Making Digital Learning Effortless

Written by David Espinosa, PADI Executive, Content Development

There are many reasons PADI® has been the leader in training scuba divers for more than 50 years, but tops among them is that while PADI’s educational materials are instructionally valid, easy on the eye, and functional, they never stop evolving. Case in point: What started more than a decade ago with the introduction of eLearning eventually led to Touch products, and now to an even simpler way of digital delivery.

That simpler way of digital delivery is just one of the goals of PADI’s Digital Optimization Project, which began in August 2017. “We realize the value and convenience an engaging eLearning™ experience can offer PADI Members and their student divers,” says Ted Moreta, Vice President Product Management, PADI Worldwide. “To support this, we’ve made a commitment to improve the user journey and expand our selection of languages and digital product offerings across core courses.”


The overall project is made up of many smaller projects touched by dozens of people all around the world, and includes migrating and optimizing digital products from  Touch products to the newer Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform; translating those products into dozens of languages; and, finally, making those products easier to purchase and access by consumers.

Here’s a look at what’s new and already available for PADI Members, and what’s coming down the line.

DPS Moves to AEM

The title above is a mouthful, but it is simple: All existing products using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS, aka “Touch”) are migrating to the AEM platform, which is a better user experience.

There are several key benefits to the new AEM platform. One is that users can search a given product for key words. For example, a  student who wants to study up on dive computers can do so in Open Water Diver eLearning (more about digital nomenclature later) by searching the key words “dive computer,” which brings up all sections in which that term is used.

Another highlight is that any updates to course content can be done quickly and without disruption to the end user. When content is updated, it’s available for the user to view on the next log in to the product. Videos will also be embedded in the materials now – no streaming option – which will allow for a better user experience in areas with spottier internet connection, and navigation within the products is intuitive and user friendly.


The PADI Library app you’re familiar with will be updated to support the new AEM product platform. In addition, online users will have access to the new Training Center on, which will house all eLearning products and helpful guidelines for using the PADI Library. Another benefit of the new PADI Library is that it allows for faster download speeds, and users will now have two options when deciding how to conduct their independent study: they can access their materials online or users can choose to download the full product (for offline use) or download section by section.

Because an AEM product can be accessed on any device – via the web viewer on a desktop or laptop computer, and on Android or iOS smartphones and tablets – all digital products will simply be referred to as eLearning. Open Water Diver eLearning and Freediver eLearning launch first, with Enriched Air Diver eLearning, ReActivate® eLearning, Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning, Rescue Diver eLearning and Discover Scuba® Diving eLearning hot on their heels.

New Translations

In addition to migrating digital products to Adobe Experience Manager, the number of languages these programs and courses will be available in is expanding. Open Water Diver eLearning and Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning will be available in 25 languages; Enriched Air Diver eLearning, Rescue Diver eLearning and Discover Scuba Diving eLearning available in 21; Freediver eLearning will be available in 13 languages, and ReActivate eLearning in 10. (Look for Emergency First Response, Divemaster and the Instructor Development Course to be reintroduced as new eLearning products later this year.)

One benefit of having such a wide range of languages for all of these courses is that stores won’t need to choose which languages to carry in their inventory. All digital products use a single code, the student diver simply needs to buy the product and choose the language. That is both a benefit to the business with respect to inventory but also to the student diver as language selection is seamless.


Simplified Registration Process

A large part of the project is to not just make it easier for consumers to use the products, but also to make it easier for them to access the products. Using feedback from PADI Members, the login/single-sign on (SSO)/registration process has been “reskinned” with an updated user interface (UI) that makes registering more intuitive. The development team also fixed known bugs and improved the speed by which registration takes place. What’s more, the registration page has also been translated into 25 languages and is now mobile responsive, so your students can sign on and start learning quicker than ever before, leaving you to do what you do best: teach.

Low-Resolution Digital Certification Pak Now Available

The Open Water Diver Digital Certification Pak – Offline (English), product #60460-1, has been enhanced to accommodate users with limited internet connectivity. This independent study pak comes with two download options: 1) the PADI Open Water Diver Touch, a single large file with integrated videos, and 2) a digital PADI Open Water Diver Manual, which has embedded quizzes and exams in addition to the Knowledge Reviews that can be stored and uploaded whenever the user connects to the internet. Student divers continue to have access to digital versions of the Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) table and eRDPML. The PADI Open Water Diver Video is also now available separately from the high resolution Touch version, and can be downloaded in six separate low-resolution files (including the Introduction and five sections).


