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Online Mentoring Programs

By Gary A. Berg / September 2009

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One-to-one relationships, facilitated through the Internet, is changing how personal and professional mentoring occurs. Despite the pervasiveness of large lecture courses found in colleges, the core of learning at the graduate level and beyond formal education is one-to-one dialogue between a mentor and a learner. The Internet and trends in e-learning have finally made mentoring practical and cost effective.


  • Tue, 23 Mar 2010
    Post by Alexander (Sandy) McDonald

    Thank you for a comprehensive introduction to the topic of online and virtual mentoring. As you mentioned, an element of structure is an important part of a successful program. Online mentorship programs, as with face to face programs, will benefit from a core structure, whether curricular or attending to other needs, that shapes the interactions between the mentor and the protegee.

    From the perspective of the participants, providing a framework to guide interactions and offer direction for the future, is an effective way to begin the relationship. Until relationships are formed, creating a comfort level between the participants, it may be intimidating for protegees to ask questions or for mentors to make suggestions. Having a framework to guide initial mentor and protegee behaviors can provide direction and can help facilitate the relationship building process.

    Cheers! AC MCDONALD

  • Thu, 22 Oct 2009
    Post by Mark Tayar

    I hadn't heard of online mentoring before so thanks for sharing this interesting insight. In trying to set up a traditional mentoring programme I found the biggest problem was getting mentors to find the time to meet their mentees. In online mentoring the asynchronous nature of email may overcome this issue. Even so, I still think a synchronous online meeting via chat or Skype may be more satisfying for both parties.

    These new mentoring models not only challenge the old system of face-to-face learning, they potentially challenge current eLearning principles.

  • Tue, 08 Apr 2008
    Post by Marcia Mayper

    As an educator my feeling is let my students be exposed to diverse medias, yes, even comics and games! A good laugh is healthy. Playing is so vital to all, especially to young children. I am addicted to Lauchball Let''s keep these innovative online interactions going, the issue of finding them, knowing how to integrate them productively with other materials and solely for enjoyment.

  • Wed, 26 Mar 2008
    Post by Lynne Spichiger

    Check out the Name that Culture Game in the Raid on Deerfield website.

  • Tue, 25 Mar 2008
    Post by Nina Simon

    Mike, I''ve been promoting games as learning experiences with museums for a couple of years. Even when the content is not explicitly educational, the format often involves immersion, no instructional text, and emotional engagement with the content. There are some wonderful explicitly serious games out there, like World Without Oil, which invited players real-time to work (and live) through an oil shock. The immersion and the realism, coupled with the "what if" question, took often preachy content (resource consumption) and made it personal and compelling. I''ve written about this on the Museum 2.0 blog ( choose "Games" on the right column for much more on gaming and learning.

  • Thu, 13 Mar 2008
    Post by Mike Gualtieri

    There are some amazing computer and console games that have a historical context such as Assassin''s Creed and Age of Empires. Assassin''s Creed is an 3d game for x-box that is set during the Crusades. Age of Empires spans multiple era''s and provides pre-built historical scenarios. There are dozens of examples. Since kids are spending so many hours in front of these games I am surprised that much of what I read about elearning is focused on "digital media" but that somehow excludes games. I have heard that there is a field called "serious games". I don''t know what that is, but some of the entertainment games are serious in their own right. I''d like to hear from elearning experts about what researching is being conducted on the effective of learning from the "entertainment" games. If EA, Sony and Microsoft have figured out how to get kids and adults addicted to games, what can elearning learn from them?