Challenges And Opportunities In Nuclear Security Training Implementation During The Global Pandemic

Ava Harvey - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Malinda Devaney - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Shane Peper - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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In March of 2020, the world suddenly halted - quarantined and locked down from a deadly pandemic traveling swiftly around the world. Things were changing and the full impact to the nuclear security mission was not yet known. Would we travel in a few weeks? Would we see our international counterparts soon? Would our mission suffer? These and many questions were facing us, and longer-term problems were quickly facing our institution - problems that would require new strategies and thought. Communicating and conducting day-to-day business became challenging. Adapting become a critical requirement. In the midst of the ongoing global pandemic, learning professionals have risen to the need, serving as solution providers and converting methods of face-to-face knowledge transfer to a necessary tool, “virtual learning.” Although complicating matters were apparent, the conversion to virtual learning is not a simple step. Matters of effectiveness and successful transfer of knowledge must be part of the formula. Infrastructure (e.g., studios, video/audio capabilities) must be available and instructors needed new skills for delivering instruction and expertise. The Nuclear Security engagement mission has served as a forerunner to conquering the challenges and succeeding in multiple ways. Nuclear Security instructional designers working with instructors and subject matter experts are succeeding in the new learning space by developing new content and tools, exercises, and other engagements that can be conducted in a virtual delivery approach. Utilizing platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, etc. have helped teams to succeed in knowledge transfer. Even though our world halted, learning is still taking place and Nuclear Security programs are succeeding.