Assessing tools for eMentoring

As part of an independent study this semester, I am assembling an eMentoring tool box for teachers, teacher trainers, and others who are involved in facilitating the professional growth of novices.

Using Kathy Schrock’s Software Evaluation Form along with the NETS Educational Software Evaluation Form, I cobbled together my own little rubric for assessing tools that might enhance teacher-to-teacher induction and mentoring activities. Since my focus is on web-based tools, many of the common evaluation criteria just didn’t seem applicable.

I recast bits and pieces of both forms into a series of questions. But I wonder if there are new questions that I haven’t even considered? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

So far, these are the factors I will consider when reviewing tools for online mentoring:

  • Technical quality: Is it accessible, installable, operational? What is the start-up/registration process like? (simple, difficult, time consuming)
  • Documentation: Where is tech support?
  • License terms: Do they apply?
  • Cost: How much to acquire and to train/support staff?
  • Scalability: Does it scale by numbers of users, documents, posts, etc.?
  • What are the system requirements (memory, OS)?
  • Are there any additional requirements (hardware or software)?
  • Design: Is the user interface attractive and intuitive?
  • Reliability: Is it bug free?
  • Usability: How “friendly” is it? How easy to use? What is the learning curve? Basic? Intermediate? Advanced? Are there testimonials?
  • User features: What are they?

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Assessing tools for eMentoring”


  1. 1 Sarah Stewart 22 September, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Hi there, I am a lecturer in midwifery and PhD candidate looking at e-mentoring for health professionals. One of the things I would want to look at in my evaluation is how people develop their relationship and how much, if any, outside support/moderation was required. Cheers Sarah

  2. 2 jlubke 22 September, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Sarah,

    Those are good suggestions. The more I read about eMentoring and virtual learning communities, the more sensitized I am to the need for a moderator.

    Thanks!

  3. 3 Mary Ann 28 September, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Hi Jennifer–enjoyed our discussion yesterday! I think you are gaining some clarity as to what in the world we are trying to do. It is messy, but it is fun–for me and I think for you too. But, we forgot to set our (make that your) next due date. What do you propose?


  1. 1 Update on eMentoring tools « ThinkTime Trackback on 7 October, 2007 at 5:42 am

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