3.1 Given the tremendous complexity of this project and the number of communities that must be directly involved if it is to have any chance for success, the Steering Committee recommends that NSF consider adopting Option 2. Steering Committee members envision that the smaller initiatives suggested in Option 2 might be incorporated into a program similar to those that the NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education has sponsored in recent years to change the ways in which chemistry and calculus are taught. Optimally, this new initiative would incorporate many similar components, including those delineated in Recommendations 3.2 and 3.3 below.
3.2 The Steering Committee recommends that the NSF, in following through with Recommendation 3.1, should develop an RFP articulating the need for and issues involving the establishment of an NL as outlined in this report. The RFP would encourage diverse groups of stakeholders to focus on some subset of the issues. Collaboration among stakeholders and interdisciplinary approaches to address the questions posed here would be encouraged. Preproposals could be sought, with funds then awarded to successful groups to encourage them to develop full proposals. Depending on the funds available, the NSF might then award larger contracts to one or more groups to tackle specific issues or sets of issues. Each of these final awardees would be expected to inform each other of their progress and problems through routine communications, reports, and through meetings of teams convened on a regular basis (at least annually).
3.3 Because the central concern of workshop participants was to define the users of and the need for an NL for undergraduate SME&T education, the Steering Committee recommends that RFPs for preproposals not be formulated until the NSF sponsors the focus groups described above. Feedback and evaluation of information from these groups of users and providers could then serve as the basis for constructing RFPs that would help eventual awardees to address specifically the established needs and requirements of potential NL users.