"The DDE is adaptive, resilient and exciting," Jenkins said. "The best part is having an opportunity to steward this course to ensure that we maintain relevancy and are able to adapt to changing situations during the delivery of our course."
"Sgt. Maj. Elsaesser and the team made tremendous strides in developing the future model of the SMC distance learning course. I am excited to continue to guide and build-out a world class distance education program that continues to develop the best sergeants major for the Army," Jenkins said.
"The department has changed quite a bit," said Elsaesser. "The course has now eliminated the interactive multimedia instruction and has transitioned to what is referred to as the university model. Similar to the resident course, the DL course is now broken down into three phases with each phase broken down into terms that correspond with the five departments in the course: the Departments of Joint Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (DJIIM), Command Leadership (DCL), Army Operations (DAO), Force Management (DFM), and Professional Studies (DPS).
The DJIIM lessons create an understanding of the broad strategic environment within individual Services and JIIM forces and capabilities. These lessons are used to build on an organizational level leader’s perspective of change, culture, ethics, and the need for influencing organizations that students will analyze.
Meet the instructors
Sgt. Maj. Victor K. Primas (bottom left) , DCL Team Lead stands with his team, Sgts. Maj. Jeremy Hendrix (right), Michael Henry (upper right), and Melissa Rolan (upper left). Not pictured: Keiandra Lane.
Sgt. Maj. Primas discusses the challenges of the SMC-DL.
"I think that the challenges are similar to that of every Institution of higher learning. The Asynchronous Learning Environment creates a "monologue and not a real dialogue" in the learning environment, therefore building relationships with your students requires more effort in an online environment."
"True learning always involves change; as you know, education is evolutionary," he said; "it should always evolve. Albert Einstein wrote 'the world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.''
Team Lead, Sgt. Maj. Jason Herring explains how DPS is delivered through DL.
"The DPS in DDE encourages individual freedom through reflection journals, discussion boards, and experienced written assignments. It assists in the understanding for SGM/CSM to express themselves with personal experiences to critically and creatively think through the sharing of experiences to make decisions that will impact all Soldiers in the future," he said.