Magnify creates more Everyday Mentors. Everyday Mentoring is a concept coined by The Mentoring Partnership that recognizes that everyone can make a mentoring impact in their daily lives. People who have relationships with youths that they want to improve can use the Magnify application to solidify essential mentoring skills without having to change much about their everyday lives.
We envision a future where potential mentors can use technology to move seamlessly through the stages of the mentoring journey: becoming aware of their potential as mentors, self-identifying as mentors and joining a community, learning and intentionally practicing mentoring skills, and seeing their impact.
First, a potential mentor becomes aware of his/her potential as a mentor through campaigns led by The Mentoring Partnership or when drafted by his/her own social or professional circles.
We created and tested several awareness campaigns and found two that resonated most with potential Everyday Mentors.
The first was a public display. Our vision was a tree that lit up and reacted when mentors logged mentor-like interactions. The tree would draw the public in, inviting them with a sign on the tree to join the experience.
The second was a video that could be generated from mentoring progress recorded in Magnify. It could then be shared with friends via a social network, drawing new mentors in.
In the second phase, a potential mentor learns to self-identify as a mentor and becomes a member of an active mentoring community. From our research, we learned this phase is vital, as many potential mentors have trouble seeing themselves as mentors.
In the third phase of the journey, the new mentor learns mentoring skills. He/she engages in self-reflection and practices these new skills.
Finally, the new mentor is able to see and track his/her impact and share this data with others. The Mentoring Partnership is given a birds-eye view of this impact via a web application so that they can track nationwide interactions.
We envision a future where mentors can move seamlessly through the stages of the mentoring journey with help from the Magnify mobile app.
In Magnify's onboarding process, we engage the user by asking them to set personal goals and a level for themselves. We then surface learning modules appropriate to the user's learning level and goals.
We deliberately avoid use of the term mentor in this onboarding process, as our research revealed that this can intimidate beginners.
The user, at his/her own pace, completes learning modules that use real world examples and promote self-reflection. He/she is then prompted to complete challenges that engage the skills from each module, ensuring that the user is putting these nascent skills into use right away.
The mentor is then able to track his/her impact. From our research, it was revealed that mentors need to see the results of their actions in order to feel validated and like their time and effort was "worth it." But mentoring effects on youths sometimes take years to see.
We resolve this by tracking measurable metrics like number of interactions and confidence level and also capturing more qualitative impact data (like mentoring stories). The user can also interact with stories from his/her community of mentors and feel like part of an inclusive mentoring community.
We started with 4 months of in-depth research to understand the national mentoring landscape, utilizing proven Human-Computer Interaction methods. We then spent 4 months designing, prototyping, testing, and iterating as we worked toward our final prototype.
This project was completed in 2017 at Carnegie Mellon University as an MHCI Capstone project and was sponsored by The Mentoring Partnership. Team Dynamite is Maddie Borgmann (Research Lead), Kate Carey (Design Lead), Yousef Kazerooni (UX Researcher), Meg Nidever (Product Manager), and Adam Yee (Tech & Interaction Design Lead.
Questions? Contact The Mentoring Partnership to learn more about where this work is headed or how to get involved.