PADI eLearning Online vs. Offline: which one should you choose for your next scuba diving class?
Do you know studying the theory part of your next scuba diving course does not need to happen in a classroom anymore? I was glad to review the two remote learning solutions PADI offer to keep up with what’s going on in the Scuba Diving education world. I tested the Enriched Air Diver course in online mode and the Equipment Specialist course in the offline learning mode.
In both cases, I had to redeem the code I received by email into my profile on padi.com; if you do not have one, it is easy to create one. In the case of E-learning Online, you click on a link on padi.com to access your online class whereas, with the Offline learning, you need to download the PADI Library app. The first time you connect to this app, you will need to enter the same login and password as on padi.com. Once you are in, you will see the cover of your Offline Learning course appearing in your virtual PADI library on your smartphone or tablet.
PADI E-learning Online: a virtual classroom at home
The Online course is meant to be followed on a computer, and you need to be connected to the internet. I felt like I was joining a virtual class: the course consists of a presentation with slides and short videos with a voice-over commenting them. The course is logically divided into chapters; you can move to the next slide at your own pace by just clicking on “Next.”
At the end of each chapter, you need to pass a knowledge review (2 to 10 questions). You cannot go further if you make too many mistakes. No worries, you can simply go back to the slides, review the fundamental concepts and do the knowledge review again. I decided to spend an entire afternoon for the Nitrox specialty course, without the tea breaks I did it in 2 hours and 50 minutes. The important point here is you can either do everything in one go if you are super motivated or you can take it bit by bit over a week for example.
I recommend putting yourself like if you were in a classroom, taking notes or actively listening depending on your learning style. The course is designed in a way the most important pieces of knowledge will be repeated at least twice, in the slide commented by the voice-over and in a video again.
PADI eLearning Offline: learn on the go, even without an internet connection
The next day, I tried the Equipment Specialist Offline course. I must say I was a little be disoriented at the beginning. No more “Next” button to go from a slide to another, but you swipe up to read the content of the chapter, you swipe right to see the target learning points, and you swipe left at the end to go to another section. I missed a little bit the voice-over commenting the text, but there were still some videos with comments to look at (I loved watching how aluminum and steel scuba diving cylinders are manufactured). Beyond the sleeker design, I also appreciated the animations you can control from your fingertip, which was brilliant to understand well how the first stage of a regulator is operating.
In conclusion, I would say if you like taking your time at home while taking notes, then the Online is the best solution as it recreates the impression of a classroom with the advantage of following it at your own pace, faster or slower.
In the case of the Offline learning, I would say it is the perfect solution if you are on the go and you do not have time to study at home. As you download the course in your PADI Library app, you can access it at any time without the need to connect to the internet. Don’t you think it is a perfect way to make the most of your time on a flight taking you to the other side of the world? In the case of the Equipment Specialist course, it took me only 1 hour and 25 minutes.
It is important to note that remote learning solutions do not replace your instructor. The certification will be complete only after meeting with the instructor, doing the practical skills with them and doing the final knowledge review. However, I have to say I think it is a great way to learn as you can familiarise yourself with the key concepts before joining the final part at the dive centre and avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many things to learn. So you can take the learning process at your own pace and save some precious vacation days on your next scuba diving adventure!
Head to the PADI eLearning page to start your next course today!
Florine is a PADI AmbassaDiver, PADI Divemaster and a Dive Travel blogger at World Adventure Divers. She dives in tropical to extreme cold waters, selecting her destinations when both adventure diving and cultural discoveries are part of the journey, and showing you how to do it without breaking the bank.