Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
The Nature, Perception, and Impact of E-Mentoring on Postprofessional Occupational Therapy Doctoral Students
Author Affiliations
  • Boston University
  • Boston University
  • Boston University
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Education of OTs and OTAs / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
The Nature, Perception, and Impact of E-Mentoring on Postprofessional Occupational Therapy Doctoral Students
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510198. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO2065
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510198. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO2065
Abstract

Date Presented 4/7/2016

This study investigated the nature, perception, and effect of the e-mentoring experiences of graduates of an online postprofessional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. Study results highlight positive features of e-mentoring, including its effect on professional development during and after the online OTD program.

Primary Speaker: Karen Jacobs

Additional Authors and Speakers: Cathryn Ryan, Nancy Doyle

PURPOSE: To investigate the nature, perception, and impact of the e-mentoring experiences of graduates of an online postprofessional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program
BACKGROUND: Studies on mentoring within occupational therapy (OT) have focused on the prevalence of mentoring, definitions of mentoring, and perceptions of group mentoring by mentors and mentees (Milner & Bossers, 2005). Barriers such as physical distance, transportation, scheduling, and differences in demographics or hierarchy of position, however, may prevent such mentoring. Mentoring that occurs utilizing web-based electronic communication methods has gained momentum. This form of mentoring is known as e-mentoring. There are gaps in the OT literature regarding the nature, impact, and outcomes of mentoring or e-mentoring programs.
PARTICIPANTS: The participants included 29 graduates from the Boston University Sargent College online postprofessional OTD program. There was 100% participation of graduates, who included 28 women (96.6%) and 1 man (3.4%) with an average age of 44.90 yr (standard deviation [SD] = 10.26). The average length of time in the program was 1.83 yr (SD = 0.71), and the number of years since graduation ranged from 1 to 5 with a mean of 3.24 (SD = 1.30). The institutional review board approved the study procedures and the letter of consent presented to participants.
DESIGN: This retrospective study used a descriptive, quantitative design.
METHOD: Survey and interview questions were guided by the evidence about successful and satisfactory mentoring and e-mentoring experiences from Grant-Vallone and Ensher (2000), Di Renzo, Linnehan, Shao, and Rosenberg (2010), and the first two authors’ experiences with the online OTD program. Participants completed a 48-item online survey and a 30-min interview conducted via a web-conferencing platform. Both tools explored the nature, perception, and impact of faculty-to-student and student-to-student (or peer-to-peer) e-mentoring during and after the OTD program.
ANALYSIS: Descriptive statistics were calculated for the survey results, including demographic characteristics and frequencies for survey responses. This provided quantitative information about the nature, perception, and impact of the e-mentoring experience for the study participants. For the interview portion of the study, recordings of the interviews were transcribed using a word processing program. Interview responses provided additional descriptive information about the nature, perception, and impact of these two mentoring experiences for participants.
RESULTS: Study results highlight positive features of e-mentoring, how multimodal e-mentoring supports the accessibility needs of participants, and students’ preferences to engage in real-time e-mentoring communication by web camera or telephone, supplemented with e-mail.
DISCUSSION: E-mentoring had a positive impact on the professional development of participants during and after the online OTD program. The nature, perception, and impact of e-mentoring was seen by participants as a positive experience that enhanced the learning opportunities in their OTD program and influenced their future professional development and engagement. Consistent with other research, frequency of mentoring interactions seems to affect the success of the relationships (DiRenzo et al., 2010; Eby et al., 2013; Grant-Vallone & Ensher, 2000).
IMPACT STATEMENT: As online education continues to grow, a better understanding of e-mentoring will assist in providing exemplary education to meet the needs of adult learners. The study underscores the positive impact on professional development both during and after an online OTD program from e-mentoring.
References
DiRenzo, M. S., Linnehan, F., Shao, P., & Rosenberg, W. L. (2010). A moderated mediation model of e-mentoring. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76, 292–305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2009.10.003
Eby, L. T. T., Allen, T. D., Hoffman, B. J., Baranik, L. E., Sauer, J. B., Baldwin, S., . . . Evans, S. C. (2013). An interdisciplinary meta-analysis of the potential antecedents, correlates, and consequences of protégé perceptions of mentoring. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 441–476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029279
Grant-Vallone, E. J., & Ensher, E. A. (2000). Effects of peer mentoring on types of mentor support, program satisfaction and graduate student stress: A dyadic perspective. Journal of College Student Development, 41, 637–642.
Milner, T., & Bossers, A. (2005). Evaluation of an occupational therapy mentorship program. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72, 205–211. http://dx.doi.org/10.2182/cjot.05.0003