Mentors - Standards for Graduation?

Mentors - Standards for Graduation?

lexical lexical
When do you, as a mentor, graduate a student? I have a recent student who did not graduate and is very disappointed. We're working through it, but I'm starting to feel as if I've done something wrong! What are your standards for graduation?

I try not to graduate someone unless they can stand on their own two feet and write a really great review on their own. I typically have people do two reviews in the class, with a third one if I feel they aren't quite ready yet or if THEY feel they aren't quite ready yet. With this person, we had done the standard two reviews and I had the student write a third, with the caveat that graduating/not graduating would be decided by the level of improvement the student had made throughout the class, as well as quality of that third review and the student's ability to write it well on the first go, without my assistance.

What do you think?
07/15/2011
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Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by lexical
When do you, as a mentor, graduate a student? I have a recent student who did not graduate and is very disappointed. We're working through it, but I'm starting to feel as if I've done something wrong! What are your standards for ...
I don't necessarily limit a student to 2 or 3 reviews. My goal is to get them to the point where I feel they can write a good review on their own. For some, it takes more than 3 reviews, which to me is fine.

I used to think that they should be able to write an "Extremely Useful" review on their own, but now with your post I'm wondering if that is correct if indeed "Useful" is the standard we keep claiming it is. Any thoughts?
07/15/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
I try not to limit my students as far as how many reviews they have to complete, because I find that putting a limit of maybe 1 more than the minimum makes them feel like there's a deadline and that they have to have it right by then or they're horrible reviewers which just messes with them while they write the first 3 reviews, at least with my experience with doing that. I've had students go through with the minimum and I've had students stick around a lot longer.

After the first 2 required reviews I ask them how they feel about reviewing so far. If I think they need more reviews, I tell them that and when I feel they can write a solidly useful review I'll tell them that and let them decide if they want to keep reviewing with me or not. I've had more than a few decide on their own to try a few more reviews.

I think that since Useful is a good vote, while we strive to go above and beyond for an EU review, if all they get is a Useful, their review is still good. At least to me anyway.
07/15/2011
lexical lexical
I guess I just feel that typically after three reviews I've helped about as much as I can help. After that, I just feel like I'm being redundant and not offering anything more to the student. In that case, I just recommend that the student continue to read reviews and consider signing up for another class with another mentor who may be able to provide a different perspective for them.

Like Kindred, I also feel like my students should be able to write an "Extremely Useful" review all by their onesies before graduating. It only makes sense to me that we would try to get our students to be able to write the best reviews possible before turning them loose on the community, so to speak
07/15/2011
Waterfall Waterfall
I usually let a student submit around 2-3 reviews that we work on together while they are in my class before I ask them if they feel they are ready to graduate. I tend to let them know how they are doing in the comments I leave at the bottom of the reviews. I have only had one student who I felt unsure about graduating, but they worked on a good number of reviews with me and I could see that they were improving from the first time. I have also had a good amount of Advanced Reviewers as students who only need a little help and are not brand new to the process.
07/15/2011
lexical lexical
My main problems (which have been few and far between) have actually been with Advanced Reviewer students. The trouble I've encountered has been that the student was making most of the additions I suggested, but still seemed to be doing the bare minimum and was making very little progress. In spite of my lessons and suggestions, there was little to no flow or logical organization to the reviews, there were large numbers of grammatical and spelling errors - In short, it was difficult to read and understand. I can only do so much. I'm not an English professor.

If the student can't write well enough to communicate clear and pertinent information about the item, should they pass the class? In the interest of maintaining the quality and integrity of the review program, I say...No, they shouldn't. And I think I'm going to stick with that, even if it means I have to be the bearer of bad news now and again.
07/15/2011
Total posts: 6
Unique posters: 4