Effectiveness of learning transportation network growth through simulation

Wenling Chen, David M. Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Computer simulation plays an increasingly important role in engineering education as a tool for enhancing classroom learning. This research investigates the efficacy of using simulation in teaching the topic of transportation network growth through an experiment conducted at the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Minnesota. In the experiment, a network growth simulator program (SONG) was incorporated into a senior/graduate class in transportation system analysis. Results of the experiment show that the use of SONG effectively enhanced students' learning in terms of helping students develop in-depth understanding about the development process of network patterns, and helped them develop some aspects of judgment, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. However, the use of SONG may have been more effective had some other barriers to learning been overcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Engineering education
  • Simulation
  • Transportation networks


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