STMs-IDAs-cutting Happy Graduation cake together

Student Technology Mentors Team Up

Soon after LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) was founded in the year 2000, we developed our first student mentoring program.* Over the years, our Student Technology Mentors (STMs) have enabled the CTL to provide valuable technical and design assistance for faculty, students and staff. Some experienced STMs become Instructional Design Assistants (IDAs) who also guide and support new STMs as they learn a range of technologies for teaching and learning.

Teams present project
Tech team presents their approach to designing the STMs website

As part of their training and development activities, we (Ali Abdallah and Josephine Corso, the STM program directors) meet regularly with the IDAs to discuss challenges, and provide advanced training.  We value the feedback that comes from IDAs themselves, and integrate their ideas into the STM and IDA programs.

The IDAS suggested we look for ways to help them develop stronger leadership and communication skills. We realized that not only would this provide IDAs with a new aspect of leadership experience while coordinating the STM teams they lead, but it would also offer a project-based approach to learning professional skills.

What We Learned

Our timetable was overly optimistic! After the first round of presentations it was clear that most projects had a foundation and framework, but not a final product, while others needed editing and revising.

So we gave the teams additional guidance for moving their projects forward, and additional time to work on their project.

The Present and the Future

Reflecting on their experience as team coordinators, IDAs Alberto Tuican and Robert Pangilinan said it helped their ability to manage their time, and gave them the chance to work with STMs they wouldn’t normally work with. In addition to building a sense of community within the teams, the IDAs said they were able to better facilitate the projects as they learned more about STMs’ specific skill sets.

Students at STMs gathering

Students at IDAs-STMs year-end gathering

Here’s the current status of the team projects:

  • New flyer to promote program has been designed; the STMs LinkedIn site is updated and will now include bi-weekly posts to engage users. Marketing and Communication Team Leaders:  Alberto, Rojan and Peter
  • STMs Resources Sheet is being finalized. Resources Tip Sheet Team Leaders:  Breane and Arjina
  • Training Sessions for online tools are now available. Online Tools Team Leader:  Emilio
  • Videos are being reviewed and tested; some are already in use. Video Tutorials Team Leaders: Robert and Yu
  • A chat tool may be featured on the web site; current STMs’ photos are being added. STM Website Team Leaders: Lang and Nisha

While continuing to work as IDAs, both Alberto and Robert have continued studying after graduating from LaGuardia and have now earned their Bachelor’s degrees.  Ali and I extend our warmest best wishes to them and wish them continued success.  Our good wishes also go out to all the STMs who are graduating from LaGuardia – congratulations!

We look forward to continuing this project-based team approach that builds community among the mentors, helps IDAs strengthen their leadership skills, develops valuable, real-life work skills, and resources for our program.  In other words, a win-win-win!

STMs-IDAs-cutting Happy Graduation cake together
Celebrating the newly-graduating STMs!

* The CTL now coordinates two additional student mentoring programs in addition to the STMs: the Student Success Mentors and the Peer Advisors. For more information on our peer mentoring programs, please visit the CTL’s website.