Saint Leo University shares best practices and recommendations for a successful faculty mentor program
Helping faculty learn about and optimize their uses of the learning management system (LMS) is an important step in promoting adoption of a new learning platform. An ideal case is when faculty help each other through a robust mentoring program. That’s the path that was recently taken by Saint Leo University with their ‘Lions SHARE’ faculty mentoring program.
The establishment of this mentor program created a support network that spans distance, time, and modality. A team of two–Claudia Ruiz, Director of Faculty Development & Enrichment and Darcy Goshorn, Senior Faculty Development Specialist–were tasked with ensuring a smooth transition of a brand-new learning ecosystem to over 40 learning centers across the US. It was not feasible for them to travel to all center locations and hold sessions for faculty, staff, and students to learn this system. That’s when Darcy and Claudia started thinking about crowdsourcing these efforts to get key faculty members to become their colleagues’ mentors. Darcy and Claudia recently shared the process, components, and results from their Lions SHARE faculty mentor program and you can learn more in the video below.
The Key Ingredients of a Successful Faculty Mentor Program
The goal for the initial training was meant to go beyond the basic train-the-trainer approach. The team did not feel confident they could turn out Lions SHARE experts with just two days of system technical training. Instead, they decided to structure the program around four main components to ensure optimal success of the program.
- Social: On-going networking with Faculty, Chairs, Deans, and Staff
- Experiential: Role-playing and context-based learning
- Plan Communication: Leveraging existing tools and networks
- Repository of Materials: Centralized hub of mentor activity
The Saint Leo staff created various custom homepage widgets to provide faculty with easy access to technical support and various other faculty resources. They also created a Getting Started widget for student use.
The team at Saint Leo University has kindly shared their resources for those looking for more information.