Margaret Riel

Dr. Margaret Riel is the Director of the Center for Collaborative Action Research.  She retired from directing the Master of Arts in Learning Technologies Program at Pepperdine University in 2013. The blended online program she helped design at Pepperdine was awarded the United States Distance Learning platinum award for online programs. She also personally received the United States Distance Learning gold award for excellence in online teaching. She has more recently developed a self-paced set of tutorials to help iEARN teachers master action research. She schedules ongoing monthly meetings to help any iEARN teacher engage in action research to better understand their own process of change and what is effective in global education. 

Dr. Riel received her BA in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego, a Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. She began her career as a researcher at the Interactive Technology Lab at the University of California, San Diego where she studied the use of computers as learning tools. With international colleagues, she started the Intercultural Learning Network (1984-86), a network between eight schools in four countries (the U. S., Mexico, Japan, and Israel). Through this project, she began to understand the power and potential of computer technology for building understanding across cultures. This led to the evolution of the Learning Circle model, which has been used by iEARN and other organizations to connect learners and researchers around the world.

As a past chair of the AERA Action Research Special Interest Group, Riel joined a small team of dedicated professors to create the Action Research Network of the Americas, which is holding its 8th conference in 2020. She also edited the International Handbook on action research with three colleagues.