Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) Pepperdine University  
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Journal Entry - Seventeen [posted Thursday, March 12 2009]

Cycle Two is well on its way. Many decisions have been made and issues resolved. I ran into a bit of a glitch last week when Richard suggested going in a direction with my action research problem that I was not comfortable with. I looked to Paul Sparks and my learning circle for advice on how to handle this small obstacle. Good suggestions were made and I followed Paul’s wise advice. I emailed Richard the following email:

“Hello Richard, After speaking to my ARP advisor, I don't think the control and treatment group within the MST will work. I think that it does not match the "spirit" of my action research project, which is to form a community of collaboration by establishing a peer-to-peer support group within WestEd. With 6 members having the capability to use chat and support each other (treatment group) the control group would be expected to call the help desk when in need. What would probably happen, since we would all be in the same program, is that they would probably contact one of us first before calling the help desk. That would mean that we either refuse to help them or help them and keep a log of the fact that they called us instead of the help desk like they were suppose to. Either way, this is not what I had envisioned for my project. I want to have employees help each other (not refuse help) and thereby reduce the number of calls to the help desk.

What I do think might work is that 12 members of the MST department could form the P2P support group initially (the treatment group) and compare their number of help desk tickets with those of the general population of WestEd (the control group). The P2P's objective is to contact each other first for help using Zimbra before calling the help desk. Although the quantitative data would be helpful, if this scenario doesn't work, my advisor doesn't think it is really necessary to turn this project into a quasi-experimental study. I welcome your thoughts, Kathleen”

Richard Wenn and I have come to an agreement that will work for both of us. I am going to select the twelve participants next week. I have already invited four MST staff who are anxious to be P2P support group members. I told Richard that I would send him a list of participants by the end of next week so that he can arrange for training and to enable Zimbra chat for just the twelve of us.

One of my advisors, Dr. Mark Loveland, asked me how the project was progressing. I apologized to him that I hadn’t kept them informed of every discussion, but told him that I would convene the panel for an update. I created a doodle schedule sent the email invitation and link to all five advisory panel members. Once I poll them for available days and times, I will have a F2F meeting and bring them up to date on what has been transpiring with the project.