Activity-Based Learning Module for Human Factors in the Introductory Transportation Engineering Course

David Hurwitz, Oregon State University


The development of the transportation engineering workforce at the university level is typically promoted through civil engineering programs. Nearly all of the nation’s 224 civil engineering programs have one or two required transportation courses as part of their undergraduate program (Bertini, 2009). Some civil engineering sub-disciplines, such as geotechnical, materials, structures and hydraulics, have a logical sequence of required prerequisite courses leading to the required junior-level courses. For other disciplines, the logical sequence is less clear. This scenario is certainly the case for the typical progression of transportation engineering courses. A lack of clarity and connection with other sub-disciplines poses significant challenges for faculty, students and practitioners in transportation engineering. It is likely that these challenges negatively impact the “pipeline,” or educational path to employment, that is so commonly discussed when considering transportation workforce development. This educational development activity addresses undergraduate transportation education by concentrating exclusively on the most commonly offered junior-level introductory transportation engineering course. This introductory class serves as the initial exposure to the field of transportation engineering in many civil engineering programs. If we are to promote undergraduate transportation engineering education and attract more students to the profession, this initial exposure is critical. This work provides resources for transportation educators across the country to re-envision the content that should be considered as critical to the course (knowledge table). The work also OTREC Project Summary Report September 2013 4 ultimately provides detailed documentation of learning activities that may be employed for the content area of “Human Factors and Driver Behavior.”

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
September 30,2012
UTC Grant Cycle:
OTREC 2012
UTC Funding: