Instructor Evaluation Slates, What Are They For?

By: Jon Kieren

We want our instructors to be equipped with the tools necessary to create the best divers possible, while also being able to document the process for future reference.  In 2013, we released the TDI Instructor Evaluation Slates, which are currently available for many of the core TDI Diver courses (Intro to Tech, Sidemount, Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures, Advanced Wreck, Extended Range/Trimix, Advanced Trimix, Advanced Wreck, and CCR Air Dil/Air Dil Deco).  These evaluation slates were designed to be used as both a teaching tool, as well as for documentation of that process.

As technical diving instructors, we are all very familiar with writing down a dive’s objectives and planned skills in our wetnotes to reference for briefings and while underwater.  It’s extremely effective, and allows us to be flexible and plan each dive based on where we are at in the course, logistics, and of course our student’s abilities.  However, those wetnotes are typically what we are planning to accomplish, not necessarily what the student has completed successfully.  Throughout the course, we need to compile a list of skills that have been completed successfully, often transferring notes we have scribbled down in our wetnotes to the back of a student record folder.  This works, but we realized that there must be a better way to keep record of a student’s progress that can be recorded on the fly.  Thus, the evaluation slates were born.

Exactly how the TDI Instructor Evaluation slates are used is up to each instructor to decide.  However, the intention was that the instructor record which dive a required skill was completed for each student in the course, allowing the instructor to keep track of multiple students’ progress in one convenient place.  At the end of the course, whether the student completes all the requirements successfully or not, the instructor can simply take a quick snapshot of the slate with the camera on their phone and load it directly to the student’s record file.  Down the road, if there are ever any questions about what skills the student has completed, the instructor has a digital record of the evaluation slate that they can reference to either proceed with the student’s training, or supply it for documentation purposes if necessary.

Some evaluation slate sets also have additional tools incorporated, like the CCR Air Dil/Air Dil Deco slates.  The CCR Evaluation slates have a simulated PO2 values printed on the back.  This section allows the instructor to simulate various PO2 scenarios to prompt a response from the student.

So, should you throw out your wetnotes?  No, of course not.  Keep using them to keep track of what you will be doing for each individual dive, communication, and general note taking.  The TDI Instructor Evaluation Slates are available to help you keep a record of what has been completed successfully and when it was accomplished.

Want to get your hands on a set for your most popular courses?  Visit the online store HERE to order some!

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