A Question to Mentors, About Mentors/Mentoring

sktb0007 sktb0007
I was recently browsing through some reviews and stumbled across a review that I consider to be "somewhat useful". It was pretty vague. My initial reaction to the review was to comment and suggest the mentor program to the new user.

Then I realized, this review was actually published by a mentor that this student already has.

I'll be honest, this sort of irked me. The review had the very bare minimum of information required for myself to consider it "somewhat useful". Maybe I'm just easily irked today, I don't know... but I feel as though mentors should not publish student's reviews that are somewhat useful or lower. Instead, they should be sending it back to the student, asking them to add additional information and explaining why certain pieces of information are important to a potential buyer. I always had this impression that the mentor program was to encourage better quality reviews that would be useful for other people. Maybe I've got it wrong though.

Maybe you're thinking that "well, you may only find it SU but others may find it useful".. This review has only SU votes on it right now (I didn't vote yet). The only person who voted EU was the mentor and that was obviously a bias vote.

It makes me wonder if there are mentors who are only in it for the gift card and will publish anything, regardless of its quality. I guess it just bugs me because I'm constantly suggesting the mentor program to new users who could use some guidance with their reviews, and then I see a review published like that. I'm not trying to offend anyone (the reason I haven't posted links or names) I just wanted to post this to see what other mentors thought about things like this.

So for discussion, have you ever seen anything like this before? Does it bother you at all? Do you say something to the mentor? Should the mentoring rank requirement become higher? Maybe we could share some mentoring tips or ideas?
06/02/2012
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indiglo indiglo
I've seen that before too, I've also seen people who have high ranks from sheer volume but write not so good reviews. The way I see it, part of the problem is that if you write a ton of reviews, your rank is going to go up no matter what, even if they aren't very good. So eventually, you write enough somewhat useful reviews and you'll have the rank to become a mentor. The downside is that you don't write very good reviews, so you can't teach someone else to write very good reviews.

It's just how the system is set up. Instead of basing rank on review quality, it's based (at least partially) on review quantity. I don't think it's a huge problem overall, or one that really hurts Eden. Let's face it, even a "somewhat useful" review here is better than the tiny blurb from the manufacturer that gets posted on other sites. (Though knowing that doesn't mean it doesn't irk me too sometimes!)
06/02/2012
js250 js250
Sometimes the mentor will send suggestions to their students and the student does not want to add or follow the suggestions. I have had this happen, they were happy with the review and did not want it changed. I did publish it awhile back and sure enough--SU and U votes. The student did listen to my suggestions on the following reviews and graduated with honors!! Sometimes there is not much a mentor can do, other than show them why we are asking them to better their review. I get frustrated as well, but do understand now that I went through this.

Mentoring tips are a great idea!! And you might go ahead and NICELY message the mentor, it might create a problem if the mentor is frustrated by a stubborn student, though. That I will leave up to you, lol. I hope I helped clear up a bit of confusion as to why this may happen.
06/02/2012
sktb0007 sktb0007
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
I've seen that before too, I've also seen people who have high ranks from sheer volume but write not so good reviews. The way I see it, part of the problem is that if you write a ton of reviews, your rank is going to go up no matter what, ... More
I'm just going to throw this idea out there, but what are your thoughts (and everyone else who reads this) on having the admins (JR, etc) be able to take mentoring privileges away from mentors who may not really give a hoot at what their students produce? Or does that sound like a crappy idea? Again, just throwing it out there!
06/02/2012
sktb0007 sktb0007
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
Sometimes the mentor will send suggestions to their students and the student does not want to add or follow the suggestions. I have had this happen, they were happy with the review and did not want it changed. I did publish it awhile back and sure ... More
If a student writes a review in my class which I consider to be "somewhat useful", I send it back to them with suggestions on how to make it better. If a student doesn't want to make any changes to their somewhat useful review, I won't publish it. Luckily, I've never ran into this problem. The students I've had were always willing to add/make changes/etc. If I did ever run into this problem though, I'd probably cancel the class and suggest nicely to the student to find another mentor.
06/02/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Quote:
Originally posted by sktb0007
I was recently browsing through some reviews and stumbled across a review that I consider to be "somewhat useful". It was pretty vague. My initial reaction to the review was to comment and suggest the mentor program to the new ... More
That'll teach me... I had a long response typed up and the internet ate it. Ok, second attempt...

So for discussion, have you ever seen anything like this before?
Yes.

Does it bother you at all?
I'm more bothered by the people who vote U/EU on reviews that are clearly "SU" at best. I think sometimes people are trying to be nice or encouraging, but what they're really doing is giving the student or mentor no reason to improve.

Do you say something to the mentor?
No, I just try to vote honestly on the review and the editing.

Should the mentoring rank requirement become higher?
Since rank is determined by many factors other than writing reviews, no. I don't think it would help with quality.

