Paper presented at the 28th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6 - 9 July 2009 "Sustainable Transport", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
South Africa experiences a dire shortage of technically skilled roads professionals to deal with the construction, maintenance and management of its extensive road network. Training of the available technical staff in roads-specific areas is vital to ensure that the investment in road infrastructure is not lost due to a lack of insight and knowledge. A range of available training avenues should be evaluated in order to address the required training of the available technical staff. One such an avenue uses interactive web-based training. Pavement lnteractive (htt://pavementinteractive.org) is an online pavement community built on an open-source wiki platform where users can create, edit, browse and search site content with just a computer, web browser and Internet connection. It contains over 500 web pages and has logged over 1 million pageviews in 2.5 years of existence. Pavement lnteractive is an ongoing experiment in coupling a
participatory application with a unique dataset to improve worldwide knowledge transfer.
Observations of use indicate: (1) primary use as a ready-reference and learning tool, (2) collaboration functions are possible but not extensively used, (3) substantial quality content attracts users, (3) participation drives success, (4) a majority of effort should be dedicated to content
creation and participation, and (5) there should be a means to maintain currency for such websites beyond the funded development phase. This paper evaluates the potential for application of Pavement lnteractive in order to partly address the skills shortage in the roads arena in South Africa.
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