Using Visual Simulation Tools and Learning Outcomes-Based Curriculum to Help Transportation Engineering Students and Practitioners to Better Understand and Design Traffic Signal Control Systems
Our goals are to train transportation engineering students to (1) more deeply understand complex traffic signal systems, and (2) have an increased ability to prepare designs to improve these systems. We will accomplish these goals by creating visual simulation tools that are integrated with pedagogically sound curriculum. We will use Wiggins and McTighe’s (2005) concept of "understanding by design," where learning outcomes and assessment procedures are developed before (and thus serving as a foundation for) the curriculum and visual simulation tools. We will create curriculum and the visualization tools for three scenarios: (1) volume/density control, (2) signal coordination, and (3) railroad preemption. The project will build on a working prototype of one of the proposed visual simulation tools developed during the 2009-2010 academic year. The approach taken in this project can be used as a model for the development of future engineering-oriented visual simulation tools and curriculum.