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Widening Peer Mentoring Among Postgraduate Tutors Using a Wiki Environment

0052 ALTC 2009 Jessie Paterson, Sara Parvis, Jason Wardley

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The Cloudworks Team
24 August 2009

ALT-C 2009 Session: This Cloud has been set up to aggregate live blogs, comments, discussion and links for this session.

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Review of a project using Wikis supporting post-graduate teaching students through their course:

Findings:

  • All groups used the wiki differently ie reflection, information sharing, asking questions of mentors (when does this assignment need to be in?!)
  • Initially scaffolding was provided but this didn't  seem to be what students wanted to in next semester project just offered a blank page.
  • All students used the wiki but use dropped off after the first year
  • Very little use was made of the technical support on offer
  • Most useful for tutorial groups that were largest
  • New students felt particularly supported by the mentors through the wiki
  • Students felt more "recognised and valued"
  • Students liked producing a 'product' that future students would be able to use
  • Little evidence of reflecting on own tutoring in this public space
Questions from the audience:
Did the 'scaffolding' help students build communities or was it assumed that people had community building skills? No, scaffolding not that smart! 

What was it about the induction process that helped people use the technology so effectively? Being in a supportive environment that allowed for experimentation and risk taking/ mistakes. Also used 'socialisation' activities ie getting students to initially blog what they had for breakfast

If wiki mentors were paid for an hour a week is that what they did? Did they tend to do more or less? This was very variable.  Mentors were certainly strongly encouraged not to do more that an hour - clear boundaries was very important in ensuring effective support.

 

Rebecca Galley
11:20 on 8 September 2009

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