Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) Pepperdine University  
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Journal Entry - Thirteen [posted Sunday, February 8, 2009]

The FETC conference was an incredible experience. Seeing cadre eleven again and meeting our new teachers was very helpful to get motivated again. The fall semester was exhausting and the trip to Florida was invigorating. I gained much insight into my action research project while speaking to other students about their projects. Coupled with the classes we are currently taking, and the new learning circles, I have a fresh outlook on where I need to be taking my first cycle. I have added a new component to my action research project. I am consulting a manager from the WestEd help desk. I felt as though I need his input, before I meet with my advisory panel to get a handle on just how my action research project might help alleviate calls to his busy employees. I have been putting together presentation material for the advisory panel. These are busy people and it has been tough trying to get them all in one place at one time. I am considering doing an online meeting through Wimba. That way, it wouldn’t matter whether they are traveling or in the home office; we could still meet. I am going to prepare printed material as well as electronic files for the first meeting.

I have also contacted the Ezra Schnick, IT Service Manager. Here is the email I sent to him yesterday:

Thank you Ezra for taking the time out of your busy schedule to help me. Here is the gist of what I think you might be able to provide. I have chosen, for my action research project, to set up a peer-to-peer support network within WestEd. The purpose of this support group to is for WestEd employees to try and help each other instantly when they need help using various web 2.0 tools. The support group will only consist of about 25 employees hopefully from various WestEd offices. You might be able to help steer me in the right direction with this recruitment. For instance, if you had a high call volume from one particular office or program that you think most of those calls could have been solved with employees contacting each other for help instead of the help desk. I have done all the research (lit review) on this topic and everything points to success. As a result of peers supporting peers with less techie and more software type issues, the calls to the help desks have lessened. From what the research says, there is enough expertise in a pool of staff where it is possible to draw from each others wealth of knowledge and experience.

I am beginning my first cycle in my ARP and could use some quantitative data. Hopefully, you can help provide that data. For instance, do you track the number of calls on a daily/weekly basis to the help desk? Who they are from (individual or by department/program)? Do you think this support group is a good idea and why or why not? And other measurements that you think I have missed. I am hoping that the number of calls will help reduce the number of calls to the help desk and that this might be able to be tracked.