Title

Using Methodological Triangulation to Examine the Effectiveness of a Mentoring Program for Online Instructors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2015

Publication Source

Distance Education

Volume

36

Issue

3

DOI

10.1080/01587919.2015.1081735

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Abstract

In this quasi-experimental mixed methods study, we examined the effectiveness of a faculty-to-faculty mentoring program to increase student success rates in online courses at an American university. Over one semester, 24 faculty mentees worked with 6 faculty mentors on improving course organization and implementing student engagement techniques. Using methodological triangulation, we found positive results for two of our effectiveness measures (i.e., mentor and mentee feedback and mentors’ ratings of mentees’ courses). However, in terms of our third measure (i.e., student learning data), although institutional data showed that there was a 4.1% aggregate increase in online student success after the intervention, the intervention group made no significantly greater gains than two control groups. Our findings highlight some benefits and shortcomings of these types of university initiatives and also emphasize the importance of using triangulation to integrate participant feedback with formal measures of student success.

Keywords

faculty mentorship, higher education, methodological triangulation, online teaching

Disciplines

Psychology

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