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ABSTRACT: The Characteristics of Unsuccessful E-Mentoring Relationships for Youth With Disabilities


Recently, researchers have focused on the benefits of e-mentoring for young people with disabilities, such as greater access to sources of information and support. Relatively few researchers have explored the problem of unsuccessful e-mentoring relationships, i.e., mentors and mentored individuals who withdraw from an e-mentoring program before completion. Our findings promote understanding of the dynamics of unsuccessful vs. successful e-mentoring relationships for youth with disabilities. Using qualitative methods, we focused primarily on negative online experiences. We compared the e-mentoring process of six “unsuccessful” pairs of mentors and mentored students who withdrew from an e-mentoring program with three exemplary “successful” pairs who fully completed the program. Our findings revealed different communication patterns in the two groups. Whereas the unsuccessful pairs used a more formal style and distant tone, the successful pairs used an informal and supportive style. We discuss these differences, including the components that are essential to success.

via The Characteristics of Unsuccessful E-Mentoring Relationships for Youth With Disabilities.

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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