Mentor Influence Methods

Mentors are responsible for directly influencing students' attitudes and behaviors toward improved course outcomes. Below are specific recommendations for ways mentors can increase motivation and engagement in a course.



Demonstrate an infectious passion for your contentBe an appealing and credible role model Encourage and follow up with students during the onboarding process



Relationship building
  • Communicate trustworthiness
    • Communicate trust in students
  • Be likable
  • Show empathy
  • Leverage reciprocity
  • Create immediacy
    • Use name
    • Plural pronouns
    • Humor
    • Ask questions
    • Greetings
    • Positive evaluations
    • Make and keep promises
    • Positive title key words
    • Self disclosure
    • Emotional reference
    • Calmness
    • Illustrations
    • Apologize
To change attitude, help students recall a situation to which the attitude applies, present an appealing and credible role model, use the model to communicate or demonstrate the desired choices or actions for the given situation, and communicate or demonstrate satisfaction the model obtains as a result of the selected choices or actions.


Learning Identity

Promote effective learning habitsBe optimisticLeverage Inertia
  • Build a high performing culture early on
Support a positive learning identity
  • Provide social credibility and recognition for academic achievements that might otherwise be invisible or denigrated by peers
  • Help students Reinterpret negative past experiences as opportunities for growth
  • Teach about and support growth mindsets
  • Provide a learning environment that helps students develop positive self-efficacy

Emotions and Moods

Provide for positive emotional experiences (e.g., curiosity, joy, optimism, pride)Help students persist through negative emotional experiences (e.g., frustration, failure, anxiety, fear, helplessness, overwhelmed)Avoid creating negative emotional experiencesHelp Reinterpret negative past experiences as opportunities for growth

Socio-economic Influences

Create a learning community
  • Promote citizenship and loyalty
Consider how socio- economic and cultural influences affect your students


Accommodate different personality types
  • Inventive and curious vs Consistent and cautious
  • Efficient and organized vs Easy going and careless
  • Solitary and reserved vs outgoing and energetic
  • Challenging and detached vs friendly and compassionate
  • Secure and confident vs sensitive and nervous