Student divers have the option to download either version of the Digital Certification Pak – Offline training materials based on their connectivity and device storage capacity. Because the file size of the separate videos and manual is smaller, the files download quickly even with a slow internet connection. In addition, users can download the files individually or all at once, offering even more flexibility when accessing training materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the main differences between the two versions of this product?
The Open Water Diver Touch, which contains integrated high-resolution videos, must be downloaded as one file, which is best achieved with a fast internet connection. The smaller, separate-file option is comprised of the Open Water Diver Manual file and the six compressed Open Water Diver Video files. Student divers may download one video at a time or all six at once (internet bandwidth/time allowing).

Q: How does a student diver purchase this product?
After registering for the Open Water Diver Digital Certification Pak – Offline and logging in to the PADI Library App, new and existing student divers have access to both versions, and  see these 12 folios::

  • Start Hereinstructions on how to begin
  • PADI Open Water Diver Touch (high-resolution file)
  • PADI Open Water Diver Manual
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video – Introduction (low-resolution file)
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video – Section 1 (low-resolution file)
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video – Section 2 (low-resolution file)
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video – Section 3 (low-resolution file)
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video – Section 4 (low-resolution file)
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video – Section 5 (low-resolution file)
  • eRDPML (digital version)
  • RDP Table metric (digital version)
  • RDP Table metric (digital version)

Q: Are there instructions explaining how to access the manual and low-resolution videos?
Yes. The second confirmation email sent to student divers, which includes instructions on accessing the product, also includes information regarding the two options. The Start Here folio provides simple step-by-step instructions on how to begin. In addition, at the beginning of the digital manual there is also information regarding the option of streaming or downloading video files.

Q: Can a student start one version of this product (high- or low-resolution version) and switch between the versions without losing any work?
Yes, but once a version is selected, it’s recommended the student remain with the initial choice throughout training. However, the Knowledge Reviews, Quizzes and Exam scores will carry over to the eRecord as long as the student completed and submitted the results.

Q: How soon will this low-resolution option be available in other languages?
Expect to see rollout of translated materials in several languages in third quarter 2017.

How to Buy & Use PADI eLearning or Touch Codes 

Implementing the Updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course

There’s a lot to like about the revised and updated PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course: the obvious and necessary content updates, the new Thinking Like a Diver section, the cool new PADI Advanced Open Water Diver materials and, from an immediate implementation perspective, the fact that the new course is at once new and exciting yet still essentially familiar. Perhaps the neatest benefit and the greatest opportunity is the streamlined relationship between the Adventure Dives and PADI Specialties.

Latin America

Now’s the perfect time to review the specialties you (and your staff) teach and seriously consider expanding what you offer. Evaluate the specialty dive opportunities in your area, and those you are particularly passionate about, which you couldn’t link to the previous Advanced Open Water Diver course. This is the perfect opportunity to create your own special course that reflects your unique area and benefits, and which excites divers.

Now, the first dives of all standardized PADI or AWARE Specialty Diver courses may be offered as Adventure Dives. You can offer these “new” Adventure Dives – for example, an Ice Dive or a Dive Against Debris™ Adventure Dive – if you’re certified as an instructor in the specialty, and the student diver meets the specialty prerequisites. (Also, while the PADI Rebreather Diver course is not a PADI Specialty Diver course, the first, task-intensive, confined water dive counts as an Adventure Dive.) There’s a complete list of the revised Adventure Dives and the standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, and a lot more information, in the 3Q 2016 The Undersea Journal.

USA Tour

A few obsolete Adventure Dives are gone, but you can offer more than ever before. A great example is the Digital Underwater Imaging Adventure Dive, which replaces both the Underwater Photography and Underwater Videography Adventure Dives. This new dive focuses on modern cameras that shoot both stills and video, and develops basic skills and knowledge in both – though you and your student divers may favor one or the other. The dive still credits as the first dive in the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer course, even though it differs from the specialty (which will be revised in the future).

The opportunities are nearly endless: Depending upon your location and market, you can get divers started in sidemount, ice, cavern, full face mask, delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB), diver propulsion vehicle (DPV), enriched air or any other standardized specialty using existing specialty materials.

Tie in the new Adventure Dives by having the PADI Specialty Instructor ratings for the new opportunities, and grab this unique moment to make your new Advanced Open Water Diver course truly special.

To learn more about when the Advanced Open Water Diver products will be available, read “Introducing the New PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Program.”

Introducing the New PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Program

The revised PADI Advanced Open Water Diver program launches this September, and while the changes are significant, the essence of the course remains untouched. Think of it as a shiny new car, but one that’s the same model as your old familiar vehicle.


