Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) Pepperdine University  
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Journal Entry - Fifteen [posted Friday, February 27, 2009]

Things have changed since my last journal entry. My action research project has taken a positive turn and has a much more focused direction. On Thursday, February 19, 2009, I was invited to conference in on an important IT staff meeting. At the beginning of this meeting, Richard Wenn introduced me to his staff and asked me to briefly explain my action research project to them. At first, it was met with some reserve. A few staff were worried that my action research project would trigger more calls to the help desk rather than reduce them. Richard actually helped me set their minds at ease! He suggested that my focus be on a new email program called Zimbra that is being rolled out in April to the entire WestEd community. The team suggested that I be in on the early training and beta testing for the entire month of March. I accepted the offer immediately! Jason sent an email the very next day confirming my enlistment. Richard has asked for more clarification. He wanted me to write a one-page summary describing my project so that he could give it to his IT department. I completed the one-page summary as he requested and emailed it to him on Monday, February 23 and he responded the very next day with:

“Thanks Kathleen, This is a good start. I am looking forward to your draft criteria for participants and more details, including your role and responsibilities as the organizer of the effort, the number of participants, the term of the project, what evaluation criteria will be used to assess next steps. Thanks – Richard”

So this next step is the beginning of Cycle Two. I have just compiled an Excel spreadsheet of potential employees, all within Level E through Level G; 41 total including myself. I am hoping to start with this group of people in hopes that the they will take comfort in seeing that the invitation to participate does not include non-exempt and or middle to upper management staff. In order to build a community of trust, as a few of the peer-reviewed articles suggest, that I include no management in the P2P support network. I will send this list of proposed members to my advisory panel and to Richard Wenn for their valuable input. The next thing that I plan to do is develop a set of criteria and guidelines for participation.