Examining Mentors’ Navigation of Online Environments and Use of Student Support Practices


Cuccolo, K. & DeBruler, K. (2023). Examining Mentors’ Navigation of Online Environments and Use of Student Support Practices. Michigan Virtual. https://michiganvirtual.org/research/publications/examining-mentors-navigation-of-online-environments-and-use-of-student-support-practices/ 


This study examined how Michigan K-12 mentors navigate student learning interfaces and their perceptions of the effectiveness of various student support practices. Data obtained from Michigan Virtual’s Student Learning Portal (SLP) and an end of the year survey sent out to mentors, revealed that a.) mentors with more experience and working in schools where a higher percentage of students qualify for Free-Reduced Price Lunch had higher student loads, b.) the top three most effective student support strategies according to mentors were ‘building relationships with students', 'monitoring student progress in their online course(s)', and 'motivating students to fully engage with course content', c.) the Gradebook and Student Tabs were the student monitoring tools most likely to be used daily by mentors, and d.) mentors reported communicating regularly with students but reported infrequent communication with instructors. Both building and district administrators should be mindful and balance mentors’ student loads in the context of their other responsibilities. Mentors should communicate with students and instructors regularly to build rapport, assess and communicate pacing and progress, and troubleshoot any challenges. 


  • Cuccolo, Kelly
  • DeBruler, Kristen

Reference Type



  • K-12 online learning
  • Mentoring