Maybe we could share some mentoring tips or ideas?
It can't hurt, but here's the problem: the people likely to actively participate and contribute to such a thread, were unlikely to write/publish a sub-standard review in the first place.
06/02/2012
Beck Beck
I usually tell my students I won't publish a review that is less than useful. I have before accidentally hint the publish instead of send back. I tell them to make the changes, but sometimes they don't. (Though that only happened once. I felt like an idiot.)

However, if I had a student who was being difficult I would publish the review and let them see what I meant by this review needed work.

Kira (stainedclear) wrote out an excellent guideline to writing reviews. I send that to all my students. They each get the same original message. I tell them exactly what I expect and how things will work. I'm super friendly. I try to help out with everything I can about the site. Especially if they just joined. Before they can ask about the site. I post links on there wall so they can learn their way around.
06/02/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
I usually tell my students I won't publish a review that is less than useful. I have before accidentally hint the publish instead of send back. I tell them to make the changes, but sometimes they don't. (Though that only happened once. I felt ... More
I did that once, but I feel like it's a bit spiteful to give them 10 paragraphs of suggestions, they add one sentence, you tell them that you don't want to publish it because it will drop their ranking even more... And then letting them publish it and saying "See?"

I personally think that there should be more selection of who becomes a mentor, like that advanced reviewers have to vote them in or something. On the other hand, we may end up with a problem like the community page where everyone gets voted up...
06/03/2012
nanamondoute nanamondoute
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I did that once, but I feel like it's a bit spiteful to give them 10 paragraphs of suggestions, they add one sentence, you tell them that you don't want to publish it because it will drop their ranking even more... And then letting them ... More
I'm not a mentor, but I just wondering -- if they're not listening, can't you just fail them?
06/03/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
Oh no, I'm not in it just for the gift card. I give my students my opinions and suggestions the best that I can. I wouldn't let a bare minimum review get posted. I don't want to be linked to it. When people see reviews I did with students I want them to think I did a good(if not great) job. I also want to help the reviewer get an idea of what people are looking for, that way they won't have a ton of questions that often get asked on reviews that leave that information out (like listing how many speeds/functions of a toy and how they are). I also let them know that it is good to add in information about the material and the measurements of a toy even though they can find that information on the product page.
The gift card is great but I'm also going to give people pointers, I'm not just going to post what they give me without looking it over and making suggestions.
I came across a review that had an editor and it was kinda bad, a lot of spelling and grammar/sentence mistakes. I was about to message the person telling them my suggestions and comment wasn't to be mean, but as a suggestion to help them get better votes and offer to take them as a student. I then went to their profile and saw that the editor of their review WAS their mentor! The person messaged me back and thanked me and let me know they didn't take offense to my suggestions (because some people could or feel bad about themselves and that is NOT what we want to do here). They apologized for their mistakes which they didn't need to do. I just let them know that their mentor is supposed to look over things and catch mistakes, sure one or maybe to gets by but not that many. I also let them know that if they aren't getting the help they deserve that they can contact the admins and get a new mentor.
06/03/2012
DeliciousSurprise DeliciousSurprise
Quote:
Originally posted by nanamondoute
I'm not a mentor, but I just wondering -- if they're not listening, can't you just fail them?
You can't fail them until they've submitted at least two reviews. You can always cancel a class, but you can't actually choose not to graduate them without two reviews.
06/03/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
I don't know if this belongs in this discussion but I'm gonna put it out here anyway since it popped into my mind after reading a few responses.
I have come across some reviews that are below Somewhat Useful and if it is a new person, I can't bring myself to vote on it period. I just feel bad. I did it a couple times and felt like such a jerk that I don't do it anymore. If a review I come across is less than Somewhat Useful, I won't vote. What I will do is suggest the mentor program and list some brief tips/questions to give them an idea of how to be more informative.

When I first came here, my reviews were short and not as informative as they are now. I don't think I got anything lower than Somewhat Useful but if I did, and got a lot of them and I was SERIOUS about reviewing and being a part of EF, I don't know if would have came back. I probably would have been embarrassed, like the person I was talking about in my other comment said they were.

I just find it more helpful for me not to vote on those reviews and instead just leave my comments with suggestions/tips.
06/03/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
Quote:
Originally posted by Zombirella
Oh no, I'm not in it just for the gift card. I give my students my opinions and suggestions the best that I can. I wouldn't let a bare minimum review get posted. I don't want to be linked to it. When people see reviews I did with students ... More
*two
06/03/2012
Kindred Kindred
I generally give a student two attempts to make revisions to a review based on my suggests and comments. At that point, I will typically publish even if I don't think it's the best or the student hasn't incorporated all of my suggestions. The way I look at it is that ultimately we are advisors and the review is their product. If they are satisfied with it, I will publish it. However, I have not yet come across the situation yet where I have had a review be below what I would consider to be at least Useful.
06/03/2012
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 10