Enhancing transportation education through online simulation using an agent-based demand and assignment model

Shanjiang Zhu, Feng Xie, David Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research explores the effectiveness of using simulation as a tool for enhancing classroom learning in the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities. The authors developed a modern transportation planning software package, Agent-Based Demand and Assignment Model (ADAM), that is consistent with our present understanding of travel behavior, that is platform independent, and that is easy to learn and is thus usable by students. An in-class project incorporated ADAM and the performance of this education strategy was evaluated through preclass survey, postclass survey, scores in the quiz focusing on travel demand modeling, and final scores. Results showed that ADAM effectively enhanced students' self-reported understanding of transportation planning and their skills of forming opinions, evaluating projects, and making judgments. Students who prefer visual and active learning were found to benefit more than others through simulation-based teaching strategy. Findings in this research could have significant implications for future practice of simulation-based teaching strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Volume137
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Agent-based model
  • Simulation
  • Transportation education

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