I continue to share brief lessons from the modules in Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching.

Session 1, 2024 enrolment is open now. You can sign up at https://canvas.instructure.com/register and use the following join code: FPXJJW.

Academic Mentoring is Module 18 and part of the Enhancing your teaching pathway through the course.

Developed by Dr Trudy Ambler, Dr Jayde Cahir and Honorary Associate Professor Marina Harvey (Macquarie University), this module explores academic mentoring for continuous professional development and learning.

Academic mentoring is “ goal orientated, and encompasses mentoring relationships that may be ongoing and sustained over an extensive period of time compared to those that are short-term and aligned with a particular task or focus” (Harvey et al., 2016, p. 6).

Mentoring is invaluable in the current context of higher education that has been described as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (Watermeyer et al., 2022). The opportunity to engage in mentoring relationships supports academics’ adaptive response to a changing educational landscape (Barkham, 2005; Ewing et al., 2008).

There are many options available when considering a mentoring relationship. Which of these options suits your professional learning needs?

One-on-one mentoringIt can be established through either a formal program or a more organically formed relationship that often occurs between individuals in a working environment.
Group mentoringInvolves a small group of individuals working with one experienced member of staff on an agreed project.
Peer mentoringIt can be two colleagues or a small group of individuals that support one another; this type of mentoring can take the form of a writing circle, a reading group, or any other group formed through an agreed task or focus.
Online mentoringIt can be one-on-one or a group of individuals who establish a mentoring relationship using communication tools available through the internet or mobile phone. This form of mentoring utilises such tools as discussion forums, Zoom, Teams, Facebook groups, Twitter or email.
Compound mentoringIt is a form of mentoring whereby the mentee has more than one mentor, chosen for their expertise in particular areas.
Source: Harvey et al., 2016

The module provides a suite of evidence-based resources to support the role of mentor and mentee. It is difficult to share one brief lesson from the many templates, checklists and exemplars provided!

How about an example of an academic mentor providing advice?

In this one-minute video, Professor Attila Brungs (Vice-Chancellor of UNSW) answers the question “What advice would you offer mentees on how to progress their career?”

Enrol in the MOOC to explore this topic further

Macquarie’s Open for Observation program could be the start of a mentoring relationship

The Open for Observation program provides opportunities for colleagues to connect and have conversations about teaching practice which could lead to the development of mentoring relationships. Whether you are an experienced teacher wanting to share your practice, or new to teaching seeking some feedback for development, you could open up your classroom and invite observers to come along and then meet up afterwards. OR go along to a colleagues class to learn by observing their practice or to provide feedback in support of their teaching development.

Read more about the Open for Observation program


Previous posts in this MOOC series

Banner image: Image by Tammy Duggan-Herd from Pixabay

Posted by Agnes Bosanquet

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