Jim Grothaus, Sr Dir, Tech Assist & Custom Trng, Center for Transportation Studies
The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive, easy-to-use training program for winter maintenance supervisors and operators. Under this contract, the team from the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) is working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Clear Roads Technical Advisory Committee to identify and compile the many resources on winter maintenance and develop a series of 18 training modules for supervisors, seasoned operators, and new operators for use in the classroom or online.
The CTS team has worked together successfully on several other similar projects and brings together strengths such as technical expertise in roadway maintenance, the latest tools for promoting and encouraging sustainable winter maintenance, and significant experience in technology transfer and training.
The CTS team is using experience in developing similar training products, along with knowledge of winter maintenance topics, to address the need for organized and accessible winter maintenance training with presentations, resources, and workbooks that introduce and solidify winter maintenance information. The final products will contain links and interactive portions to extend learning opportunities and make the modules more interesting and applicable for participants. This project will consolidate the latest research and recommended practices to create 18 training modules appropriate for three different levels of winter maintenance professionals (new operators, experienced operators, and winter maintenance supervisors). The training modules will cover the 18 distinct areas of winter maintenance outlined in the request for proposal.
The training materials will be supplemented with interactive features that are easy to use and reinforce the module objectives. The project's primary purpose will be to provide consistency and visibility to module topics and to outline effective practices so that each DOT can easily teach current information without the challenge of massive research and interpretation. The ability to update information within the presentations and workbooks will be carefully considered as the deliverables are put together.
The instructional booklets will be developed to complement material in each of the training modules. Test questions will be developed for each training module such that these can be combined to produce a comprehensive test on winter maintenance or sub-tests on each individual module. At the end of the project, a one-day training session will teach Clear Roads members how to best use the newly developed training materials and how to customize them to individual states' needs. The training materials will be usable in two ways: by an instructor to deliver hands-on training or by individual operators working at three remote sites on a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Each Clear Roads member organization will decide how it wants to deploy the training tools for their state, but both options will provide consistent, comprehensive, and effective training.
An optional task can be added to bring the training on the road and showcase it in a Clear Roads state through a pilot program. Testing the training on the intended audience will provide an invaluable measure of its efficacy and should be done to improve and give confidence in the training materials.