions and it does not matter when practicing this skill whether you begin from a prone or kneeling position. You are now able to use the five point method to descend in a controlled manner to 6-9 meters/20-30 feet using a visual reference only and once at depth you can now achieve neutral buoyancy by inflating the BCD orally. The descent skill is important because, as divers you need to be comfortable making a descent from the surface with a reference but no line to hold on to. Perhaps other divers have a grip on the descent line and you don t want to crowd in. The neutrally buoyant skill is valuable because it helps you to understand the important role your lungs play in making minor buoyancy corrections when you are diving. Being able to orally inflate your BCD to make buoyancy corrections will provide you with options for making changes to your buoyancy during a dive. The instructor pauses and looks at the divers before continuing, Are there any questions? Good, grab your logbooks and let s log this dive and plan our next one. Control Scores Controlled Descent with Reference Briefing: 4 The instructor stated an objective, reviewed the skill, described how the skill was to be organized, provided a signal for the skill and other related signals in a timely manner. The instructor did not provide a value for this skill. Problem Solving: 4 The instructor responded correctly to the problem that occurred, but did not reinforce proper technique with additional communication after the skill was complete. Control: 5 The instructor positioned divers to be in direct sight throughout the skills practice, directed the assistant to a position that allowed constant monitoring of the divers under the instructor s control and clearly communicated with both the divers and the certified assistant during the descent. Delivery: 5 The instructor was organized, safe and used time effectively. The instructor provided positive reinforcement to each diver after completion of the skill and demonstrated environmental awareness through effective group positioning and movement. Debriefing: 3 The instructor provided specific positive reinforcement, restated the objective and provided a realistic value. The instructor did not identify a problem that actually occurred or provide a solution. Control Score: 4.2 Achieve Neutral Buoyancy by Oral Inflation 4

5 Briefing: 3 The instructor stated an objective, described how the skill was to be organized, provided a signal for the skill and other signals related to the skill in a timely manner, but spent too much time reteaching the skill and did not provide a value for the skill. Problem Solving: 5 The instructor responded correctly to the problem that occurred and reinforced proper technique with additional communication after the skill was complete by reminding the diver not to push off the bottom. Control: 5 The instructor positioned the divers to be in direct sight throughout the skill practice, directed the assistant to a position that allowed constant monitoring of the divers, clearly communicated with both the divers and the certified assistant and directed the assistant to check on each diver. Delivery: 5 The instructor was organized, safe and used time effectively. The instructor provided positive reinforcement to each diver after completion of the skill and demonstrated environmental awareness through effective group positioning and movement. Debriefing: 4 The instructor identified a problem that actually occurred, offered a solution related to the identified problem, restated the objective and provided a realistic value, but did not provide specific positive reinforcement. Control Score: 4.4 5

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