Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Development of a Computer-Based Training (CBT) Course for the FSUTMS Comprehensive Modeling Workshop

  • Sponsor: Florida Department of Transportation
  • Contact: Dr. Albert Gan, (305) 348-3116, gana@fiu.edu

  • FSUTMS training is a major activity of the Systems Planning Office. It aims to establish and maintain quality assurance for consistent statewide modeling standards and provide up-to-date information on recent model enhancements. FSUTMS training workshops have been conducted mainly with a lead instructor in a computer laboratory setting at selected locations. The costs of conducting and attending these workshops are sizable, which inevitably create a limiting effect on the workshop availability and participation.

    An alternative to these workshops that have been conducted in the traditional format is to take advantage of today’s powerful multimedia computer technologies to develop their computer-based training (CBT) counterparts. With a CBT, training is provided through the use of a computer and software. Instead of a lead instructor, a CBT may make use of text, audio, graphics, video, and animation on a self-instructional training session. A typical CBT can include a variety of useful features, including hyperlinks that allow immediate access to related sections or additional details, such as an example or the definition of a term; well-guided hands-on examples in a self-paced, step-by-step and repeatable manner; interactive quizzes with immediate and confidential feedback; etc.

    From a trainee’s perspective, the availability of CBTs provides a means to easy, flexible, and ready access to training. CBTs are flexible because they involve no fixed training schedule and can be used anytime and anywhere. They save on travel time and do not take the trainees away from their regular work schedules. CBTs also serve as the only alternative to those who are unable to attend on-site workshops. They may also be used as a supplement to workshop attendees who would like to review the training materials in a self-paced manner. From the Department’s perspective, CBTs are a cost-effective alternative as they involve no travel for FDOT personnel, no instructors, no site and equipment rentals, and no material printing. It was for all these reasons that the Systems Planning Office decided to develop its first CBT for the Tranplan version of the FSUTMS Basic Workshop more than three years ago. The CBT was made available free-of-charge via both CDs and website downloads and it has served the Florida transportation planning community well during the ongoing transition period from Tranplan to Cube Voyager.

    “FSUTMS Comprehensive Modeling Workshop” is the current version of the FSUTMS basic workshop being offered by the Department. This workshop provides an overview of the transportation planning process, travel demand forecasting methodologies, and FSUTMS modules and data requirements. The workshop also covers hands-on experience on installation and execution of FSUTMS powered by Cube, use of the menu systems, interpretation and creation of standard output results, and creation and editing of networks through a series of computer exercises. The objective of this project is to develop a CBT for the new Cube Voyager based basic workshop.