BSAC eLearning is a new system allowing you to begin or progress your diver training with online theory sessions.
BSAC eLearning launched in August 2020, and now hosts entry-level courses, Discovery Diver and Ocean Diver, as well as Advanced Ocean Diver and Sports Diver. Below are some of the most asked questions surrounding our eLearning platform. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Costs and access
Who can access the eLearning system? Is it just for centres?
No, the eLearning system is for everyone. However, it is not compulsory and both clubs and centres alike can continue in-person learning as they wish. The eLearning system is also accessible to non-members who can sign up and purchase the theory training before visiting a club or centre for their practical sessions.
As Discovery Diver is accessible for 10-year-olds, do you have any online safety precautions for children?
Our website is secure and trainees should not require access to the wider internet to complete the course. It is completely at the parents' discretion as to whether they allow their children to complete training online, supervise their children using the internet and have parental controls turned on with their internet providers and search engines.
Why is there a non-member price for eLearning?
Non-members can sign up to learn to dive with eLearning before completing their practical elements with a club or centre. For these trainees, 12 months of free membership is included in the cost of eLearning.
How do trainees connect with an instructor if they haven't joined a club?
They will have support from HQ and the Diver Resources Team.
Do trainees have to pay twice if they opt to do Discovery Diver and then Ocean Diver?
They must pay for two courses to achieve the Ocean Diver qualification, they only have to do the 'top-up' course, not the full Ocean Diver course.
Discovery Diver is primarily aimed at BSAC Centres abroad as a product for holidaymakers but also may be a good option for club members who only wish for a basic 12m qualification or a too young to take the Ocean Diver course.
This system sounds very expensive, can you explain some of the costs and why we should use eLearning?
Most other training agencies charge around the £90-110 mark for eLearning so we believe ours is comparatively better value for money.
The biggest benefit of eLearning is notably the flexibility - it gives the trainee choice in how they learn, as well as the ability to begin immediately no matter where they are in the world. In terms of cost, trainees may have to travel to attend lectures while clubs themselves could save money in room hire and instructor expenses.
If you don't have eLearning but miss a classroom lecture, is there a way to purchase a single module of eLearning to catch up?
I'm afraid you can only purchase the full eLearning course.
Can instructors access the eLearning system?
Instructors can access a mock-up Ocean Diver eLearning page. This allows them to see the landing page, plus two of the modules to understand the layout and how the system works.
Materials and training
How well do eLearning and the flipbooks work on mobile devices?
They should work, but it will be very small. For the best experience, we would recommend using a desktop or laptop.
Can the trainee print the materials for their records?
The digital student manual with the qualification record page can be downloaded and printed.
Can trainees get access to the BSAC 88 decompression tables offline (i.e. for when diving at remote sites without signal)?
No, I'm afraid the tables cannot be downloaded and are therefore only accessible via an online connection.
Will all members have a digital QRB or just those who have eLearning?
BSAC is in the process of transitioning to fully digital QRBs for all. Please check your MyBSAC page to see your in-progress qualifications which will be automatically updated with each completed eLearning module.
Instructors can also check on their students' eLearning progress through the Club Management System (CMS).
Can the instructor update the trainee's digital QRB if they attend some theory lectures at their club?
We will be launching an online form where instructors can sign off theory and practical elements for a student and their completed modules will appear on their MyBSAC page.
Are BSAC 88 decompression tables available to instructors online?
Not at present. We plan to allow access to the tables, but there will be a fee.
Can you mix and match eLearning with face-to-face classroom sessions?
Yes! Even if a trainee purchases a digital training pack, there is no reason why they can't attend classroom sessions as well or do some modules online and some in person. As long as the trainee completes and passes all of the modular quizzes (either online or conventionally), they will count towards the final qualification.
Are you concerned that instructors and Diving Officers will feel that this system undermines their ability to control a trainee diver's progress?
