Section A: Methods
Please cite this publication in the following format:
Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation. (2016). Faculty Mentoring for Teaching Report. Toronto: Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, University of Toronto
This qualitative report includes the following study components: Literature Review, Document Review, Divisional Scan of U of T faculty mentoring activities, and Interviews with continuing appointment faculty at U of T.
Key Elements: Faculty mentoring broadly; mentoring for teaching
The literature search focused predominantly on peer-reviewed journal articles but also sought scholarly research within educational books and reports. This review guided our investigation and was conducted prior to, and during other data collection methods.
Key Elements: U of T divisional mentoring documents and resources; samples of mentoring programs/models from higher education institutions(10)
DIVISIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN: U of T
Key Elements: N=15 divisions (9 phone interviews and 6 email responses)
We conducted a U of T Divisional environmental scan to determine the current state of faculty mentoring programs and to gather details and documents on mentoring guidelines across all three campuses. In addition, we sought to capture whether mentoring for teaching was explicitly addressed in any guidelines, and finally, explored any processes to match mentors with mentees. Our recruitment pool included a list of 18 divisions. The criterion for inclusion was that the division had to include teaching as a core function.(11) We received fifteen (n=15) divisional responses (86% response rate): nine responses via phone interview and six by email between September- December 2014.
INTERVIEWS WITH CONTINUING APPOINTMENT FACULTY
Key Elements: N=44
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream: 16
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream: 13
Associate/Full Professor: 9
Assistant Professor: 5
INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT AND PROTOCOL
The Interview Guide was developed from key mentoring themes located in the literature, consultation with CTSI staff with an extensive background in faculty development, and with input from the Teaching Academy. For the latter group we requested feedback on a one-page condensed interview protocol. Suggestions were included in the final documents for each of the Mentor and Mentee Interview Guides.(12)
Through these interviews we sought to gain insights from continuing-appointment faculty on:
- their formal/informal experiences as teaching mentors and/or mentees;
- current promising practices, gaps, challenges and recommendations for mentoring for teaching at U of T.
More specifically, interviews allowed for broad discussions on faculty members’ previous teaching experiences, mentoring for teaching experiences, effective and promising practices, format and frequency of existing mentoring arrangements, and current gaps, challenges and recommendations for mentoring programs at U of T. These interviews also served to provide a qualitative approach to delve deeper into the U of T COACHE and Speaking Up survey results.
In-depth interviews were conducted in-person between February-December 2014 and one in February 2015. Interviews were between 30-75 minutes and were audio-recorded and transcribed.
Utilizing various institutional communication channels and a snowball-sampling procedure, forty-four (n=44)(13) faculty members in continuing appointments participated in an in-depth interview to discuss their own experiences as teaching mentors and/or mentees. Two of these faculty members also served in teaching and educational development centre roles and one participant was a staff member in a teaching and learning centre. This study sample included representation from four major disciplines (humanities, social sciences, life sciences and physical sciences), across five faculty appointment positions: Teaching Stream (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor), Tenure Stream (Assistant, Associate and Full Professor). See above for a breakdown of interview participants.
QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS
We utilized Nvivo 10 to ensure effective data management. We employed a thematic analytic approach and through an inductive analysis, identified themes, coded, and organized them as they arose from the raw interview data. Quotes served as units of analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).
(10) This resource search will inform the practical resource guide material.
(11) We excluded the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), and The School of Continuing Studies.
(12) Please contact CTSI, firstname.lastname@example.org, for copies of the Interview Guides.
(13) There are 2472 full-time academic staff at U of T: Teaching Stream faculty (328); and within the Professorial Stream: Professor (1027); Associate Professor (832); Assistant Professor (439); Assistant Professor (conditional) (28). Retrieved from https://www.utoronto.ca/about-u-of-t/quick-facts