June 2, 2008, by Teaching at Nottingham

E-learning mentor as implementation advisor

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Interviewer: “Looking at the second role of the mentor, mentor as implementation advisor, how would you describe your input in that context?”

Mike Sharples: “Yes. So, it’s important for the mentors to be able to offer solutions. So it’s not enough to say, ‘Oh, you’ve got a lot of problems. I understand your problems.’ You need to offer practical solutions.

“That’s what the ePioneers was all about. It was offering really practical solutions that would bring about quick gains.”

Richard Pemberton: “The big help was in terms of setting us up with somebody who could provide the recording equipment, do any necessary editing, actually get it online. So that whole aspect of making it work, Mike was exactly the right person.”

Jane Evison: “And Mike was very good at making calls when we were having meetings, so he would actually call Terry at that point, you know, on speakerphone, so we could all hear and all join in. And I think that’s really useful, because when you’re dealing with technologies that you’re not familiar with, you know, a whole language set of jargon that you’re not familiar with, it’s very difficult.

“It can – that can prevent you from asking the kind of questions you need to ask and approaching people. So I think, having Mike do that, was very, very useful.”

Rolf Wiesemes: “I think he asked the right questions, and in some cases, when he was more looking at technical support, he was very good at giving me some advice, and very practical advice on, ‘Okay, if you want to turn a PowerPoint into jpegs, you might want to go and have a look there.’ ‘There’s this software available there’ and things like that.”

Tony Fisher: “The mentor there would be somebody who, perhaps, understood some of the implementation issues, both from a technical angle, but also from an institutional or organisational angle.

“They might be helping to get things done, or they might be saying, ‘Well, if that’s what you want to do, you need to be thinking about that this far in advance, because it will take this long to…’ whatever it might be.

“So being aware of those kinds of constraints, that may mean that you cannot go from having some sort of, notional finished product, whatever that might be, straight to implementation, but that there is a process that has to be gone through, and that there are pitfalls along the way.”


Jane Evison
School of Education
Tony Fisher
School of Education
Richard Pemberton
School of Education
Mike Sharples
School of Education
Rolf Wiesemes
School of Education

Extracts from interviews with staff who are starting to use technology in their teaching, and those who are mentoring them. This video was originally published as part of PESL’s ePioneers collection. Produced June 2008.

Posted in Integrating technology