Mentor blog using blogs to promote reflective practice
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mentor blog: using blogs to promote reflective practice. Steve Wheeler Wendy Lambert-Heggs University of Plymouth. mentor blog project aims. connect students and mentors using blogs compare blogs with traditional mentoring methods ascertain benefits of mentoring using blogs.

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mentorblog:usingblogs topromotereflective practice

Steve Wheeler

Wendy Lambert-Heggs

UniversityofPlymouth


mentorblogprojectaims

  • connect studentsandmentorsusingblogs

  • compare blogs withtraditionalmentoring methods

  • ascertain benefits of mentoring usingblogs


Telemachus and Mentor

In Greek mythology Odysseus of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War and entrusted the care of his son, Telemachus, to an older and wiser friend, Mentor.

Telemachus and Mentor developed a strong relationship built on the foundations of guidance and support.

The word “mentor” has become synonymous with teacher, counsellor, coach, facilitator, motivator and friend.


Telematic Mentoring

Geographical Distance

Online reflective diary (shared between 2 people)


Mentoring


Mentoring


Mentoring

Mentoring is the guidance and support of one individual by another within a personal relationship developed over a period of time. Mentors act as friendly adversaries who listen well, question skilfully and gently challenge assumptions. Successful mentoring relationships are built on mutual respect and trust, where the mentor encourages the mentee to accept responsibility for their own personaldevelopment.

Source: http://www.maps-uk.info/telemachus_mentoring.html


Reflective practice

Reflective practice is a form of learning through questioning and feedback. It forces us to question what it is that we know and how we come to know it.

Source: http://www.ukcle.ac.uk/resources/reflection/what.html


Reflection and reasoning

Claxton suggested that: "learning to learn, or the development of learning power, is getting better at knowing when, how and what to do when you don't know what to do"


Socrates and learning

Socratic learning is based on the idea that human beings have faculties that can be awakened through questioning, exploration, and self-examination. "Anamnesis" in Greek referred to the ability to drawon or recollect, bring to mind, deeper resources within the individual for use in daily life.


Reflection and diary keeping

Literature has shown that reflectivediaries are useful tools in facilitating reflection and reflective learning. The very nature of diary writing itself requires the writer to think back on events that have taken place and provides opportunity for expression of personal thoughts.

(Tang 2000)


Research Design

We chose an experimental method

3 students and their mentors worked in conventional mode (control group)

3 students and their mentors worked in blog mode (experimental group)

We examined the themes that emerged from their on line and paper based journals.


Results

One f2f student preferred to communicate face to face with her mentor. She stated: “the quality of contact is not at all effective in e-mails.”

Another f2f student found close proximity to her mentor a problem: She said: “it is difficult to stay composed in such close proximity.”


Results

Six months into the project, one blog student and his mentor have so far failed to initiate a mentoring relationship, possibly due to unfamiliarity with the system, time limitations, or perhaps due to perceptions that the blog is more impersonal or removed from the face-to-face mentoring experience.


Results

One student has used the blog on a regular basis (weekly) with his mentor and said: “I find the blog extremely useful.”

He said that he found one of the most valuable features was the ability to revisit his postings as a recorded archive.

Two of the blog students changed the settings, ‘look and feel’ of their blogs early on in their usage to reflect their individual preferences.


Assessment and Learning Outcomes

We have been looking at re-visiting the projects in your course and I created a mapping document showing which projects fulfil which learning outcomes. Was this helpful? How do you think the projects are going this year in Term One - I know we really only started them on structured projects in Term 2 last year - has the earlier start worked OK for the students do you think?

Posted by XXXXXXX at 01:10

1 comment

Example of a blog post

with mentor response

Yes it is a useful way of trying to envisage what can be a very confusing series of connections.I keep think that the fact that some of our Project map to so many L.O.s in different modules is making things difficult.I feel there should be a 'dBs Law of Mapping' which states that if it is difficult to encompass or understand intuitively the way the mapping works then the course module(s) needs rewriting!Still that is what we are talking about doing now anyway.

25 January 2008 18:00


Assessment and Learning Outcomes

We have been looking at re-visiting the projects in your course and I created a mapping document showing which projects fulfil which learning outcomes. Was this helpful? How do you think the projects are going this year in Term One - I know we really only started them on structured projects in Term 2 last year - has the earlier start worked OK for the students do you think?

Posted by XXXXXXX at 01:10

1 comment

Example of a blog post

with mentor response

Yes it is a useful way of trying to envisage what can be a very confusing series of connections.I keep think that the fact that some of our Project map to so many L.O.s in different modules is making things difficult.I feel there should be a 'dBs Law of Mapping' which states that if it is difficult to encompass or understand intuitively the way the mapping works then the course module(s) needs rewriting!Still that is what we are talking about doing now anyway.

25 January 2008 18:00


Results

Overall, the distance group were more mixed in their responses to the use of blogs.

Significantly, the majority of comments have been provided by the mentor and most posts by the student.

One factor to be considered is that blog mentors need to be proactive in seeking out their student’s posts online, whilst face-to-face mentors must respond to their students’ reflections in the meetings.


Conclusions

  • Both methods of mentoring have advantages and disadvantages

  • Both appear to equally fulfil their aims within their specific contexts

  • Blogging must be seen as non-threatening

  • Blogging should not imposed upon students by lecturing staff

  • Blogging should have a real pedagogical purpose


Conclusions

  • Students should be given control over what is written and made accessible to their mentors

  • The mentor’s responsibility is then to respond with appropriate comments of a supportive and instructive manner and in a timely fashion.

  • Blogs are learning tools in their own right, and should not be seen as simply a way of providing information online

  • Blogging can be used when there is no other method is available or possible


Future Research

We intend to extend this project to a larger group of teacher trainees in the next academic year

We also intend to extend this project to include blogging using mobile phones (moblogging) so that nomadic students (e.g. military, health care workers) can also participate in mentor blogging.

Possible incorporation of micro blogging (e.g. Twitter) into the mentorial tool kit.


Future Research

We intend to extend this project to a larger group of teacher trainees in the next academic year

We also intend to extend this project to include blogging using mobile phones (moblogging) so that nomadic students (e.g. military, health care workers) can also participate in mentor blogging.

Possible incorporation of micro blogging (e.g. Twitter) into the mentorial tool kit.


Future Research

We intend to extend this project to a larger group of teacher trainees in the next academic year

We also intend to extend this project to include blogging using mobile phones (moblogging) so that nomadic students (e.g. military, health care workers) can also participate in mentor blogging.

Possible incorporation of micro blogging (e.g. Twitter) into the mentorial tool kit.


Future Research

Reflecting on practice through photos – using an image blog?

Or through a video diary….?

Reflecting on practice using audio archives – a voice blog


thank you

www2.plymouth.ac.uk/distancelearning


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