Evaluating Transportation Professional Development and Continuing Education Courses

Each year, upwards of 18 million dollars is collectively spent by state and tribal departments of transportation on continuing education and professional development courses for the county and local governments in their jurisdictions. These courses are meant to provide training for new employees as well as provide long-term employees with an opportunity to update their knowledge on current regulations and best practices. Furthermore, many organizations use this continuing professional education as a way for employees to advance given that many of the targeted employees do not have more than a high school education. It is important for this training to be accessible and have an immediate impact on the participant’s ability to complete the essential functions of their job. Currently, these courses are evaluated based upon customer satisfaction. Participants are asked to complete exit surveys based on their initial response to the training including whether or not they liked the course and whether or not they feel the information that was presented can help them in their job. Current evaluations do not tie responses to the actual objectives of the trainings or follow up with participants to see if/how the information presented in the training is/was used in the course of the participants’ job. Oftentimes, this leads to courses that are seen as nothing more than a hoop to jump through to advance one’s career with little to no long-term retention necessary. If the goal of continuing education is to provide opportunities for employees to keep up to date with appropriate technologies and regulations encountered in the course of their jobs, it is necessary to provide training opportunities that facilitate this end. Strong course evaluation instruments are necessary to ensure that training courses are meeting the stated objectives and participants feel like they are provided with information that may help them better complete their job functions. Furthermore, results from research based course evaluation instruments will help instructor’s better plan training opportunities that more closely tie course objectives to course outcomes.


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  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $99295
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Utah State University

    Logan, Utah  United States  84322
  • Principal Investigators:

    Dorward, James

  • Start Date: 20150507
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160101
  • Source Data: MPC-470

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01578493
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 22 2015 3:50PM