Interactivity between protégés and scientists in an electronic mentoring program

Bonnett, C. and Wildemuth, B. and Sonnenwald, D. H. Interactivity between protégés and scientists in an electronic mentoring program. Instructional Science, 2006, n. 34, pp. 21-61. [Journal article (Print/Paginated)]


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English abstract

Interactivity is defined by Henri (1992) as a three-step process involving communication of information, a response to this information, and a reply to that first response. It is a key dimension of computer-mediated communication, particularly in the one-on-one communication involved in an electronic mentoring program. This report analyzes the interactivity between pairs of corporate research scientists (mentors) and university biology students (protégés) during two consecutive implementations of an electronic mentoring program. The frequency and structure of the interactions within each pair were examined to provide context: 542 messages were posted among the 20 mentors and 20 protégés. These messages were formed into 5-10 threads per pair, with 3-4 messages per thread, indicating a high level of interactivity (there were more responses posted than independent messages). Mentor-protégé pairs rated as effective by both mentors and protégés' posted more messages overall, had well-structured threads, had protégés and mentor postings that were similar in topic coverage and message length, and had little overt "management" behavior by mentors. However, there appears to be no clear recipe for successful interaction. Not only are there a variety of factors at play in developing an online relationship in this context, but mentor-protégés pairs can falter at various stages in the process and in various ways

Item type: Journal article (Print/Paginated)
Keywords: eLearning, eMentoring, Mentoring, Human Information Behavior
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information. > BZ. None of these, but in this section.
Depositing user: Diane Sonnenwald
Date deposited: 01 Jul 2007
Last modified: 14 Dec 2012 20:10


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