Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
9 Overview Providing training using ICT is not a new idea in the transportation industry. ICT-supported train- ing has been used for decades, evolving as technology has evolved. The drivers for developing ICT-supported training also have not changed considerably. The primary goal remains to leverage ICT to provide timely training to more people at less cost. What is changing about the use of ICT is the reliance transportation agencies are placing on it. Although traditional delivery methods such as instructor-led, classroom-based training are still the most common delivery methods used at transportation agencies, ICT-supported training is becoming a growing presence in state and local transportation training programs (Laffey and Zimmerman 2015). This literature review offers expla- nations for the growth of ICT in the training arena by examining not only trends in transportation but also private and public industries nationwide. The literature review also summarizes the potential learning enhancements ICT can offer. Although many of the drivers of ICT-supported training often reflect a corporate standpointâfocusing on cost, scheduling, and efficiencyâthere are benefits to the learner that can be derived using ICT methods that should be considered by any agency using or considering the use of ICT-supported training methods. As ICT usage grows, so does knowledge about the efficacy of ICT methods. Although by no means complete, a growing body of knowledge is available to support the argument that ICT- supported methods can be used effectively to provide training. Armed with these data, trans- portation agencies can argue effectively for the acquisition of ICT to support training and other workforce development efforts. The literature review summarizes data on the efficacy of ICT methods and the design and delivery best practices that should be used to realize the most benefit from ICT-supported training. GrOwinG Use Of infOrmatiOn and COmmUniCatiOn teChnOlOGies tO sUppOrt traininG Across industries, ICT-supported training is gaining ground. The Association for Talent Develop- ment reported that instructor-led training accounted for 51% of training hours available to employees in 2014 compared with 66% in 2009 (Association for Talent Development 2015). In comparison, technology-based methods accounted for 41% in 2014 compared with 26% in 2009 (Association for Talent Development 2015). The Association for Talent Developmentâs research revealed that ICT-supported training grew in popularity across all types of ICT, with the exception of self-paced, nonnetwork computer training (e.g., CD-ROM) and noncomputer technology (e.g., DVD and audio). For the transportation industry, this growth is also evident. In a 2006 NCHRP report, only 13 states identified as using technology tools to support training programs; in the current synthesis, 34 states acknowledged doing so (Shiplett 2006). There are traditional drivers of this growth and some newly emerging factors. Cost has long been a factor in driving the use of ICT to support training. The Department of Labor reported the trans- portation industry âfaces high costs for training both new and incumbent workersâ (U.S. Department of Labor 2007). When calculating the savings that can be derived by switching from traditional to ICT-supported methods of training, analysis typically focuses on operating, participation, and chapter two literatUre review
10 administrative cost savings (e.g., facility fees, travel, and efficiency). As agencies move toward ICT- supported methods, they often can reduce several of these costs. For example, Utah DOT (UDOT) switched its construction training program from the classroom to a blend of synchronous and asyn- chronous web-based training, almost halving the agencyâs operating costs (Laffey and Zimmerman 2015). In a study conducted by the National Center for Academic Transformation, universities that switched delivery methods experienced cost-per-student savings of 28% to 56% (Twigg 2004). The savings were achieved largely through the automation of communication and administrative tasks; a decrease in lecture time; the production of shared resources, which in turn decreased duplicated efforts to develop course materials; redistribution of nontechnical delivery tasks to administrative personnel; and reductions in the costs to print and produce course materials. Participation costs alone can account for upward of 80% of the cost of conducting training (e.g., getting trainees to the training site, maintaining them while there, and absorbing their lost produc- tivity) (Bell and Kozlowski 2007). ICT can reduce these costs as well. However, the savings derived by switching to ICT-supported training methods can be offset by higher costs to acquire and operate ICT and maintain and manage the systems (WizIQ 2016). The same source encourages agencies to do a detailed return on investment analysis before implementing an ICT-supported training program (WizIQ 2016). Another driver of ICT growth is spurred by changes to the workforce and workplace. As ICT becomes more pervasive, employees are becoming increasingly adept at using ICT to complete work and administrative tasks, communicate with coworkers and clients, and manage information. As the level of comfort with ICT grows, so does its role. As one report noted, âinformation technol- ogy is best described not as a traditional capital investment, but as a âgeneral purpose technologyâ â (Bresnahan and Trajtenberg 1995). In most cases, the economic contributions of general purpose tech- nologies are substantially larger than would be predicted by simply multiplying the quantity of capital investment devoted to them by a normal rate of return. Instead, such technologies are economically beneficial mostly because they facilitate complementary innovations (Brynjolfsson and Hitt 2000). In other words, the growth of ICT-supported training is a natural progression of its application in the workplace to nontraining tasks. Changes to the workforce also encourage the use of ICT. As the median age of the workforce decreases, transportation agencies are evaluating the efficacy of existing training programs to meet the needs of all of their employees. An NCHRP