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Near-Peer Mentoring as a Way to Foster Self-Efficacy in Informal Computer Science Environments

Sat, April 6, 10:25 to 11:55am, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 800 Level, Hall F

Abstract

This paper presents research on a near-peer mentoring model used in summer camps that taught programming with App Inventor. High school youth were trained to program and be a mentor. They then helped run camps for middle school youth. This mixed-methods study looks at (1) campers’ perceptions of their mentors and how it affects their self-efficacy and interest (2) how mentors enact the near-peer mentoring model. Path model analysis found self-efficacy mediated the influence of mentor relatability on career and intrinsic interest. A coding rubric around self-efficacy and feedback was developed to code observations and interviews. Mentors provided enactive experience via questioning, vicarious experiences via modeling attitudes about programming, and social persuasion through feedback on campers’ ability and effort.

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