One of the challenges with reaching schools is Wales is the geography of our country, and the journey times that can be required between locations of our Mentors (universities) and the mentees (across the whole country).

What is the Video Mentoring Project?

As a project, the idea of “Video Mentoring” had been a long-standing ambition, but one which was accelerated by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The financial impact of the pandemic on our funders also put the Project’s core funding at risk, and the concept of Video Mentoring became a way to share our resources and learning. With support from the Waterloo Foundation, we planned to create pre-prepared films linked to mentee-driven activities and make them available on the Physics Mentoring website.

Fortunately, the core Physics Mentoring Project was awarded further funding from September 2020, allowing it to continue. This meant the Video Mentoring project was no longer a legacy project, but one which would provide high-quality resources to deepen the impact of the core mentoring project. This was particularly fortunate at a time where the project was moving its provision online due to the pandemic. It also allowed us to break the geographical barriers, while still providing meaningful mentoring to school students across Wales.

All videos were produced in collaboration with award-winning Welsh videographer, Ffocws Media, and all resources and videos are available bilingually.

The Video Mentoring resources were evaluated as part of the wider Mentoring programme run by the Physics Mentoring Project, as well as being evaluated separately, both by our evaluation partners OnData Research Ltd. You can find our Video Mentoring Evaluation report here. For a full evaluation of the core programme, you can take a look at our Annual Evaluation Report 2021-2022 here.

Impact on Mentees

During the cycles of mentoring during which the videos have been in use (five and six), there has been a shift away from mentees who are unsure about their future and an increase in those indicating they “probably or definitely will” choose Physics A-level, as well as an increase in those who intend to pursue a career in STEM. The films were perceived to be well-pitched, high quality and relevant to the mentees as the intended audience. Using people from a diverse range of careers and backgrounds in the videos widens the types of role models available to the mentees, which contributed to the broadening of mentees’ perceptions of physics.

Impact on Mentors

The majority of Mentors during these cycles felt positively about the videos and used them in their mentoring sessions in a variety of ways (as the basis or for part of a session, or simply as inspiration). The provision of high quality video resources during the shift to online delivery of the core project has increased the intended impact and legacy of the Video Mentoring project.

The Physics Mentoring team are delighted with the results reported, which can be read in full here. Physics Mentoring would like to thank Ondata Research for their comprehensive research and recommendations which have contributed to the success of the project.

If you’d like to use our videos and resources, then you can register for an account on our new Video Mentoring platform for free.