report on the key elements of transportation training programming and planning concluded âthere must be multiple delivery systems, because adults have very different learning styles. The most effective training and development programs recognize this; therefore, the growth in alternative delivery systemsâtraditional classroom, web-based, computer- based, coaches, mentors, and other methods to ensure learning transferâ (Shiplett 2006). The growth of ICT-supported training indicates that agencies are considering how the workforce is changing and thus integrating more diverse training methods to accommodate these changes. This includes not only accommodations for those new to the workforce but also acknowledgment of the need for workâlife balance, which affects all transportation employees (Bell and Kozlowski 2007). infOrmatiOn and COmmUniCatiOn teChnOlOGies methOds Can enhanCe learninG With the growth of ICT-supported training comes the question of whether ICT methods provide real benefits to learning. Research provides a cautious acknowledgment of learning benefits that can be derived from the implementation of ICT-supported training (Twigg 2004; Means et al. 2010; Bakia et al. 2012). The word âcautiousâ is used here not to indicate a lack of confidence in the research results but as a reflection of the limitations of this endorsement. Although ICT-supported training can benefit learners, it is by no means certain to do so in every, or even in the majority of, training cases. Nor can the results evidenced by one set of learners necessarily be extrapolated to other learners because there are many variables that change from one training product to the next (Bakia et al. 2012). With these cautions in mind, there remains strong advocacy for the use of ICT in the training industry because of its potential to enhance learning. Bell and Kozlowski (2007) indicate that current
11 training technologies offer new and exciting pedagogical strategies that have been impossible or impractical to create in traditional classroom environments. Bakia et al. (2012) indicate that with the proper application of design and development pedagogy and properly supported delivery infra- structure, ICT-supported learning can provide the following benefits to learners by â¢ Broadening access to resources and experiences; â¢ Engaging students in active learning; â¢ Individualizing and differentiating instruction; â¢ Personalizing learning; and â¢ Maximizing teacher and student time. The use of ICT for training also opens up opportunities to expand diversity, increase consistency, and empower employees to take charge of their personal development (Bell and Kozlowski 2007). ICT-supported training can provide those with accessibility needs an opportunity to participate in training more fully because many ICT methods integrate with accessible technology. Consistency is increased if content is developed one time for mass distribution, such as is the case with web-based training, rather than taught in multiple sessions with different instructors. Finally, ICT-supported training supports learner control over what is learned and when, which is a basic tenet of adult learn- ing. Increased opportunities to provide adults with choices over their learning experience increase the likelihood that the experience will be meaningful and valued. Enhancing the learning experience through the use of ICT-supported training is a common theme in reports and studies on transportation training. One report contends that university engi- neering programs often fail to prepare inexperienced engineers adequately for professional careers, particularly in transportation, because the traditional teaching methods do not support meaningful application of the content (Liao et al. 2009). According to the study, relying on a lecture-based model and failing to use technology in the delivery of course content, university courses offer a limited number of engaging, interactive learning experiences (Liao et al. 2009). This affects an inexperienced engineerâs ability to transfer the technical information conveyed in class to the workplace and does not develop the type of problem-solving skills needed to complete work tasks (Liao et al. 2009). Web-based simulations, taught in conjunction with traditional methods, are proposed as a means of engaging inexperienced engineers and exposing them to real-world engi- neering problems that they will be required to address once employed. Classroom time is proposed as an opportunity for the instructor and students to engage in discussions and analysis about the independent learning experience. A similar call to increase learner benefits is made in a report that finds professional engineering training largely âemployer-managed and employer-centricâ and therefore incapable of responsively and effectively meeting the training needs of todayâs engineers (Muench 2006). This report proposes the use of an employee-centric model (self-managed learning) to train engineers. With this model, the employer helps direct learning and offers resources, but the employee (engineer) selects the learning objectives, path, and components, which necessarily include a diversity of delivery methods (Muench 2006). The self-managed learning model is also recommended for its use of individualized content, immediate application opportunities, and independent or interdependent versus dependent learning style (Muench 2006). In some cases, ICT-supported methods are adopted because they provide cost savings to the learner and learning enhancements. The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) School of Engi- neering converted a required course on arctic engineering to an entirely online format. This course is required by the state of Alaska to obtain a professional engineering license. The uni- versityâs reasons for converting the class to an online format after decades of teaching it in the classroom were (Smith 2002): â¢ Learners were geographically disbursed, making the scheduling of synchronous learning sessions difficult. An asynchronous model allowed learners to take the class anytime, anywhere. â¢ Working engineers (the course target audience) often traveled and worked long hours, making it necessary to provide flexibility for the completion of training.
