cumulative decision on the adoption of [eLearning] could have
important social consequences. They could influence who will,
and who will not, have access to opportunities for self-development
in the new economy."
- Martyn Sloman makes this powerful
statement in his new book, E-Learning Revolution,
published by AMACOM, the American Management Association. If
Sloman is correct (and we believe he is), eLearning will make
it possible for millions more people everywhere to learn, grow,
and develop themselves. We're pleased to be featured in the book
as a case study organization that's excited about and
trying to use eLearning to help people make use of mentoring
in all parts of the world. If you haven't already, we hope you'll
join us on the eLearning quest.
- What Is It?
- E-learning (also written eLearning)
is the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills
and attitudes through the use of electronic devices. Most people
think of eLearning related to computers and the Internet, but
electronic devices also include phones, other hand-held communication
devices, and even CD/DVD/cassette players.
- Why Use It in Mentoring?
- You can use eLearning in at
least two ways: 1) to prepare as a mentor, mentee, or coordinator
and 2) to enhance learning once relationships and programs are
underway. To perform well you need to develop some specialized
mentoring knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Ideally, you'll
attend in-person mentoring training to acquire these. However,
if you can't travel to those events, eLearning can provide much
of what you need.
- After the initial learning about
mentoring, partners and coordinators can use eLearning to help
mentees develop and reach their goals. Mentors and coordinators
can direct mentees to the multitude of learning opportunities
on their intranets and the Web as well as use e-mail to transfer
knowledge, encourage, and provide feedback to the mentees and
to each other.
- Options for eLearning
- Mentoring software/courseware
- A big advantage of software/courseware
is that people can learn at their own pace and convenience. Those
who don't comprehend spoken English (or whatever language you're
using in your partnership/program) well can learn quickly from
courseware that allows them to read and see diagrams/pictures.
Voice narration as a backup gives them two chances to comprehend
- We now have mentoring training
software called "Mentoring that Makes a Difference."
We're excited about this new courseware, which we had the privilege
of developing with industry leader MediaPro after the two of
us created mentoring training and software for Microsoft Corporation
for their worldwide mentoring program. Click
here for more information or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Another idea is to talk with
mentoring publishers about licensing their mentoring materials.
For example, several organizations such as Microsoft, Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Lockheed Martin, and Hewlett-Packard
(HP) license some of our popular mentoring materials and make
them available on their intranets for employee learning.
- Synchronous and asynchronous
- Electronic learning events,
often called webinars and webshops, take place
on the Web/intranet. Synchronous or live events
occur in real time. They include one or more presenters and learners
logged on to their computers and (usually) also communicating
on the phone. Learners prepare in advance by logging onto the
website and learning navigation tools that allow them to submit
questions, respond to polls, evaluate the training, etc.
- Asynchronous (previously created or pre-recorded)
webinars/webshops are "time shifted." They're created
or broadcast at one time, retained, and are available for access
- Organizations such as www.centra.com
and www.placewhere.com offer training platforms and would be
glad to work with you and your organization to design and implement
these events. The Mentoring Group has facilitated several webshops
for HP. If you're interested in our doing an event with you,
- This is a valuable, fairly "low
tech" option that uses the phone. Learners receive materials
in advance (slides e-mailed to their computers or hard copies
of materials through the mail). Once the live event begins, the
facilitator presents content, asks questions, answers participants'
questions, and otherwise guides learning. Some include telephone
"breakout rooms" for pair practice sessions.
- A mentoring website that
- Many organizations, such as
Microsoft and HP, now have internal administrative websites dedicated
to mentoring. The websites feature mentoring program information,
sign-up applications, tips, tools, success stories, and software
for mentor/mentee training. The more advanced sites provide an
electronic matching tool that links mentors and mentees and provide
mechanisms to track progress and encourage participants. Contact
us for more information.
- Tips to Make Mentoring eLearning
- Become knowledgeable about
eLearning. Do a Web search
using eLearning, e-learning. Check out the dedicated magazine
at www.elearningmag.com. Find a mentor in your IT department.
- Provide a number of learning
options. Not everyone
likes or wants to use eLearning. Make it one option of
a total "blended solution" for developing mentors,
mentees, and coordinators. Also include in-person training, printed
materials, audiocassettes/CDs/videos, one-on-one coaching by
the coordinator, and opportunities to connect with other learners.
- Make it easy to use. People are still learning how to use
eLearning. Offer some printed or e-mail guidelines. Help them
set up their computers. Let them practice with a demo. Be available
for lots of questions. Have a technical person standing by for
live events, and provide a way for participants to ask him/her
questions without delaying the entire group.
- Expect challenges. People have various types of computers,
software, and modems that can prevent or delay access. For live
participants probably won't
be able to log on no matter what you and they try. Always
provide backup materials in case people can't log on, the computer
crashes, or the phone goes dead or is too full of static.
- Be patient and encouraging.
Most people don't like
to admit they don't know how to use features of hardware or software.
Introduce processes gradually and provide encouragement appropriate
for each person.
- Despite some disadvantages and
glitches, eLearning seems not only here to stay but one of the
most promising, exciting, and inclusive learning opportunities
ever created. We encourage you to get on board! Let us know how
you're using eLearning in your mentoring efforts!
- For more information on mentoring
partnerships and programs, check our Archive
13560 Mesa Drive Grass
Valley, CA 95949
Phone: 530.268.1146 Fax: 530.268.3636 e-mail:
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