Supporting Faculty Mentoring through the Use of Creative Technologies: There’s An App For That

March 2016

Source: International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2016, p. 54-64
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this article, the authors addressed two issues that could improve the mentoring relationship. The first issue refers to a system for prompting regular contact between mentor and mentee. The second one addresses to a prompt to both mentor and mentee that provides relevant and timely topics as a springboard for conversation and mentoring guidance during those meetings. The authors describe how the use of creative technology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts addressed these two issues. 

This article describes the development of using creative technology to support a new mentoring system. This mentoring app integrates both mentor and mentee perspectives to facilitate and enhance the mentoring experience. This application follows the timeline of a new faculty member’s career to prompt mentees to seek information from their mentors when it should be needed. 

The article highlights a pilot program, describing the rationale for and stages in the development of an e-mail-based and mobile-based program.
The authors argue that in order to obtain formative data prior to the development of the app from all stakeholders involved in faculty success, separate focus groups were held with the following groups: junior faculty members, department chairs and associate deans, and college deans. Each focus group was provided with the draft calendar and list of prompt questions and feedback was elicited. Junior faculty members provided a great deal of helpful feedback. They highlighted their need for infrastructure knowledge and noted that they often have multiple mentors who serve different purposes. 

The authors conclude that this article provides the rationale for and stages of development of a new mentoring system of support known as mentoring system of support (SOS). They expect that the program will provide a useful enhancement to the mentoring relationship for junior faculty that will positively impact their academic success. 

Updated: Feb. 14, 2018