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frog

peer mentoring

not quite sure if this counts as teaching or admin. But just wondered if your department has any form of peer mentoring programme? We're just starting one this year, and I'm the member of staff with responsibility for it. Luckily, all the admin side is carried out centrally, but I'm thinking of having some kind of event in intro week to ease things a little for the mentors / mentees. It's entirely a general support thing rather than academically focused.

Just wondered if anyone had had any expereince of these, and any tips of what might work or not work,

Cheers, frog.
Dr Spouse

We have a mentoring scheme for new staff (definitely at lecturer level but I'm not sure about incoming higher level staff). We get assigned a mentor who I think is nominally for a couple of years but in effect if they are nice and you get on with them you carry on going to them for advice, though perhaps I'm saying this because my mentor is also in a choir with me/his partner has had similar health problems to me/is an all round nice guy/is very clever.

We also have Peer Observation of Teaching where you are paired with someone at a similar level and just observe one session a year - it's mainly a box-checking exercise to be frank but you do get some good tips - I always try and get paired with someone very nice and friendly so we can't be too rude about each others' teaching. But it is so much better than at my previous institution where we had student comments that were incredibly personal, and no real backup (I was observed once in 3 years I seem to remember) from any objective observation by colleagues.
frog

doh... that's me not making myself at all clear. I was actually talking about student - student mentoring schemes, in this case undergraduates!
Though of course we can talk about staff peer mentoring as well!
frog
Dr Spouse

I guess I thought you meant staff-staff because our scheme involves teaching observation!

We don't have student-student schemes, though it sounds like a good idea - they get a lot out of our online discussion fora and tend not to bother us nearly as much with administrative questions for which the answer is usually "it's in the handbook". I had some friends at St. Andrew's as an UG, where they have a non-subject-based academic parent thing - it seems to involve a lot of drinking but also some hand-holding!

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