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Faculty Peer Mentoring for New Online Instructors: Design, Implementation and Assessment Susan Ko, Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology.

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Presentation on theme: "Faculty Peer Mentoring for New Online Instructors: Design, Implementation and Assessment Susan Ko, Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Faculty Peer Mentoring for New Online Instructors: Design, Implementation and Assessment Susan Ko, Office of Faculty Development and Instructional Technology Sloan Conference 2013, Nov. 21, 2013

2 Institutional Context School of Professional Studies—leader in online programs for CUNY—small online classes, instructor led Large adjunct faculty group, faculty from CUNY (tenured or not) and non-CUNY campuses SPS now has its own building but online program faculty are dispersed, busy adjuncts 2

3 Assumptions New online faculty require training and continued support to be effective and satisfied Peer mentoring can provide new online faculty with practical, professional as well as emotional support Program can help bridge gap between required baseline training and actual teaching of first classes 3

4 Dispersed online faculty benefit from sense of community Peer mentoring avoids some of the problems inherent in supervisor as mentor A formal program of peer mentoring provides structure lacking in informal Providing support throughout an entire semester allows for feedback throughout the various stages of a teaching cycle 4

5 Important points from review of literature Mentoring is reciprocal relationship and involves direct interaction; consists of emotional support, assistance with professional development and role modeling (Jacobi, 1991) Reciprocity important element in mentee satisfaction (Ensher, et al, 2001) Systematic programs are potentially more effective than informal mentoring (Boyle & Boyce, 1998) 5

6 Important points from review of literature Mentoring pairs should enter relationship with clear expectations of responsibilities; low involvement and infrequent interaction are problem (Eby et al, 2000; Feldman, 1999; Boyle & Boyce, 1998) Peer mentorships are characterized by mutuality; information sharing, support and feedback (both job-related and emotional) are key aspects (Kram and Isabella, 1985) 6

7 Mentoring Models Senior/junior model: supervisor or higher ranking faculty in mentor role Mentoring networks: several relationships with different faculty Group mentoring: get-togethers, discussions, brown-bags, etc. Goal focused: accomplish specific tasks, can be “expert” mentoring 7

8 Mentoring Programs Informal and unstructured Structured, with specific interaction times or goals For networks: mix of different types 8

9 Our Model Peer mentor; more experienced teaching online but not in supervisory role; easier to do this when most are adjuncts More formal and structured, with commitment form and final report, regular intervals for contact and detailed manual 9

10 Our Model Match made by academic program director Mentor and mentee receive manual Commitment forms at start and final report at end Mentor and mentee enroll in each other’s online course 10

11 Mentoring Manual Background on mentoring, our model, distributed to both mentors and mentees Roles of mentor/mentees; tips for smooth interaction Scheduled interactions explained Online course guidelines Final review forms Recommended additional reading 11

12 Our Model Four required interactions— Pre-term setup; Early semester; Midterm, End of semester Two optional (webinar for mentors and mentees, review) and others as needed and initiated by mentee 12

13 Pilot Conducted in 2012-13 college year Mentees: 18 (out of 49 new faculty) Sections taught by mentees: 42 (out of 92 sections taught by new faculty) Disciplines represented: 9 Undergrad and grad degree programs 13

14 Pilot Primary investigator: Susan Ko Program assistants and co-investigators for 2012-13, CUNY graduate students—Helen Chang, Kelley Kawano Current co-investigator 2013-14, CUNY graduate student José Muñiz 14

15 Research Questions What are the long-term effects of formal faculty peer mentoring on the performance of new faculty? (And does effect take time to develop?) Does participation in a formal peer mentoring program increase the likelihood of effectiveness and satisfaction in new faculty, in particular, those teaching online? 15

16 Method New or new to online faculty matched with peer mentor for one semester—a series of four required and two optional scheduled interactions to complete over the course of a semester. At the end of each of their first three teaching semesters, performance and satisfaction of new mentored faculty and those not—will be compared 16

17 Method Online survey to assess faculty satisfaction— the survey administered again at the end of two subsequent semesters to see change over time Student pass and withdrawal rates as well as student course evaluation data as a proxy for teaching effectiveness—looked at over 3 semesters 17

18 Data Gathered Results from three surveys from new faculty mentored and non-mentored Pass/fail and withdrawal data for 3 semesters Scores on student course evaluation instructor- related questions for 3 semesters Comparison between new faculty with and without mentoring, also looked at baseline training factor (PTO—Preparation for Teaching Online workshop) 18

19 Preliminary Results 19

20 Preliminary Results 20

21 Preliminary Results 21

22 Preliminary Results 22

23 Preliminary Results 23

24 Preliminary Results


26 Preliminary Findings: Effectiveness Online instructors improve with practice Those with mentoring improved more and were more effective than non-mentored by the second teaching semester Those with both baseline training & semester- long mentor improved the most dramatically and had the highest student satisfaction scores 26

27 Preliminary Findings: Satisfaction RE faculty satisfaction with online teaching increases and sense of isolation decreases with experience. The mentored group’s levels of satisfaction are nearly equal to those un-mentored, most of whom had started out with prior experience teaching online. 27

28 Issues Encountered Relatively small number of new faculty Very difficult to obtain sufficient number to participate in satisfaction surveys, let alone repeat this three times Especially low response rate on survey from non-mentored after second and third semesters Realized needed to tease out role of baseline training 28

29 Remaining Tasks Examine Fall semester 2013 data for those completing third semester, interview subset of faculty from both groups; complete study and publish results Apply lessons to improve mentoring program and preparation of new faculty Seek institutional partners for further exploration, replication of results? 29

30 Contact me at Susan Ko, 30

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