Teaching through a Pandemic

By Sharon Corum DLA Land and Maritime People and Culture

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To comply with Ohio’s Stay at Home Order and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, all Defense Logistics Agency employees who are employed in telework ready positions and are not required to be on center have found themselves working remotely on a full-time basis.

This telework requirement also applies to Pathways to Career Excellence employees and new direct hires. Transitioning into a virtual learning environment due to the pandemic was not accomplished without lots of trial and error, as the shift to online virtual training basically had to occur overnight. 

Since Pacers and new hires, under normal conditions, are not eligible for telework, the initial challenge was getting everyone telework ready in such a short turn-around time. The next challenge was preparing everyone on how to learn how to cope with training outside the traditional classroom and hands-on training environment.

We’re now coming into week seven. Teaching virtually and managing projects has become a more comfortable routine and less overwhelming. Though online learning has brought many its share of challenges, some Pacers seem to be thriving under the new circumstances.  For many, not having the everyday social distractions that come with an office environment has allowed them the opportunity to focus on their workload while still having the assurance of knowing that support is just a phone call, email, web conference or Skype session away.

In addition to the immediate access to instructors, having numerous job-aids available has also helped to ensure Pacers know how to navigate the internal system processes with some level of independence.

As Command staff continues to develop strategies for the phased return to our normal workstations, the Pace Center will continue to reach out to Pacers and those working on the floor to offer our support and assistance with any ongoing training needs.