12 â¢ Engineers liked to self-direct their learning experience. An asynchronous course allowed the learner to select the optimal time for viewing content and interacting online. In Utah, training for traffic operation center operators was changed from an on-the-job delivery method to a blend of online and classroom-based training (Martin et al. 2011). This was done because the existing on-the-job model did not provide consistent competencies for new hires, removed expe- rienced operators from traffic operations center, and did not evaluate an operatorâs progress in a structured, authentic way. In addition, the new blended model allowed operators to control the pace and schedule of their learning. Similar reasons were noted on national training development projects. When FHWA and the National Highway Institute (NHI) decided to develop a leadership academy for highway maintenance super- visors, they selected a blended approach of asynchronous and synchronous web-based training and classroom-based delivery methods rather than pursue 6 weeks of classroom-based training (AASHTO 2013). The blended approach allowed learners to master basic content before participating in classroom- based training, giving everyone the opportunity to attain the same level of base knowledge. The classroom training time focused on the discussion and application of the concepts mastered in the web-based courses, evaluation of resources, and sharing most effective practices. Other national train- ing offerings, such as the online Strategic Highway Research Programâs Transportation Incident Man- agement training, have been redesigned as online training to accommodate the target audienceâs limited schedule: âeach of the lessons was designed to take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes to com- plete. The intention was for the target audience to be able to complete an individual lesson during roll call or during a break. The entire course was not intended to be completed all at once, but instead taken in small segments over several days or weeksâ (Frankle and Marquess 2015). Although questions about the efficacy of ICT-supported training are most effectively addressed on a case-by-case basis, it is clear that ICT-supported training can provide benefits to the agency and the learner. In recognition of this, agencies continue to roll out training to make these benefits a real- ity for the transportation workforce. desiGninG and deliverinG effeCtive infOrmatiOn and COmmUniCatiOn teChnOlOGiesâsUppOrted traininG So what should be done to leverage ICT for the enhancement of learning? In the previous section, it was noted that the success of ICT-supported training requires the use of sound pedagogy and reliable technology to develop and deliver training. To meet this goal, ICT-supported training developers have to consider many factors, such as content, immersion, interactivity, and communication (Bell and Kozlowski 2007). Although new research is continuously published that refines design and development practices, there is existing guidance that developers can follow to create a successful ICT-supported training product. The National Center for Academic Transformation conducted an extensive study on the rede- sign of large university introductory courses (Twigg 2004). The redesign project took the lecture- based courses and redesigned them for online delivery. The courses were redesigned for different universities and content areas with a universal goal: redesign the course so the role of the learner changes from passive notetaker to active learner. To achieve this, the online learning products (Twigg 2004): â¢ Used continuous assessment and feedback as an âessential pedagogical strategy.â â¢ Increased learner interaction through the use of online discussions. â¢ Used online tutorials that provide immediate feedback. â¢ Provided individual, on-demand support. â¢ Included tools and techniques to ensure student engagement and progress. As a result of the redesign, the study documented improved test scores and completion rates across courses and universities participating in the study (Twigg 2004).
13 The U.S. Department of Education conducted a meta-analysis of online learning research. The report noted other insights into what makes an ICT-supported training effective (Means et al. 2010): â¢ Blended and purely online learning conditions typically lead to the same learning outcomes if the content is the same. â¢ Using more media or online quizzes does not appear to have an effect on learning outcomes. Online quizzes do not appear to be more effective than other tactics, such as assigning homework. â¢ Giving learners control of their interactions with media and prompting learner reflection does enhance learning. Manipulations that âtrigger learner activity or learner reflection and self- monitoring of understanding are effective when students pursue online learning as individuals.â â¢ Using guiding questions and other support mechanisms with online learning groups appears less successful than does using such mechanisms with individual learners. These support mech- anisms influence âthe way students interact, but not the amount they learn.â The study also found that online learning approaches were effective across different content and learner types and across different learning groups, including undergraduate and graduate students and professionals in a variety of academic and professional areas (Means et al. 2010). For transportation professionals, there are additional considerations. Liao et al. (2009) and Muench (2006) note that engineers need more interactive learning engagements that promote problem solv- ing. Liao et al. in particular say civil engineering programs should blend classroom-based training with online simulations, and Muench advocates for a self-managed approach to continuing education. Other research suggests similar approaches. In a report on conducting security awareness training, Lowrie et al. (2011) recommend classroom time be used for facilitated discussion and role-playing rather than lecture, with video used to support some of the delivery. In addition, the report recommends microlearning strategies be implemented as a practical, cost-effective approach for agencies that need to provide flexible learning opportunities that can be integrated into other meetings or trainings. Micro- learning is âlearning, and applying what one has learned, in small, focused stepsâ (Khurgin 2015). Some of the items noted are a departure from what traditionally has been recommended for the development of ICT-supported training. For instance, the use of media often is considered to be a means of distinguishing quality ICT-supported training. Because there is not a common, research- based standard for evaluating the quality of ICT-supported training, it is essential that ICT-supported training developers carefully consider the content, training outcomes, target audience, and technologi- cal capabilities when designing and developing training. One way to do this is to use a formal develop- ment process, such as the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) model to develop quality training (Myers et al. 2008). Another option is to adapt Kâ12 rubrics and rating scales, such as the National Standards for Quality Online Courses (http://www.inacol.org/ wp-content/uploads/2015/02/national-standards-for-quality-online-courses-v2.pdf), to consistently apply best practices and evaluate existing products (International Association for Kâ12 Online Learn- ing 2011). Whatever methods transportation agencies use, a quality product is required to enhance the learning experience and truly differentiate ICT-supported training from traditional methods.