e-Mentoring Literature Review

How does current research of effective models for professional development support e-mentoring in online learning communities?

Created by,
Phyllis Bartosiewicz

Curriculum Info  Meet the Author

Bray, Barbara. Coaching Teacher. ecoach-barb.JPG. 2003. My eCoach® eLibrary. Online. Available. 12 July 2004.

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e-Mentors enable teachers to take charge of their professional development by supporting them in the use of an online collaborative workspace and curriculum development tools.

Online articles
    •Building Virtual Communities for Professional Development
By Ferdi Serim. (1996). The promise of online professional development is emerging from concept to reality, propelled by such questions. Already we see the beginnings of an international revolution, motivated by the vision of free-flowing knowledge, people taking responsibility for their own learning, and grand-scale collaborations that embrace the innovations of networking, enabling us to exchange new types of communications and experiences to build human and informational resources that address common problems in a spirit of community.
    •Knowledge Managers for Collaborative Learning Communities
By Barbara Bray. (May 2002). "As part of this learning community, knowledge managers can facilitate a team of teachers to participate in collaborative activities where teachers support each other."
    •Professional Development Through Learning Communities
By Kathleen P. Fulton and Margaret Riel. (May 1999). "Communications technology provides promising opportunities for collaborative learning environments for teachers in which they can reflect on practice with colleagues, share expertise in a distributed knowledge framework, and build a common understanding of new instructional approaches, standards, and curriculum."
    •Research Implications for Preparing Teachers to Use Technology
By Cradler, J., Freeman, M., & McNabb, M. (September 2002). Suggests the following strategies for building teacher confidence and interest in technology: time for collaborative learning; participation in professional associations and sharing with colleagues within and beyond school; long-term professional development; frequency, breadth, and depth of collaboration with colleagues influences instructional context and quality of technology use.
    •Staff Development Through Peer Mentoring
By Lorrie Jackson. (January 2004). "The TechMentor model, which identifies those who are competent with a skill, highlights their successes, and provides supportive and collaborative assistance for the rest of the faculty, can work whether the initiative is whole language, multiple intelligences, core essentials, or teaching to standardized tests."
    •The mettle of a mentor
By Vicki M. Denmark and India J. Podsen. (Fall 2000). "So often, teachers who are asked to mentor a first-year teacher or a teacher new to the school have very little training on how to coach and mentor while teaching full time. In order for a teaching novice to feel success and for the teaching mentor to grow professionally, the mentor teacher should possess certain competencies."
    •This is Your Brain on the Internet
By Barbara Bray. (November 2003). "My online community is where I touch base to see whether I'm on the right track, where I get support and advice, and where I learn and teach. In the eyes of its many users, online communication is a powerful medium for like-minded individuals to form virtual communities that provide mutual support, advice and identity.
Online Book
    •How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking, editors. (1999). "Much of what constitutes the typical approaches to formal teacher professional development are antithetical to what research findings indicate as promoting effective learning. The typical workshops tend to occur once, deal with decontextualized information, and often do not resonate with teachers' perceived needs. By contrast, research evidence indicates that the most successful teacher professional development activities are those that are extended over time and encourage the development of teachers' learning communities."
Research reports
    •California Technology Assistance Project - Relevant Research Examples
1). "Mentors who can help teachers adapt technology applications to their classroom needs are important to the success of innovative uses of technology." 2). "Helping teachers to learn to integrate technology into the curriculum is a critical factor in the successful implementation of technology in schools." 3). "...when teachers are learning to integrate technology into their classrooms, the most important staff-development features include opportunities to explore, reflect, collaborate with peers, work on authentic learning tasks, and engage in hands-on, active learning."
    •Different (Key)strokes for Different Folks: Designing online venues for professional communities
By Liwana S. Bringelson and Tom Carey. (2000). "On-line professional communities are a way to facilitate “communities of practice”, which Wenger (1998) describes as a joint enterprise with relationships of mutual engagement, relying on a shared repertoire of communal resources. These on-line communities of professionals can address many needs, and individuals may belong to the same community for different reasons. One obvious benefit of interacting with other professionals in ones field is the opportunity for collaborative learning and knowledge building. On-line discussions and contact with professionals in different geographic regions not only reduce professional isolation one may experience, but also expand the opportunity for learning at several levels of richness: seeking solutions to technical questions, keeping up-to-date with recent advances, and extending the boundaries of collective knowledge."
    •Teacher Professional Engagement and Constructivist-Compatible Computer Use
By Henry Jay Becker and Margaret M. Riel. (December 2000). "If, on the other hand, what we want from our schools is thoughtful and creative problem-solving and constructive, independent thinking, the most effective way to achieve these goals may be to design a system where teachers are encouraged to be thoughtful and creative problem solvers in the design of learning environments for students."
    •Telementoring as a Collaborative Agent for Change
By Audrey A. Friedman, Melanie Zibit, and Meca Coote. (May 2004). "Telementoring is online or virtual mentoring (Foster, 1999; Zeeb, 2000), a computer-mediated variation of the traditional “dynamic relationship between an individual who needs to learn and one who is willing to help and guide” (Newby & Corner, 1997, p. 11). By linking students and mentors online (telementoring), mentors need not be physically proximate nor do interactions need to be synchronous, factors that commonly limit the success and sustainability of face-to-face mentoring programs. Telementoring is becoming a way to “pair teachers and learners with subject-matter experts who can provide advice, guidance and feedback” (Zeeb, 2000, p. 7). Telementoring derives from mentoring, an educational process in which an experienced person gives guidance, knowledge, and encouragement to a learner."

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Last updated: July 17 2004, 11:07 am
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