Three goals drove the revision:

  1. PADI updated the content. Dive equipment and techniques have changed since the release of the last version of the course and content is updated to reflect this. Now, for example, there are references to electronic compasses in navigation and no references to film in digital underwater imaging. Also, the first dive
 of all standardized PADI Specialty Diver courses, Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris™ and Shark Conservation Specialty courses and the PADI Rebreather Diver course credit as Adventure Dives. This means more dive opportunities no matter what or where you’re teaching.
  2. PADI modernized the instructional products. The instructional tools are now as state-of-the-art as the devices student divers access them from. While a paper manual will still be available, the revised program introduces a new, mobile-friendly PADI Advanced Open Water Diver digital product. All new images and video make these instructional products pop.
  3. PADI accelerated development of the thinking skills divers acquire through experience to build confident and conservative divers. There’s a new Thinking Like a Diver section that focuses on principles such as gas management, situational awareness and buddy communication. This encourages divers to think about what they’re doing before, during and after every Adventure Dive in the same way more experienced divers do. Consequently, they better understand how to improve their dives and manage risks.


There’s a lot that didn’t change, too. Philosophically, the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course still gives new (and experienced) PADI Open Water Divers the world over continued training and skill development under professional guidance. It’s still focused on introducing specialty diving. The Deep and Underwater Navigation Adventure Dives, plus three other Adventure Dives, are still required for Advanced Open Water Diver certification, and any three Adventure Dives qualify a diver for Adventure Diver.

When will the new Advanced Open Water products be available?

  • Advanced Open Water Diver Manual and DVD (English): September, 2016
  • Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning Online (with mobile-responsive capabilities): 1Q 201
  • Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning Offline (built on updated mobile-responsive eLearning platform): 3Q 2017

The revised PADI Advanced Open Water Diver improves on an already great program, is easy and familiar to teach, and offers even more of the exploration, excitement and experiences that divers look for. Take a look at the third quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal, which has several relevant and detailed articles, and make a point of implementing the new program as soon as the materials are available.

Minimum Ages for PADI Certification Courses

Student divers as young as age ten now have access to PADI eLearning® and Touch products. Below is a list of courses that have digital products available and the minimum ages.

10 Years and older
Open Water
Digital Underwater Photo
Equipment Specialist
Dive Theory

12 Years and older
Advanced Open Water
Rescue Diver
Enriched Air Diver

18 Years and older
IDC (Instructor Development Course)


Interested in learning more about scuba programs for kids? There’s a useful overview on our blog of Bubblemaker, Seal Team, and Jr Open Water.

You can also check out this video from PADI Course Director Lynn Wickline (Aquatic Realm) where she shares her top tips for teaching children to scuba dive.

For more great teaching tips, contact your local PADI Course Director and our Tips from the Pros video series.

Minimum age for PADI courses

(from the 2nd Quarter 2016 Training Bulletin)

Minimum age limits for PADI digital produts

(from the 1st Quarter 2016 Training Bulletin)


PADI Pros Site Tips: eLearning Student Report

PADI Retail and Resort Members can now view their eLearning students from the My Account section of the PADI Pro’s Site. The new report will show you:

  • Student name
  • Sign-up date*
  • eLearning course chosen
  • eMail address
  • Course completion date (if applicable)
  • Certification date (if applicable)

* New students may take 12-24 hours to appear in this report

With this information, you can contact students who have started, but not finished their course to see if they need assistance with the course, gear purchase, etc. You can also discover students who affiliated with you for eLearning but may have been certified elsewhere.

PADI Pros website link to download list of PADI eLearning students

Here’s how to access your eLearning student report:

  • From the PADI Pro’s Homepage: click on My Account on the far left side of the menu bar.
  • On the My Account page, scroll to the very bottom and click eLearning payment report.
  • From here you can view Sign Up Date, Course Completion Date, Student eMail address and certification date.
  • The report can be refined by date and downloaded as a Excel file.

Here is an example of what the report looks like. For privacy reasons, the student names have been blocked.

where to find list of PADI eLearning students

student names deleted for privacy reasons, your report will include their names

New Prices for PADI eLearning in 2012

Starting 1 January 2012, PADI’s eLearning courses will go up a little bit in price – no more than $10 per course, and some courses only have a $5 price increase.Please see the chart below for the retail prices, and page 10 of our 2012 price list for the complete pricing breakdown. Email subscribers may need to click through to view the chart below.

For a copy of PADI’s 2012 price list, please contact your Sales Consultant for a digital copy, or order a paper copy from PADI’s online shopping cart.

If you have an eLearning gift code – yes – it will still be valid for us in 2012. For example, if you purchased a $120 OW gift pass, it can still be used for OW in 2012, even though the course price is increasing to $130.

