Guidelines for Mentors - Association for Educational Communications and Technology

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Mentor volunteers may come from either academic or corporate backgrounds but should have extensive, practical experience in design and development and be able to lead student teams to relevant instructional design theory and useful research in the field. Assigned mentor volunteers will come from a different institution than the students, working with them at a distance using available technologies. In addition, mentors will likely need to be available to the student teams over the summer months for a total of between 30 - 50 hours. See Timeline for specific details on when each round/event will occur for this year's competition.

Interested mentors should contact the competition Coordinating Committee chair.

Phase 1: Preliminary Design Abstract (PDA)

Mentors play no role in this initial round of the competition.

Phase 2: Final Design Paper (FDP)

Up to 6 to 8 promising abstracts will be chosen by the 3-member judging panel to advance to Phase 2. In May, the Award Committee will match mentor volunteers to the student teams chosen and student teams will supply the mentors with an electronic copy of their team's abstract and judges' feedback from Phase 1.  The mentors will then become active members of the design competition team, working closely with the two graduate students on the final paper.

Mentors should keep in good contact with their student teams. Mentors who have not heard back from their team within a reasonable time, should contact the competition Coordinating Committee chair.

Mentors may wish to consider setting up one or more conference calls with their student teams and use email regularly to help teams stay on target to meet their final manuscript deadline.

Final papers must be limited to 5,000 words, including all references and appendices (also 12 point Times Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch page margins). Please be sure to visit the judging form to offer guidance for student teams in what is expected in the Phase II submission. It is important to be sure to note that a detailed budget and timeline is required during this phase of the competition and should be included in the Phase II design document submitted. It is also important that no identifying information of any kind is to be found in the submitted document. This includes any reference to state or affiliation in a team name, any reference to affiliation or student names in the training materials within the solution, Internet support materials, timeline, or budget.  Failure to adhere to this strict guideline could result in disqualification of the team submission.  Submissions can contain no more than 10 tables and figures. Design teams may develop associated design and development products related to the problem statement, as appropriate. These additional materials/artifacts must be accessible via the Internet and can consist of no more than 10 Web pages. 

The 3-member judging panel will select up to three final papers based on creativity, theoretical soundness, and feasibility to advance to the next round and final round. (Click here to see copy of Phase 2: Manuscript Judging Form).

Phase 3: Preparation and Presentation of Final Design (PFD)

During the Annual AECT Convention, student teams and their mentors will be invited to attend the D&D/RTD Awards Meeting where they will be recognized as finalists. Also during the convention, the graduate student teams will present their solutions during a special session. While the mentor may help the students prepare for this session, he/she can play no role in the presentation itself.  The judging panel, who will be joined by a fourth or fifth member, will then select the best presentation from that session for special recognition at the D&D/RTD Awards Meeting. Presentations will be judged on clarity, teamwork, and professionalism.

Mentors are expected to attend the student team's presentation at the AECT Conference. Mentors are also invited to attend the D&D Awards meeting (date/time TBD).

Each team will be given at least 15 minutes to present their solutions with 5 minutes for Q&A while the next team sets up. The awards committee will supply a laptop computer for those who need access to one (either Mac or Win) provided that the request is made at least two weeks in advance of the conference start date. There will also be an LCD projector. Typically, the conference supplies wireless Internet access during these sessions, but teams should NOT rely on this--be sure to bring screen shots of any Web-based materials just in case.

Student teams are expected to supply slide handouts at the presentation (bring 25 copies). Any additional tangible materials can be supplied just for the judges (5 copies). One member of the student team should begin the presentation by introducing both team members AND the mentor and their organizational affiliations. Participants' names and organizational affiliations should also be included on the first PowerPoint slide or digital presentation media. In addition, a complete set of digital files as well as the final design document should be provided to the Chair of the Planning Committee immediately following the competition presentation session at AECT.

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