Digital Dissemination Platform of Transportation Engineering Educational Materials
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National agencies have called for more widespread adoption of best practices in engineering education. To facilitate this sharing of practices we will develop a web-based system that will be used by transportation engineering educators to share curricular materials and methods. A research-based action oriented approach will be taken where we iterate between development and studies of usability and adoptability of the system. The efforts described in this report are the first in two stages and include the development and testing of a pilot system, including research efforts that support the development, and the gathering of existing curricular materials to be uploaded to the system. Diffusion of Innovations (DI) Theory has been used extensively to study and implement the characteristics of a system that will facilitate its broad use by educators. This research and development effort will rely on DI theory, with a specific focus on characteristics of an innovation known to affect adoption. Understanding potential adopters’ experiences, opinions, and values enabled the initial development of the web-based repository’s architecture. Interviews with these individuals and a supplementary analysis of syllabi in relevant courses afforded the initial development of the web-based repository according to the tenets afforded by DI theory. The results of this study suggest tangible and direct means of addressing potential users’ perceptions about the repository and the materials included within it, such as managing the size of materials provided onsite and providing various ways of accessing the materials. Next steps in this project include one more sequence of usability and adoptability studies followed by the development and dissemination of PTERC to a broader audience.