June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1321.1 - 26.1321.10
Refinement and Dissemination of a Digital Platform for Sharing Transportation Education MaterialsWhile development of an abundance of learning tools and teaching methods have been shown to be aneffective means of improving student learning and other important educational outcomes, these effortshave been limited by inefficiencies associated with duplicating development efforts. For example, thereare approximately two hundred introduction to transportation engineering courses taught annually in theUnited States but little evidence to suggest that materials (other than textbooks) are being shared betweenthe instructors of these courses.This study utilized two parallel and integrated methods to understand, facilitate and encourage materials-sharing between transportation instructors. Research is being conducted to determine where instructorsget resources as they develop and revise transportation courses. An iterative action research is beingutilized to develop a web-based system for uploading and downloading materials.Thirty transportation instructors were interviewed and asked about a particular transportation course thatthey had recently developed or revised, where they got materials for this course, how they chose thesematerials, and why they made these choices. They were asked to refer to specific lessons in the chosencourse so that their responses were grounded in actual decisions. Instructors commonly obtain notes,slides, and assignments from other instructors, but nearly always modify these materials to suit theirpersonal model.This project utilized Diffusion of Innovations (DI) theory and the characteristics known to affectadoption. Multiple sets of interviews were conducted at different developmental stages of the site togather insights from potential users about how to optimize the site for widespread utilization bytransportation educators. Through the usability testing we have determined that faculty want to determinewho has access to their materials. As a result the site allows for specific settings with each item shared,ranging from one individual to the general public. The system developed as part of this research effortallows faculty to ‘push’ their materials to the site and make announcements about their newly sharedmaterials while also pulling tangible materials from the site for their use. Approximately one hundreddifferent activities were developed for sharing transportation curriculum and best practices by educationalexperts in transportation education and uploaded to a prototype website.The developed site now serves as a clearinghouse prototype for all university transportation center-developed curricular materials; eventual growth into a national site for storing and sharing peer-reviewed,high-quality educational materials for transportation (and possibly all collegiate) instruction is targeted.The adoption research has contributed to improving the dissemination and sharing practices across thecountry by making practical and theoretical advances in DI theory related to web-based curriculumrepositories.
Peters, A. S., & Brown, S. A., & Chang, K., & Thorton, K. N., & Shinohara, K., & Beddoes, K. D. (2015, June), Refinement and Dissemination of a Digital Platform for Sharing Transportation Education Materials Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24658
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