New PADI eLearning Courses in Español and Russian

PADI IDC Enlina Ahora en Español

Подводное Интернет класс на русском языке!
PADI’s Open Water Course is now available online in Russian!

Are you currently offering our courses in multiple languages? 
Most stores are set up to offer eLearning in all languages by default. If you want to opt-out, log on to the PADI Pro’s Site and change the settings in My Account.

How to opt out of foreign language courses
Once logged in to the PADI Pro’s Site, choose My Account from the main menu. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click the bullet point eLearning courses offered by My Store.

Automatic emails to PADI eLearning Students

Communication Tools for Online  Students

PADI eLearning students automatically receive an email each time they complete a section of the online course. Here’s an example:

Subject: You Have Begun Your PADI eLearning Course

Congratulations on beginning PADI Open Water Diver Online! Completing the knowledge development portion of this course is your first step towards becoming a certified PADI Open Water Diver. Keep up the good work. If you need any assistance during this course, please contact us. We look forward to seeing you soon. 

The email above goes out automatically unless you change it. By customizing the message you can provide useful information and reminders for your students. For example:

  • Contact info and hours of operation
  • Medical form heads-up
  • Contact us ASAP to schedule your pool and open water dives
  • Rental gear is provided but each student needs their own mask, fins, snorkel, etc.
  • We’re running a special on mask, fin and snorkel packages
  • Useful technical information
    (ex. iPad users will need to download a Flash app to make eLearning work)

Sample Welcome Email
In case it’s helpful, here’s a sample eLearning welcome email . Just copy and paste the text into the eLearning website (see instructions below). You can have a custom message done in fifteen minutes.

HOW TO: edit eLearning auto-emails.

  1. Login to as the Store Admin
    (see below if you are an independent instructor)
  2. Click on Course Maintenance
  3. Click on Add/Edit Section Emails
  4. Click the Select Sections button
  5. Under Add Section Email, Open Water Diver Course (RDP and Dive Computers) Introduction should now be displayed. Click the Continue button.
Can’t Login?
If you don’t know your eLearning login, click the Forgot Password button on the login screen.

Create a “congratulations” (Course Completion) email.

The Course Completion email can be edited in the User Maintenance Menu (as opposed to section emails – as described above).

Some key points you could mention:

  • About that medical form… seriously, have ya looked at it?
  • A checklist of items the student needs to complete prior to their first session(ex. complete the quick quiz, attend orientation, schedule pool session)
  • Invite the student to bring a friend to the last pool session for a free discover scuba
  • Invite student to visit the store / we look forward to seeing you soon.

PADI Divemaster Online

Divemaster now available as a PADI eLearning course

Divemaster candidates may now complete a significant portion of their knowledge development online. The online course mirrors the revised Divemaster material released in 2010 and is an optional substitute for these items.

Additionally, Divemaster eLearning replaces all but one of the classroom presentations. Role and Characteristics of a PADI Divemaster must be delivered live.

Divemaster eLearning may only be used in conjunction with the new Divemaster curriculum released at DEMA 2010. For more information on the new program, read our article Divemaster Program Revisions – First Look and review the 4th Quarter 2010 Training Bulletin.

Unlike PADI’s other eLearning courses, the divemaster exam is not included in the online program. The divemaster exams have been revised and divided into two parts:

  • Part One – addressing aspects of supervision and leadership
  • Part Two – addressing dive theory.

Students who complete Dive Theory Online may receive credit for Part Two of the exam -only. Part One of the exam must be proctored by an instructor.

Required Materials
Here are the required materials for a student enrolled in PADI’s Divemaster eLearning course. The student must have an instructor manual to progress through the online training.

click to enlarge image
  1. Divemaster Slates (60207)
  2. The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving (70034 – paper, 70833 digital)
  3. Divemaster application
  4. PADI Instructor Manual (70120)
  5. RDP table (60099) and eRDPML (70031) to complete the exam
  6. Divemaster Exam (60225 for exam 4-pack)

PADI Divemaster Online Registration and Pricing
Student cost is: View current eLearning course prices.

Divers must affiliate with a PADI Dive Center or Resort during the registration process. Independent instructors who wish to offer eLearning must pre-purchase an eLearning Gift Pass via the PADI Pro’s Site.

Preview Any eLearning Course
PADI Stores and Instructors who’ve previously purchased an eLearning Gift Pass can preview any of our eLearning courses online. Here’s how:

  1. Visit
  2. Click on User Maintenance
  3. Next – click on Preview Course Sections
  4. Choose the course you want to preview from the drop down menu