Mentoring Process So Far

By: babette09

Feb 17 2010

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I am really, really lucky in my mentoring assignment! One of the assignments in my class is to mentor someone for the remainder of the semester. So one of my classmates asked me to mentor him about instructional design and how to break into it from the point he’s at in his career. This was a lucky break for me because I really wasn’t sure who to mentor. I was considering different aspects of my life and career, and realized that I don’t really have any ‘golden opportunities’ at the moment. I am still being mentored in the farmer’s market business. My ID work is usually done at home, plus I hop around from company to company. So there is no opportunity to show someone the ropes or help them along with something when I never really develop relationships in that way. I’m also a musician / songwriter, but since I started this program I haven’t had a lot of chances to jam with people, and don’t have a band or a lot of musical connections at the moment.

Depiction of ancient mentor / mentee relationship

I had thought perhaps I’d extend my AR project work to see if someone online would like to start a mentoring relationship, but luckily my classmate asked me during class if I’d consider mentoring him. A collective ‘phewf’ on my part.  ;- ) Plus I have enough in common with my mentee that I think we can talk easily and avoid any awkward ‘getting to know you’ conversations. In addition we have similar senses of humor, thank goodness. I know mine is a little off base, so if someone doesn’t understand it, there can be a huge disconnect.  I don’t sense that here, so I think we’re fine.

So far it’s been going well, as far as I can tell. I’ve done a lot of the talking so far, but as I told him, I figured I’d talk more in the beginning. I felt I should establish a few things about Instructional Design that would be essential for him to know right off the bat. We discussed what he wanted to get out of this relationship, how I thought we should proceed initially (because I’m certain he’ll make changes as we move forward), and set up a loose schedule of meeting dates and times.

I’m starting my mentee off with some ID basics: the ADDIE model, Bloom’s Taxonomy and other explanations of the whys and hows of the ID universe. From here I plan to start turning things over to him to see what he wants to do next. I also have a friend I think he should meet with at some point, a friend I’ve worked with on and off over the years who has become a SharePoint architect. Now he works on the fringes of education in corporate, which I think could be good for my mentee to discuss. He’s sort of a tech type, so he would benefit from seeing other tangents one could go off on during an ID career.

One of the benefits of mentoring that I noticed right away is that it’s a lot of fun to share this knowledge with someone who has an interest in it. I’m finding myself remembering the excitement I felt when I started to ‘get’ how to create course content, and it’s great to be able to pass that along to someone else. One thing you have to be interested in if you’re going to be an ID is writing. If you aren’t, you should pass it up. But my mentee has demonstrated above average writing skills in past assignments I’ve seen him do. This is a great thing. I can’t teach someone how to be articulate! I can just help them use it to become a better designer.  ;- )

I want to get a chance to let my mentee reflect on his intentions. So my immediate plan for the next couple of meetings is to let him do more of the talking. I set up the basics, but once he has a grasp of what we’re doing, I’d like him to take the lead and talk his way through a few scenarios. I’ll get him started of course, but I think it would be great to throw him into a new situation (all theoretical of course), and see how he reacts. I hope he isn’t reading this, ha ha. If so, well, I’ll think of a way to still make it ‘new’.

Anyway, it’s been fun so far! I’m looking forward to the rest and will update this blog periodically with new advancements.


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