Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Peer Mentoring for All: Investigating the Feasibility of a Curricular-Embedded Peer Mentoring Structure
The benefits of peer mentoring in undergraduate STEM courses are well documented, and the literature indicates the greatest benefits of the experience may be to the peer mentor. However, in most peer-mentoring models it is only the best and brightest students who are chosen for mentor roles, who therefore gain the majority of the benefits of the experience. We are interested in the feasibility of a peer-mentoring program where all students act as mentors in some fashion. Therefore, we piloted a peer-mentoring program in two departments: Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering (CEAE), and Mechanical Engineering (ME). Within each department, the peer mentoring projects were embedded into courses in a similar program stream (where the upstream and downstream courses were related to each other in terms of content). This pilot program focused on three types of mentoring: design process mentoring, engineering identity and student success mentoring, and technical skill/content mastery mentoring. The design process mentoring involved graduate students acting as consultants to undergraduate design students on their projects, meeting one-on-one to review their designs, ask questions, and provide resources and context. The engineering identity/student success mentoring and technical skill/content mastery mentoring involved students making short videos on topics to share with the class directly upstream of them (pre-requisites of the course they were in). Each instructor modified the mentoring assignment to investigate the feasibility and outcome of slightly different approaches.
Data describing participation, quality of the mentoring content, reflections from student mentors, and surveys from faculty and students in the courses with peer mentors will be presented. The primary questions investigated include: 1) Was the mentoring implementation effective (Did the mentors create useful and meaningful content and did they perceive the experience as worthwhile)? 2) What did the pilot project tell us about the feasibility of such a program? (What were the barriers to student and faculty participation? How much time was spent on “correcting” mentoring content, or coaching the mentors? Were the videos accessed and utilized by the upstream students?) 3) What was the impact of the mentoring experience on “average” students (we already have mentoring programs in place for the best and the brightest – did this implementation prove beneficial for students who may not have a chance at the programs already in place)? 4) What recommendations do we have based on this pilot study for scaled implementation of such a program?
McVey, M. A., & Bennett, C. R., & Collins, W. N., & Lequesne, R., & Luchies, C. W., & Wilson, S. E., & Sutley, E. J., & Fadden, M. F., & Melgares, C. (2018, June), Board 45: Peer Mentoring for All: Investigating the Feasibility of a Curricular-Embedded Peer Mentoring Structure Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30036
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