PacTrans: Digital Dissemination Platform of Transportation Engineering Educational Materials Founded in Adoption Research

AIDC project number:


Shane Brown (WSU)

D. Hurwitz (OSU)

M. Hallenbeck (UW)

M. Kyte (UI)

R. Perkins (UAF)



  • Start Date: May 16, 2012
  • End Date: Jul 31, 2014

Project Documents

Project Final Report

Project Summary

National interest abounds in improving engineering education in the US. This interest stems from low performance on concept inventories (P.S. Steif, Dollar, & Dantzler, 2005; Paul S Steif & Hansen, 2006) concerns over the role of the US as a national economic leader (The National Academies, 2006), evidence of best practices in curriculum development and pedagogy, and a sense that we can just do things better. These concerns have led to the development of an abundance of materials and methods that are based on effective methods of development and/or been shown to be effective on student learning and other important educational outcomes.

While progress has been made in improving courses and curriculum, it is greatly hindered by inefficiencies associated with duplicating development efforts. For example, there are approximately 200 introduction to transportation engineering courses taught annually in the US and little evidence of sharing of materials (other than textbooks) in these courses. More knowledge is needed on how and why faculty and teachers adopt curriculum. Where do they go for resources when developing a new course or revising an old course? How do they make adoption decisions when they find curriculum? In what forms can dissemination venues (such as websites) take to optimize adoption? How can higher education and workforce development curriculum be shared efficiently? This project will begin to answer these important questions through an investigation of how faculty adopt curriculum when developing a new course or revising an existing course and using this knowledge to develop an architecture and sustainable plan for a web-based dissemination venue. In parallel with this work, faculty from University of Alaska, Fairbanks will develop and test courses focused on working professionals. We will monitor this course development process to add to our knowledge base for repository development.