AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractIn 2015 I initiated a student mentoring and peer assisted learning project for year 1 students on the BA Applied Social Work at the University of Derby. Initially this was a small and low key idea. I recruited 5 students from the 2nd and 3rd years to run a short session during induction week and to be contactable so that the new year 1s could raise any questions and queries which they preferred not to raise with tutors. On review discussions with both mentors and mentees indicated that year 1 students wanted to have a significantly developed student mentoring scheme. The following year 19 further mentors were recruited from year 1 in order to develop the project. Mentors took responsibility for 2 full days of student induction. A number of mentor led presentations were delivered during Induction Week on a range of topics. They also took responsibility for setting up and managing a Facebook group for the new year 1 students. The Facebook group was set up in the summer before the new year 1s began the degree programme and allowed information to be given to new students as well as providing an opportunity for the new students to raise questions with their peers in years 2 and 3. Student mentors were also involved in providing assignment guidance to year 1 students for subjects in which those mentors had been very successful. Mentors were also involved in co-teaching module learning input for topics in which they had demonstrated significant knowledge or expertise. As we move into the 3rd year of the project the plan is to expand the remit so that year 2 students also receive mentoring from year 3 mentors. There is also a plan for the creation of mentor led study groups. A ‘mentor away day’ will take place in May 2018 to review the project so far and plan for the forthcoming academic year. A key feature of the approach taken is that decisions are based on a partnership between myself and the student mentors. Decision making is based on consensus and mentors have significant responsibility for their input. Another key finding thus far has been the enthusiasm with which those invited to take on the student mentor role have responded. The philosophy of partnership has undoubtedly resulted in mentors articulating a real sense of ownership regarding the project and its development. Equally striking has been the sense of being valued that mentors experience.
CitationJinks, G. (2018) ‘Student mentoring and peer learning: a partnership approach’ [Presentation] International Perspectives In Education Conference 2018, University of Derby, Buxton, 12-13th October.
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