According to Parks Daloz, the role of a mentor is to empower students by helping to draw out and give form to what their students already know. The aim of mentorship is therefore to promote the development of the learner. Thus a mentor serves as a guide rather than a provider of knowledge. Mentors in education teach by interpreting the environment and modeling expected behaviors. They also support, challenge, and provide vision for their students.
A major benefit to online mentorship is the opportunity for frequent, convenient communication between mentor and student. Weekly or even daily journals and communications can be sent between mentor and student via e-mail, providing an ongoing dialogue which supports the development of the mentor relationship and offers numerous opportunities for timely feedback on student questions, concerns and issues . For busy educators and students, electronic communication can be a welcome, effective alternative to telephone tag and parking problems.
This text has been adapted from Creating a Powerful Online Course through the Use of Multiple Instructional Strategies