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Margaret Riel Faculty Profile

Margaret Riel

Visiting Faculty
Education Division, Graduate School of Education and Psychology


Dr. Margaret Riel is co-chair of the online master of arts in learning technologies at GSEP. Her early work involved the design of a model of cross-classroom communication -- Online Learning Circles -- in the K-12 context. She designed the program for thousands of teachers from schools around the world to engage their students in the work of learning circles. The Learning Circle model has become the structural design of her online teaching of Action Research at Pepperdine for which she received an award from the prestigious United Stated Distance Learning Association. She has designed and participated in workshops to provide professional development with technology to teachers at universities, at national conferences, and as a consultant for professional education organizations. Over her career, she has written research reports and articles, designed computer programs, authored curriculum books and software documentation and developed websites, and consulted on television broadcasts. She serves as a fellow for the George Lucas Education Foundation and as the director of Center for Collaborative Action Research.



  • BA, University of California, San Diego
  • MA, University of Chicago
  • PhD, University of California, Irvine
  • Gold-level award for Online Technology in Higher Education in the category of Best Practices for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching, 2008