This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).
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selected online mentoring resources

Online mentoring takes MANY forms, everything from one youth matched with one mentor, to a group of students in one classroom matched with a group of mentors from one company for a specific curriculum-based activity. It can be a program of just a few weeks or one that lasts an entire school year. It may mean an online volunteer sending one or two e-mails a week, or spending several hours a week reviewing a student's project for class. It can be school-based and curriculum-focused, or conducted through a nonprofit organization that serves young people.

Below is an index of SELECTED organizations and online mentoring/teletutoring projects and materials, as well as selected general mentoring resources, that we feel could be most helpful to any organization exploring the online mentoring. However, please be aware, as you read through these materials, that not all resources will be applicable to every online mentoring program.

The Virtual Volunteering Project also has a comprehensive list of all online mentoring/teletutoring programs and resources.

We also offer initial first steps for those considering setting up a direct contact service component involving online volunteers, including online mentoring; and guidelines for safely bringing together youth and adult online volunteers, among many, many other online mentoring resources.

The Project is particularly interested in online information that helps teachers stay involved and aware in online mentoring and tutoring programs and systems to track progress of online collaborations.

If your organization already involves volunteers as online tutors or online mentors for any age group, we'd like to hear more about you, and consider your materials for inclusion on our site. Please provide us information about your program via our online survey.

  • It's a Simple Idea, But It's Not Easy to Do:
    Practical Lessons in Telementoring
    by Judi Harris of the University of Texas at Austin and the Electronic Emissary Project (see below), with Ellen O'Bryan and Lena Rotenberg. This is an excellent introductory resource for teachers or administrators who are considering setting up a telementoring program with an emphasis on classroom work. This document details the critical importance of an online facilitator and teacher buy-in and support to ensure a successful, curriculum-focused telementoring program.


  • Electronic Emissary Project
    A very successful and well-documented national telementoring program, online since February 1993, based at the University of Texas at Austin. The Emissary helps teachers with access to electronic mail locate experts in different disciplines, for purposes of setting up curriculum-based, electronic exchanges among teachers, their students and the volunteer experts. This site includes sample project descriptions, summaries of past Emissary activities, and numerous research papers on the Emissary Project.


  • HP E-Mail Mentor program
    Creates one-to-one mentor relationships between Hewlett-Packard employees (worldwide) and 5-12th grade students and teachers throughout the United States, to help motivate students to excel in math and science and improve communication and problem solving skills. Web site includes:

    • Mentor Relationship Example - Elementary Level
    • FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions...and Answers
    • Pilot Program Feedback - What Have We Learned?
    • Great K-12 WWW Starting Places
    • Policy for Ending a Mentor Relationship

    • Resources for Schools (Principals, Teachers, Students)
      • Participation Steps for Principals
      • Student Training for the HP E-mail Mentor Program
      • Telementoring Project Examples

    • Resources for HP Mentors
      • Mentoring Tips for Starting a Successful Mentoring Relationship
      • Mentoring Tips II - General Tips from HP Mentor Mary Jones
      • The Handbook for HP Mentors by HP employee / mentor Bill Wear

  • Mentor Program and PEPHE-Talk by the
    University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA)
    Health Education Training Centers Alliance of Texas (HETCAT)
    A pilot project that worked to improve health career awareness among ninth grade students, through telementoring. Goals with mentees: to improve students' English, math and science proficiency, and to ensure that students have sufficient information to consider careers in health. Mentors were students from UTHSCSA, who submitted an online mentor application to program staff and went through an interview and training session. Mentors were responsible for communicating with the student at least 2-3 times per week throughout the spring 1999 academic period. Mentors agreed to be a positive role model; encourage their students to excel in math and science; use appropriate grammar and effective communication skills; encourage their students to use the Internet as a resource; and correspond with the student's teacher and program staff. The HETCAT Mentor Program staff matched students and mentors based on a set of specific needs, common career interests, academic studies, and hobbies. Students and mentors worked on projects that were integrated into the classroom curriculum. The web site includes information on this program, guidelines used for teachers, mentors and mentees, as well as background information on the importance and roles of mentors.


  • Guidelines for School Officials,
    Volunteers and Mentors Participating in
    Public School Community Partnerships
    Includes an excellent document offering guidelines for partnerships involving public schools and faith-based communities


  • Telementoring Web
    Includes profiles of various online mentoring programs, the pros and cons of online mentoring, general guidelines for setting up programs, and links to numerous articles and other resources about telementoring.


  • National Mentoring Partnership
    An advocate for the expansion of mentoring, and an outstanding resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives nationwide. Its Web site includes an online diagnostic to help organizations identify areas for improvement in mentor programs (easily adaptable to online mentoring programs as well), a list of products and technical experts to help with mentoring programs, a list of mentoring programs across the U.S., and links to a variety of evaluation studies and mentoring advice. The National Mentoring Partnership collaborated formerly with the Virtual Volunteering Project to further develop the online mentoring resources we provide on our site.


