Source: Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Vol. 19, No. 3, August 2011, 347–364
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The authors were interested to expand present knowledge on mentoring styles in peer mentoring and their contribution to academic success among mentees.
Therefore, this study had two objectives.
The first objective was to examine peer mentoring styles and their correspondence to the mentoring styles associated with traditional mentoring.
The second objective was to determine whether mentoring styles were related to the academic performance of mentees.
Data were collected as part of an evaluation of the peer mentoring program Cascaded Blended Mentoring conducted at the University of Vienna, Austria.
In the mentoring program, advanced students were student mentors, who led mentoring groups of 8 to 10 randomly assigned mentees.
The peer mentoring program was conducted as a blended learning course consisting of online and face-to-face activities for the mentees.
The participants were 49 mentors who supported 376 first year students.
Three different types of measures were used: online mentee questionnaires, online mentoring activities by the student mentor, academic performance of the mentees.
The findings indicated three mentoring styles: Motivating master mentoring, informatory standard mentoring and negative minimalist mentoring.
Motivating master mentoring was graded best and stood out through high levels of online mentoring activities whereas informatory standard mentoring and negative minimalist mentoring were similar in these indicators.
Nevertheless, the informatory standard mentors were accorded predominantly average assessments, but sent messages which were nearly as long as those from motivating master mentors.
The findings demonstrate that mentees do not always have positive mentoring experiences.
Also, the length of messages can be seen as an objective mark of differentiation between committed and not as committed mentors, as the negative minimalist mentors wrote the shortest messages.
The results also indicated that motivating master mentoring had a positive influence on poor academic performers.
Finally, this study provides a first insight concerning peer mentoring styles applying a person-oriented approach.