This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into archive.org
.
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).
 
 
 
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Benefits of Online Mentoring

Online mentoring takes MANY forms, everything from one youth matched with one mentor, to a group of students in one classroom matched with a group of mentors from one company for a specific curriculum-based activity. It can be a program of just a few weeks or one that lasts an entire school year. It may mean an online volunteer sending one or two e-mails a week, or spending several hours a week reviewing a student's project for class. It can be school-based and curriculum-focused, or conducted through a nonprofit organization that serves young people.

There are a number of benefits from online mentoring for both mentors and protegés. However, please note that the VV Project is not advocating online mentoring as a replacement for traditional, face-to-face mentoring.

Online mentoring, particularly those programs focused on youth:

  • can be an excellent enhancement of face-to-face programs. Imagine a mentor meeting up face-to-face with his or her protegé once a month, AND e-mailing the protegé every week as well.

  • is a way to encourage youth to engage in positive activities online, and this strategy is the best one for keeping students away from potential harmful online experiences or information.

  • can enhance values regarding online (and offline) ethics, behavior and safety, as participants practice and learn about netiquette, being responsive to each other, keeping commitments as participants in the program, adhering to online confidentiality and safety guidelines, and talking about what can be harmful or inappropriate online -- from talking with strangers to forwarding e-mails to hacking a web site -- and why these practices can be harmful.

  • is an excellent way to enhance a student's writing, reading, key-boarding and online researching skills. All of these skills are valuable in any profession, as well as prep for college.

  • provides an avenue for get kids to open up in a way they may not feel comfortable doing face-to-face. Many online mentoring programs report that students will discuss subjects online that they aren't always comfortable talking about face-to-face.

  • can allow for the involvement of mentors who might not be able to participate in a traditional, face-to-face program, because of their geographic location, transportation issues, their work schedule, a home obligation or a disability. There are online mentoring programs with a particular focus on bringing people together professionals of a particular field, or people in a particular geographic area.

There are additional benefits from online mentoring programs that have tutoring/academic components, such as the potential for improved grades, but we've chosen to concentrate specifically on the non-academic benefits at this time.

As of December 2000, there has been no in-depth, independent evaluation of online mentoring or online tutoring programs regarding their long-term benefits to participants. It cannot yet be said with complete certainty that online mentoring programs will generate the same kind of results as traditional, face-to-face mentoring. Some individual online mentoring programs have done limited studies regarding their own programs and made this data available via their web sites.

For more about the results of face-to-face mentoring, per numerous evaluation studies:

  • MentorWorks
    This extensive resource by the National Mentoring Partnership provides lots of research-based information that demonstrates the real impact mentoring can (and does!) have on young people. There is a particular focus on the effects of school-based mentoring.

  • National Mentoring Center
    Resources by the Northwest Educational Regional Laboratory. Includes Juvenile Mentoring Program: A Progress Review, an evaluation of such "JUMP" programs.


 
Information for those who wish to
quote from, copy and/or distribute the information on this Web site

 
If you find this or any other Virtual Volunteering Project information helpful, or would like to add information based on your own experience, please contact us.

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All Rights Reserved.


 
This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into archive.org
.
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).
 

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