3.1 Facilitating SoTL research
Mentoring in SoTL covers a wide range of activities. A mentor acts a critical guide in situating the SoTL inquiry within the SoTL literature or SoTL practice elsewhere within the institution. A mentor provides critical, constructive, positive and timely feedback, encourages self-reflection and helps to overcome specific challenges in a SoTL inquiry, such as in recruitment of participants or seeking ethical approval.
A mentor–mentee relationship doesn’t need to be established only after a SoTL inquiry has been firmed up. In fact, the relationship could start as soon as a colleague expresses an interest in SoTL and a possible project. A mentor can help to firm up the aims of the SoTL inquiry and then continuously monitor progress, ranging from a comprehensive SoTL research proposal to a submitted manuscript or abstract to a peer-reviewed academic conference or journal. The mentor’s involvement can gradually phase out based on the mentee’s requirements while remaining available and providing encouragement and constructive feedback from time to time.
Positive outcomes for mentors include an increased network, enhanced career satisfaction and personal development due to self-reflection on their role in the process. Mentoring can further develop the skills needed to be an effective SoTL scholar and leader.