The second Strategic Highway Research Program’s Reliability Project L32C, Post-Course Assessment and Reporting Tool for Trainers and TIM Responders Using the SHRP 2 Interdisciplinary Traffic Incident Management Curriculum, was designed to build on the foundation of earlier projects that created a body of multidisciplinary, multiagency traffic incident management (TIM) training materials. Specific goals of the project were to design a training evaluation process and then to develop a TIM assessment tool that would become the baseline assessment tool by which TIM agencies determine the effectiveness of TIM training materials developed in the SHRP 2 program. The project required that the tool apply across multiple target groups within incident response agencies and organizations at all organizational levels, that it be applicable to a variety of training delivery mechanisms, and that it support national and state-level training programs.
The research team began its work by conducting a literature review and needs analysis, which established business requirements and a recommended business model. This work informed the ensuing specification, design, development, and testing of the product of the L32C research, a TIM assessment tool. The tool demonstrates the business and technical feasibility of developing such a system, which could evolve and eventually operate as a full production system.
The research team drew several conclusions from the research:
- A full, four-level “Kirkpatrick Model” evaluation methodology (Reaction and Learning measured immediately following training, and Behavior and Results measured over the longer term) is applicable and implementable for a nationwide rollout of the Interdisciplinary TIM Training Curriculum.
- Implementing a TIM assessment tool that meets the requirements set forth in the original project request for proposal (RFP) is feasible and practical, using readily available, cost-effective technology.
- The effectiveness of any training program can only be measured over time and with many inputs. Doing this requires a sustained organizational commitment to an assessment process. The TIM assessment tool is a means to that end but is not an end in and of itself.
- The successful implementation of a TIM assessment program requires clear business ownership, leadership, committed staffing, and other resources.