This journal article describes a model that can be used by peer mentors to provide support to distance learners in the areas of articulation and goal setting, motivation, development of study strategies, communication, and autonomy. The article is well suited to university advisors, peer mentors and instructors who are searching for ways to assist new online students to persist in their classes.
Type of Material:
Journal article with numerous references.
•Material can best be used as a resource for instructor and peer mentoring of online students.
•Material can be used by administrators considering a retention program for online learners.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
•Student will learn basics of scaffolding.
•Student will learn of resources on theory and practice for online learners.
•Student will learn of concerns that impact online learner’s persistence in courses.
•Student will learn of some key skills that are not intuitive, but are necessary for online learners to feel engaged in their courses.
Target Student Population:
Faculty, instructional designers, anyone building online courses
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Evaluation and Observation
•Descriptions and explanations of terminology and topics are very good.
•Numerous examples provided in each section.
•Numerous references provided.
Material is several years old. Although, still quite relevant, newer references would be helpful.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
•Very useful information for anyone preparing a retention program for online students. Although the material is directed at students new to online learning, many seasoned online learners could also benefit from mentoring.
•Very useful to help a new retention program in the developing stages, but would need more in depth information to train mentors. The article is very academic and may not appeal to a wider audience.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The information is presented in a concise format. Interesting topic and easy to follow the suggestions.