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This research paper describes an autoethnographic study of three individuals: Julie, a tenured faculty member and experienced engineering education researcher, and two novice engineering education researchers, Paul, a more junior faculty member, and Deepthi, a graduate student. The tripartite mentoring relationship between us formed as part of a National Science Foundation Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (NSF RIEF) project. We grounded our work in the cognitive apprenticeship model of mentoring and theory of social capital, asking the question: How do mentors and mentees perceive shared experiences? Over the course of 16 months, we collected data in the form of reflective journal entries and transcripts from individual and joint interviews, combining these with other documentation such as emails and text messages. We analyzed these data by identifying three critical incidents over the course of the relationship to date and comparing each of our perceptions of these shared experiences. We found that our perceptions of the shared experiences differed greatly, providing multiple opportunities to improve our future communication. We also discovered that our initial mentoring model in which Julie mentored Paul and Paul mentored Deepthi did not withstand scrutiny. Because Paul was new to engineering education research, it was better for Julie to mentor both Paul and Deepthi than to expect Paul to teach Deepthi topics and methods that were new to him. We assert that other projects would benefit by this approach as well. Our findings offer broad implications for the efficacy of reflection and communication in mentoring relationships.
Jensen, P., & Martin, J., & Suresh, D. (2022, August), Perceptions of shared experiences in mentoring relationships: a collaborative autoethnography Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41058
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