Setting up a Pilot Peer Mentoring Programme in the Online Environment

Edwards, Carol; Gregory, Lorraine and Hardie, Liz (2021). Setting up a Pilot Peer Mentoring Programme in the Online Environment. Journal of Rights and Justice, 2 pp. 7–17.



Many universities use peer mentoring schemes for students at the start of their undergraduate studies as a way of supporting their transition from school to university. As law schools face the challenges of how to adapt their teaching in a time of restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, this article explores a pilot online peer mentoring project which offers the opportunity to provide peer support to students in an online environment.

The article starts by setting out some of the reasons why a peer mentoring project can benefit law students. As well as support in transition, it explores the wider contributions peer mentoring can offer in improving student wellbeing, encouraging the formation of communities of practice, providing the opportunity to improve skills and enhancing student retention. It adopts a case study approach by reflecting on the Open University’s experience of setting up a pilot online peer mentoring scheme for law students in 2020. The article considers the practicalities of setting up an online peer mentoring scheme, the use of co-creation in the project, some of the challenges involved in an online scheme and how these were overcome and provides an initial evaluation of the project. This article aims to provide some helpful insights and suggestions for colleagues in law schools who are considering how to provide student support activities such as peer mentoring to their students online.

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