2. Stimulate methodological innovations to meet the needs of research in this unique area.
A series of synchronous and asynchronous computer conferences and workshops will be created to engage active researchers in developing and extending methodological innovations that will improve the efficiency, validity, and completeness of evaluations of ALN. The two Autumn face to face workshops will either continue the series of the Sloan sponsored workshops on effectiveness research (U. of Illinois, Summer 1999; Lake George, September 2008) or will need to be coordinated with these events.
When the initial tutorial material has been posted, it is planned to kick off the methodological innovation activities with an online asynchronous conference or conferences for active researchers on methodological issues and innovations in ALN evaluation. This will lead to a workshop to be held in the new Collaborative Hypermedia Laboratory at NJIT in the Autumn of 2009. This facility , funded through grants from the National Science Foundation, the state of New Jersey, UPS, and NJIT,it includes a collaborative meeting room. Up to 21 participants, each at their own computer, can participate in synchronous discussion and knowledge building, along with the hardware (such as three projectors) and software to support, capture, and organize this activity. This will be a one day workshop (with a social gathering the night before), including approximately 15 of the most active researchers in the area of ALN studies today. By holding it in the computer-supported meeting room, all of the material generated will be preserved digitally, for inclusion in the online data bases, reports, copying portions into the asynchronous continuing discussion, etc.
The results of the one day synchronous workshop will be organized and used on the project web site and as discussion topics in the asynchronous conference that is open to all, to continue discussion and knowledge building about innovative methodological techniques for studying ALN. This online conference will continue through the 2001-2010 academic year.