  • National Mentoring Center
    Resources by the Northwest Educational Regional Laboratory. Includes links and lists of mentoring organizations , research and publications (such as The ABCs of School-Based Mentoring, a free 100-page guide in .PDF format), mentoring guides, work-based mentoring resources, peer mentoring and tutoring resources, suggestions for volunteer recruitment and screening, and funding resources.


  • California State Telemation Program - Telementor Projects
    A list of 19 telementoring projects undertaken in the California school system in 1996 as part of its "Telemation" program, with details on the curricular category each project covered (art, language, social studies, mathematics, technology, etc.), the telecommunication resources used in each project (Internet newsgroups, e-mail, gophers, a particular software program, etc.) and the contact information for each project. A good resource for teachers looking for telementoring activities.


  • Resources for Online Tutoring
    Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
    Helpful hints and links to other resources for those involved in this e-mail-based tutoring project at Purdue University. Includes comparisons of e-mail vs. face-to-face tutoring, "boilerplate messages," and links to other helpful resources.


  • NickNacks Telecollaboration Guide
    A free online resource by instructional technology consultant Nancy Schubert, this web site provides a vast amount of detailed information: how to assess participants resources and capabilities, where to find a project to start with, connecting with appropriate online resources (web sites, mailing lists, lesson resources, and online publications), project planner template examples, projects profiles, and lessons learned so far. She also has a helpful essay, "Technology Volunteers in the Classroom."


  • Peer Centered
    An ongoing online forum for and about writing tutoring, produced by Salt Lake City Community College. Primarily conducted in real time "chat" programs. Includes transcripts of previous online gatherings, links to Web resources and online discussion groups (such as WRITINGC) about writing tutoring and writing centers in general, and links to other means to contact writing center people and tutors.


  • Engaging Science Practice Through Science Practitioners:
    Design Experiments in K-12 Telementoring

    A dissertation by D. Kevin O'Neill, a former postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, and now Assistant Professor of Education and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Also available is his paper Sustaining Mentoring Relationships On-line, co-written with Dr. Louis Gomez. This paper was presented at CSCW 98: ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Seattle, WA, Nov. 14-18, 1998.


  • "YES, YOU CAN: A Guide for Establishing Mentoring Programs
    to Prepare Youth for College"
    Offers practical information that employers, college students, senior citizens, community-based organizations, & others can use to create & run mentoring programs. The guide supports 3 Department initiatives: "America Counts,", which aims to help all students master the fundamentals of algebra & geometry by the 8th grade; "GEAR UP," which is designed to encourage more young people to have high expectations, stay in school, study hard, & go to college; and "Think College," which provides information on educational opportunities beyond high school for learners of all ages. Includes tips & suggestions on:
    • program planning,
    • assessing needs & potential resources,
    • developing program goals & objectives,
    • recruiting & selecting mentors,
    • training mentors & matching them with students,
    • working with parents,
    • keeping mentors in the program
    • evaluating the program
    • profiles of 11 mentoring programs
    • a checklist for mentoring programs
    • a list of national organizations involved in mentoring.


  • Quality Assurance Standards for Mentoring Organizations
    These standards by the Texas Governor's Mentoring Initiative are what the Texas mentoring field considers the essential elements of any high-quality mentoring program.


  • Mentoring Myths and Tips
    By Nancy Henry, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, for the National Service Resource Center (NSRC), a training and technical assistance provider to programs funded by the Corporation for National Service.


  • Telementoring Young Women in Science, Engineering, and Computing
    This was a three-year project of EDC/Center for Children & Technology and was funded by the National Science Foundation, Directorate of Education and Human Resources. This project has been discontinued, but the Web site is still up and includes extensive online resources for both mentors and teachers. The Virtual Volunteering Project considers it one of the best web sites regarding online mentoring.


  • Virtual Volunteering Project
    Provides an ever-growing web site of resources and links to help those managing or starting an online mentoring or tutoring program, including:


Information for those who wish to
quote from, copy and/or distribute the information on this Web site

If you find this or any other Virtual Volunteering Project information helpful, or would like to add information based on your own experience, please contact us.

If you do use Virtual Volunteering Project materials in your own workshop or trainings, or republish materials in your own publications, please let us know, so that we can track how this information is disseminated.


Copyright © 1999 - 2000 The University of Texas at Austin
All Rights Reserved.

This is an archived version of the Virtual Volunteering Project web site from January 2001.
The materials on the web site were written or compiled by Jayne Cravens.
The Virtual Volunteering Project has been discontinued.
The Virtual Volunteering Project web site IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
Email addresses associated with the Virtual Volunteering Project are no longer valid.
For any URL that no longer works, type the URL into
For new materials regarding online volunteering, see
Jayne Cravens' web site (the section on volunteerism-related resources).

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