Sunday, April 22, 2007

Establishing a Mentoring Plan for Improving Retention in Online Graduate Degree Programs - Janet Truluck, OJDLA

As online distance education courses continue to increase in popularity for graduate programs it is becoming evident that retention issues are much greater in this format than in traditional face to face classes. Maintaining contact with students and overcoming feelings of isolation can be a major challenge for instructors and program coordinators. This paper describes an e-mentoring plan established for students in a Master's of Adult Education degree program with the purpose of maintaining enrollment while supporting students throughout their experience. The steps of the plan are described along with the rationale for each.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Online mentoring and peer support: - Lockyer L.; Patterson J.; Rowland G.; Hearne D.: Alt-J - Association for Learning Technology Journal

A vital aspect of any professional education is the opportunity for students to engage in meaningful practical experiences. In pre-service teacher education in Australia, this vital teaching practice component has undergone challenges in recent years due to increasing student numbers (linked to the increasing demand for new teachers) and limited resources in university and school sectors. As such, initiatives to enhance the practical component of this professional degree have been sought. This paper details the methodology and outcomes associated with a pilot project that utilized asynchronous Web-based communication tools to facilitate mentoring and peer support through the teaching practice experience. Analysis of the online discussions and interviews with participants provides an indication of the nature of the interactions and the perceived value of the intervention, and informs the potential for larger-scale implementation.