The intention is not to do that at all. Our volunteers are the backbone of BSAC and both instructors and DOs are vital to the eLearning system for quality control and to maintain our high standards of teaching.
What the system does do is provide trainees with choice and the ability to learn at their own pace. If a student prefers to learn quickly, they can now have the opportunity to do this without relying on schedules of lectures. Equally, if a student needs more coaching through things, they can have that opportunity with classroom lectures, as well as being able to go home and study the interactive modules online.
Face-to-face learning is key to club survival, how can this help us?
We completely understand that in-person lectures are very important to a lot of clubs and so we stress that eLearning is not compulsory. However, while it may not be ideal for your club, there are other clubs who struggle with instructor availability, scheduling constraints, or too many trainees with whom eLearning will be a godsend.
We also encourage instructors to interact with and mentor their eLearning trainees, even if this contact is not happening face-to-face.
After qualification, can the member still access the digital copy of the Diving Manual or other necessary materials?
Yes. Once the eLearning digital pack has been purchased, the member then has access to those digital materials for as long as they remain a member.
If a trainee qualifies, allows their membership to lapse, and then rejoins BSAC years later, will they still be able to access their records and the eLearning materials?
Yes, as long as they rejoin using their membership details. Retaining your membership number is the easiest way to do this, but we can usually find a record if given the correct information. The eLearning attribute will remain on a member's record forever.
Tests and qualification
Do the eLearning modular quizzes take the place of the final test paper?
Yes. Conventionally, trainees can take either modular quizzes or the full test paper. The eLearning system replicates the modular approach.
To pass, trainees must answer 4 out of 5 (80%) questions correctly on each quiz.
PADI eLearning has quizzes at the end of each module and a final test. Why don't we?
In the 2017 Ocean Diver update, examining changed to allow either modular quizzes or a final test. The eLearning system is designed to replicate the modular approach. To make trainees do modular quizzes and a final test felt unfair.
If a trainee gets a question wrong, won't that just teach them the answer and they get 100% next time?
The questions are randomised and come out of a pot so there is no guarantee they will get the same questions the second time they take the quiz.
If the quizzes are open book, what is to stop eLearning trainees cheating on their tests?
The eLearning quizzes are open book but timed at one minute per question. Examining styles are changing and developing and we believe that there is no one way to learn. We have included many different learning styles within the eLearning system, utilising reading comprehension, video learning and visual graphics. The system has been tested on trainees with learning difficulties, so we believe it is more accessible for all.
After eLearning is completed, we recommend instructors do a feedback session with the trainees to gauge how they found the process and pick up on any weak areas. This is a good opportunity to ask questions and see how well they have understood and retained the knowledge.
Can clubs enforce face-to-face theory exams for eLearning trainees (i.e. they learn at their leisure but must attend their club for revision and exams)?
No. If the student has paid for eLearning and passed all of the modular quizzes, they have completed the theory. Giving them another exam is unnecessary and unfair.
Does the instructor get a copy of the trainee's results?
Branch officer's such as Training Officer and Diving Officer can monitor their students' progress through the Club Management System (CMS).
We also recommend that the instructor does an eLearning feedback session at the end of the theory to identify any learning issues and understand where the student is with the knowledge.
Once the course is completed, does the Diving Officer still have to sign the qualification record book to award the qualification?
Yes. Trainees will have a qualification record page at the back of their student manual which will need to be printed and signed.
Once the DO is happy that everything has been completed to the BSAC standard, they will then award the qualification, as usual, using the trainee's URN via the online form.
Given the online tests and with safety in mind, is the Training Officer / Diving Officer still responsible for ultimately deciding whether a student should qualify?
Further eLearning developments
Do you have an estimate on the release of the next eLearning diver grade?
We are hoping to create a steady trajectory for the development of each eLearning segment with semi regular releases. These will also align with the reviews conducted on each diver grade to ensure the courses and materials are up to date.
Stay tuned, we promise there will be more soon!