Master of Arts in Educational Technology (OMET) Pepperdine University  
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Journal Entry - Nineteen [posted Friday, April 17, 2009]

Once I had my team of volunteers committed to the project, I asked each participant in the P2P study to sign up for a Skype account. I also requested that they complete a simple, five-question pre- survey and sign a consent form. Within two days, everyone had sent me their Skype name, taken the survey, read the guidelines for participation and returned the signed consent form! I was very impressed (and pleased) with the response. Once I had everyone’s Skype name, I formed a group chat in Skype and sent instructions to the P2P support group on how to set that up.

Zimbra, WestEd’s new email service, was introduced to WestEd staff on Monday, April 6th. The IT department spent the weekend converting over from Thunderbird to Zimbra. Employees had not yet been trained on the new email system and came into work Monday flooding the help desk with phone calls and help tickets. On Tuesday, April 7th the P2P support group officially began working as a team assisting each other with Zimbra questions using Skype as the primary mode for communication.

I kept Richard (and my advisors) abreast of the project sending them the following email:

“Hello Richard, From the sound of it, the help desk staff have been quite busy these past couple of days. Things are going well on my end. The group of 13 peer-to-peer support group members has been established. All have received a consent form (see attached), all have been sent the pre- survey (see link below), and all have joined Skype and are on and using "group chat." Today was our first official day for helping each other with Zimbra questions. It appears to be working for us. I am going to be saving transcripts of each days Skype chat sessions for my qualitative and quantitative data. I have asked participants to log when they help someone with Zimbra issues who are outside of the P2P Support Group. I am keeping the log for the internal (P2P) requests. Hopefully, our small support group is helping to reduce help desk requests. Warm regards, Kathleen”

Richard responded to my email with:

“Thanks for the update Kathleen. This sounds promising. Richard”