Maximize the value of an RWIS investment for maintenance staff through follow-on staff training and usage tracking.
An Idaho Transportation Department experience in Road-Weather Information System integration.
- Provide hands-on, increasingly sophisticated follow-on training. The ITD provided an initial orientation to the RWIDS tool to maintenance personnel throughout the state. Although most personnel that were interviewed found the initial training to be useful, nearly all of them felt that additional training was necessary in order to get the most out of the resource. Specifically, the follow-on training should include hands-on exercises, with each trainee having access to the webpage, and should delve into how information could be used to support various types of winter maintenance decisions. Training should be an on-going, long-term activity, with periodic (e.g., annual) refresher courses. Training interactions also should be viewed as an opportunity for two-way communication between those who designed the RWIDS and those who would use it for roadway maintenance duties. In addition, training sessions should provide an opportunity to solicit users’ suggestions for how the system could be improved.
- Build-in reliable mechanisms to monitor system usage, including usage by individual maintenance offices. Qualitative feedback from the maintenance staff is critical in ascertaining the effectiveness of an information resource, but it is also important to independently and quantitatively monitor utilization, including the frequency of access, duration of website sessions, and information consulted. Coupled with direct, subjective user input, such data provide a powerful insight for refining the information resource and flagging the potential need for additional training. It is therefore important to build into the system the ability to automatically capture usage data and the ability to conveniently generate useful analytical reports based on those data. If possible, usage monitoring should include the ability to examine usage parameters by individual maintenance office or even by individual personnel. This allows operators to better understand how locally variable factors such as the type of Internet access, the number and type of ESS, specific local storm events, and local maintenance practices and policies impact utilization.
Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration
Prepared by Battelle for the USDOT FHWA
Source Date: 2/2/2006
EDL Number: 14267URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/jpodocs/repts_te/14267.htm
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road weather vehicle tracking, winter maintenance vehicle, RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, road monitoring, weather station, environmental sensing station