My research areas centre on user interaction with digital information, knowledge organization systems, digital libraries, big data and more recently learning analytics. Currently, Ali has two funded research projects on digital libraries and learning analytics.
The SSHRC funded project titled ‘Digital Library North: Creating a Path for Information Access in Canada's North’ ($295, 817) is a three year project (2014 - 2017) that has the following objectives: a) Investigate and identify the information needs and information seeking behaviour of community members in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, b) Develop a digital library of information resources, c) Explore appropriate methodologies for treatment of cultural heritage information, d) Create a culturally appropriate metadata framework as a basis for resource description and discovery, e) Develop requirements for multilingual user interfaces that support the dominant languages, f) Conduct a user-centred evaluation of the digital library and g) Develop a sustainability strategy for the digital library to ensure long-term access to digital information.
Ali’s second project, which was funded by a TLEF grant, titled: ‘Development of a Learning Analytics Application to Support Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta’ ($91, 406). The project aims to develop and evaluate a learning analytics software application for the University of Alberta eClass learning management system to support students and instructors to gain insight into learners activities in online, blended and on-campus courses. Within this project, Ali is collaborating with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), U of A Information and Technology Services (IST) and the eClass team.
Previously, Ali completed a SSHRC funded project titled ''Multilingual Thesaurus-enhanced Visual Interfaces for Digital Libraries' that developed and evaluated a number of visual search user interfaces enhanced with thesauri to support users' exploration and navigation of information in multilingual digital libraries.