Student responses

In 2012 the TiTo model was implemented in undergraduate psychology at RMIT University, where all first year students were provided with a mentor in their weekly tutorial. Third year mentors undertook training in an elective course for credit and met each week to prepare and debrief. Mentors attended the second hour of first year face-to-face tutorials for 8 weeks in the 12-week semester.

First year students

By the end of semester positive changes for first year students were noted on:

  • psychological literacies, with significant change reported on 8 out of 9
  • deep and strategic learning
  • three out of five student lifecycle variables

First year students reported several major benefits of TiTo, including the opportunity to work in small groups and build relationships with colleagues. Also highly rated were the study tips that mentors shared.

“You feel like you are part of a group and you can discuss the difficulties you are facing with other fellow students.”
(First Year Student, RMIT 2012)

“It provided me with an opportunity to expand my relationships with more friends and build a strong group to assist in my studies”
(First Year Student, RMIT 2012)

“Receiving the advice and opinion of a peer who had been through the same course work that we had provided a sense of relief and belonging.”
(First Year Student, RMIT 2012)

Third year mentors

By the end of semester positive changes for third year students were noted on:

  • psychological literacies, with significant change reported on 1 out of 9 (knowledge and understanding).
  • deep and strategic learning.
  • four out of five student lifecycle variables.

Third year students reflected positively on their experience as mentors, noting the positive sense of purpose the program helped develop, the skills developed through the process and the opportunities for self-reflection.

“The best thing was gaining/building upon vital life-skills (such as leadership, communication).”
(Third Year Mentor, RMIT 2012)

“It was rewarding learning how to facilitate a group because I can see how that will be used in my career.”
(Third Year Mentor, RMIT 2012)

Student responses to TiTo in the blended learning model

The TiTo model was also implemented at the University of Southern Queensland, where off-campus students were mentored in their Wimba classroom.

Photograph of Marnie King

First year student, Marnie King, noted that participating in TiTo supported her return to study as a mature-age student:

"Although I had studied at university previously it was many years ago and as an on-campus student. So this time, taking on external study was very daunting. Chatting with the mentoring group eased my fears and concerns, boosted my confidence and made me realise I wasn't alone in the way I was feeling. My current area of study is very different to my previous studies, so all the advice I received about study and assessments was invaluable."

Photograph of Niki Lehane

The mentors in the blended learning model also reported benefits. Niki Lehane, a mentor in the program, noted that mentoring

"provided an opportunity to practise skills learnt in various units, including ethical considerations such as discrimination and confidentiality.... It provided an opportunity to pactise communication skills and conflict resolution... and because I was an external [student], helped me feel a greater connectedness and involvement with the university."