June 2, 2008, by Teaching at Nottingham

E-learning mentor as motivator

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Interviewer: “The third role of the mentor, the mentor as motivator, is that something you feel you’ve had an insight into?”

Gordon: “Part of the the role I saw, was one of actually confirming with them, what they’ve done was actually a phenomenal step forward.

“So, the motivation was about – when I was meeting them, I wasn’t monitoring what they were doing, even though I was, I was actually saying, ‘Well…’ They were saying things like, ‘Well I’ve only just managed to…’ and I’d be saying, ‘Now hang on a minute, and this is four weeks down the line, and you’ve what? Oh, you’ve received some training. You’ve got a course that’s got your name on it, and it’s ready to run. How much have you done in the last three years? So what you’ve done is a massive step forward.'”

Jane Evison: “Certainly a motivator, particularly by making us have meetings, regular meetings. Yeah, and leaving us, or us generating together, you know, a list of things, things that we were going to do before the next meeting. I think those meetings seemed to come around pretty quickly. Were they monthly at the beginning?”

Richard: “They were, yeah. I think, even up ‘til, maybe the beginning of this year. Certainly in the first year and maybe at the beginning of the second year, they were monthly, and that was really useful.”

Richard: “Most of them were not, sort of, pressure meetings.”

Jane: “Oh no. No.”

Richard: “It was reporting back on what you’d been doing. But I think the fact of having those monthly meetings meant you – if, occasionally, you had something big, like you were doing a questionnaire, but a lot of the time you were ‘Okay, well what should we be talking about that’s taking it a bit further?'”

Brett Bligh: “In terms of motivating, I think the main thing is setting achievable targets.

“So one of the first things we did in each mentoring meeting was to look in our diaries and calendars, and find out when we were available for the next subsequent mentoring meeting, and then we, sort of, set achievable goals that could be achieved by the next meeting.”

Gordon Joyes: “So the skills that mentors were bringing were – was a recognition of, yes, how complex this process can sometimes seem, and how the fact that, you know, that making mistakes and feeling that you’re losing confidence is part of the process actually, and supporting people through that.”

Tony Fisher: “So helping people to, you know, understand the process of change, helping them to deal with uncertainty, helping them to feel re-engaged, if they felt their interest was flagging.”

Do Coyle: “Just simply, by valuing what people were doing, once you have a sense of value, I think that is incredibly motivating, and it happened because we were exploring the same issues together. So it was on a collaborative basis, but this whole notion of motivating colleagues by colleagues was, I think, very, very powerful.”


Brett Bligh
School of Education
Do Coyle
School of Education
Jane Evison
School of Education
Tony Fisher
School of Education
Gordon Joyes
School of Education
Richard Pemberton
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