eGroup mentoring – an evolving operational model in new ecosystems of tertiary learning
Abstract: Mentoring modernised for the digital age challenges higher education to develop new practices that support learners’ readiness for working-life and which can be applied in continuous career development. In this article we examine through the design based research approach the second implementation cycle of an eMentoring training (5 ETCS) developed jointly by three universities of applied sciences (UAS). Central in the examined course was the practice of eGroup mentoring through digital devices. Postgraduate UAS students and alumni acted as mentors for undergraduates. The results of the first development cycle were applied to refine this multiple border crossing eGroup mentoring operational model. Research data analysis revealed four design principles for successful eGroup mentoring: 1) Learning outcomes and content, 2) Mentoring models and methods, 3) Interaction and 4) Digitalisation. The examined cycle produced new knowledge on the affordances of peer and reverse mentoring, and establishment of cross-mentoring networks in eGroup mentoring. The eGroup mentoring model is one promising operational model in new working-life oriented digital learning ecosystems.