A comprehensive education of optical engineers is of paramount importance to the development of the industry. While optical sciences and engineering curricula are set up to teach theoretical concepts comprehensively, there appears to be a lack of required coursework that teaches students how to use industry-standard software that they will inevitably use in their careers. The Practical Optics Workshop (POW) is an initiative at the University of Arizona's Wyant College of Optical Sciences to support the education of students that use optical design software. POW's aim is to bridge the gap between the theory of optical system design and the problems the optical engineers of the future will face daily. POW has principally engaged students through short workshop sessions and optical design problems through inquiry-based learning activities. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic new activities have been designed to support self-paced and virtual learning to ensure the accessibility of Optical Design software education. We present the status of POW's current initiatives and how they have impacted student learning, as well as the design of future initiatives that POW is developing for a self-paced curriculum.