Friday, 9 August 2013

As one door closes......

The end of June brought us to the official end of our JISC Transformations project and we have been busy finalising and submitting our written project case study and our audio-visual project description.

This has all been great fun in its own right and has helped us to realise how far we have come. It has also highlighted how we have already been able to build on the original project outputs to develop something that has taken us so much further, and which has so much more future potential.

Our original objectives were to investigate how we could make more effective use of ICT to support mentoring schemes. The outputs we hoped to produce were a 'proof of concept' model for a data management system that would help mentoring scheme coordinators to effectively do more mentoring with the same or fewer resources. We hoped at the same time to identify areas where such a system could:
  • create process efficiency - saving time for scheme coordinators
  • reduce embarrassing errors - saving more time, as well as reputation
  • provide a simple, seamless and positive user experience for scheme members and coordinators
We also expected to develop a clear framework for an online mentoring hub, which could host a variety of resources to support mentors and scheme coordinators, and to identify resources which could be included.

As our project unfolded we concentrated most of our efforts on analysing process flows in different mentoring scheme models, specifying requirements for a data management system, building a prototype, testing and disemination activities.

However, we were able to create a working model for a mentoring hub, with a web portal that would not only host on-line sign-up forms for mentoring schemes, but could also host resources for mentors and scheme coordinators.This has huge potential and will be subject to much more work in the future. We also now have the possibility of hosting on such a web portal a huge repository of existing resources - further details as this develops.

Since the completion of our original JISC project, we have continued with our dissemination activities and based on the feedback we have received from colleagues across the sector we have continued to develop our original prototype system.

We have experienced overwhelmingly positive reactions wherever we go and have invited institutions to join the Beta Testing Programme for our enhanced and more professional-looking system. This programme continues to generate constuctiuve feedback and to identify significant future potential to develop the system.

We are investigating models for sustainability and hope that over the next year we can achieve a stable footing to build a resource which could provide a strategic infrastructure to encourage and support mentoring and coaching in the Scottish HE sector and beyond.

Visit our YouTube channel and watch our project AV at

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