Mentoring online graduate students: Partners in scholarship
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Mentoring graduate students toward scholarly research and writing activities has become an important area of focus for faculty at the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. With an emphasis on teaching excellence, instructors seek out and create experiences to involve graduate students in their own programme of research and publication. However, despite a plethora of literature available on the concept of mentoring, few definitive guidelines exist to illustrate what the process might look like within Masters programmes offered exclusively through a WebCT online environment. This paper describes an approach to mentoring two graduate students in the Master of Health Studies programme that was perceived as positive and mutually beneficial for the prote´ge´s as well as the mentor. Insights are revealed into the experiences that these students found both engaging and difficult as they developed skills in analysing qualitative research and submitting manuscripts for publication. The students’ stories are discussed to describe significant features of the experience of ‘partnering in scholarship’ with their teacher. Suggestions and practical strategies for mentoring online graduate students are offered.