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Common Pitfalls of Mentoring


Developer Bio


Many instructors (especially adjunct) teaching evenings and weekends are often excluded from the 9 to 5 support system. Technology is a valuable resource for overcoming the time crunch of modern-day living. Consider establishing a mentoring website for your program that can be accessed on or off campus any time of the day. Other technology-mediated mentoring services include: electronic discussion forums, chat rooms, e-mentoring (telementoring), listservs, emailed electronic newsletters, online self-paced professional development modules, and virtual brown bag luncheons.

Good mentoring should take advantage of available technology
  • "The common thread among the communities is that they provide environments where teachers can mentor one another-firsthand, from fellow practitioners, in real time, via the Web!"  (from the article "Online Mentoring: Teachers Buddy-Up to Learn!" by Walter McKenzie)
Model Resources

EPCC Mentoring Website
This website provides all the information about the EPCC Mentoring Program including handbooks and resources.

EPCC Cyber Lounge
This threaded discussion area is an open forum where EPCC faculty can post questions and teaching tips for discussion with other EPCC instructors. As it runs on WebCT courseware, it requires a secure log-in.  You could develop a similar forum using any number of course management systems or even by using free message board software such as Zorum or phpbb.

E-Mentoring Clearinghouse
Although this website is aimed at practitioners who mentor students, the section titled "Planning Your Program" provides a step-by-step guide for designing an e-mentoring program.  Phases in the process for your consideration include: identifying the need, assessing your capabilities and resources, examining your options, enlisting support from leadership and partner organizations, establishing the scope of the program, locating program coordinators, eliminating obstacles, limiting your risk, funding your program, promoting your program, developing a technology plan and developing a safety plan.

"Elements of Effective Practice for E-Mentoring"
This white paper outlines how to set up a youth mentoring program, but the steps could easily translate to the creation of a faculty peer mentoring program.

"Assessing the Potential for E-mentoring"
This site includes the transcript of a panel discussion on technology-mediated mentoring, as well as a WebQuest (guided study) designed to walk you through the pre-planning stage before implementing an electronic mentoring program.

"You've Got Mentoring: Enhancing New Faculty Development with Timely Email Bulletins" by Betsy L. Morgan and William Cerbin.  This article provides concise and helpful suggestions for replicating their new faculty bulletin service.

Tomorrow's Professor Listserv
While this listserv no longer operates, its archived articles provide hundreds of ideas for use in developing postings for your own listserv.

Mentoring for Meaning
Bonnie Denise Coleman's electronic mentoring portfolio showcases her experience as a technology mentor in the Pepperdine Online Graduate Program for Educational Technology.

Online Teaching Modules
The Texas Collaborative for Teaching Excellence houses a variety of self-paced learning modules for faculty development.

Virtual Brown Bag Lunch Series
The University of Maryland Cener for the Virtual University provides open forum question-and-answer sessions or more structured discussions convened via the internet instead of the traditional face-to-face lunch or breakfast sessions.