Studying a course online can be extremely rewarding but it can also have its challenges, whether they be academic, transitional or social. It is common for students to feel that they need a little extra guidance and support as they begin their online study journey. Swinburne Online offers a Student Mentor Program, which has had overwhelming success in reducing the feelings of anxiety and worry experienced by new students as well as assisting them with improved motivation, study skills and grades.
What is the Student Mentor Program?
We compare the Student Mentor Program to sitting in the university café having a chat with your peers or those familiar faces you see around campus. Where students can discuss ideas as well as draw on the support of others to help point them in the right direction.
For many students, this may be their first venture into studying a university course, their first time studying online or both. To help ease the transition to online study, the Student Mentor Program pairs successful, experienced students, already studying with Swinburne Online with new students or “mentees”.
How a mentor can help you
Starting an online course may be unfamiliar territory for many and can be a daunting experience as they adjust to the online learning environment. Mentors are a friendly point of contact for new students and help guide and support them through the initial stages of study by answering questions, sharing valuable study resources, creating social networks, helping navigate the online learning systems and being a sounding board for any issues they are experiencing.
“My mentor was so helpful in answering every question I had. They went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable and on the right track… It takes a lot of pressure off – knowing you have a helpful, guiding hand… I HIGHLY recommend the program to all new students.” Matthew – Bachelor of Business with a Major in Marketing
Building a connection
A mentor is someone new students can share their journey with from the beginning of the teaching period right through to the end. In addition to this, they can connect their mentees with other new students in similar courses, therefore assisting them to build further connections with like minded people using online platforms.
“I got some excellent tips in my initial phone call and felt comfortable emailing my mentor if I needed advice. I joined the SOL Mentor/Mentee FB page and that has been a wonderful source of contact with other students as well as mentors.” Rhianon – Bachelor of Education
Keeping your goals in sight and achieving greater success
While studying, there may be times when students find it difficult to work on their assessments or stay motivated. A mentor can help set achievable goals and offer the encouragement and guidance to help their mentees continue on the right track. Not only this, students who join the Student Mentor Program show a higher chance of success with completing their assessment tasks and passing their units.
A mentor will help commencing students to stay engaged in their studies and be a positive influence on them to achieve the best possible results.
“My success story with the mentor program is the fact that I wanted to call it quits by about week 3 and they said, ‘no, let’s just look at your goals and see how we can tweak them just to keep you going,’ so we did. That set me up for success for the remainder of the teaching period. I can’t recommend this program enough, so much so that I’ve decided I am going to apply to be a mentor.” Claire – Bachelor of Psychological Sciences
If you want to learn more about our student mentor program, here are some firsthand experiences from Swinburne Online students.