Essential E-mentors' Characteristics for Mentoring Online Doctoral Dissertations
Effective mentoring is an integral component of the doctoral dissertation process. Prior research explored the triadic symbiosis of faculty mentoring skills, responsibilities, and values within the dyadic mentor-protégé relationship, but did not substantively analyze faculty views of the essential e-mentors’ characteristics for mentoring online doctoral dissertations. Using purposeful sampling methodology, this study explored mentoring characteristics as they converge with values, professional skill, and relationships through the lens of online doctoral faculty. A voluntary, anonymous open-ended survey was distributed to ten experienced online doctoral dissertation Chairs via email. Additional data were collected from telephone interviews with faculty and their reflective journals. NVivo 10 software was utilized for organization and categorization of data. A custom-built database recorded and analyzed 8 emergent themes using a pattern matching coding technique congruent with case study analysis. Second Cycle coding results corroborated extant faculty perspectives across the three mentoring domains – professional, psychosocial, and career, and revealed supplemental traits of tenacity, innovation, and adaptability to restrictive administrative protocols. When connected to the eight emergent themes, quality review processes presented barriers to both Chairs and doctoral students. Within similar contexts, E-mentors can utilize the recommendations to more effectively mentor their students and manage their relationship to the university.
Additional content will be provided upon request.