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Mentorship dashboard: Research interviews to understand mentor pain points
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The Growth team newcomer homepage project includes a mentor module where an experienced editor is assigned as a "mentor" to newcomers. Mentors participating across wikis have suggested different tools and features that may help with their mentoring activities, notably a Mentor dashboard as documented on this Mediawiki project page and in task T239234.

Research goal

The Growth team wants to gain a deeper understanding of experienced editors who mentor newcomers on Wikipedia, in order to create a mentorship dashboard (and potentially other tools) that can make the mentoring experience better.

Research Questions

  • Understanding motivations and attitudes regarding mentoring
    • Why did they become a mentor?
    • How have their experiences as a mentor shaped their motivation/attitudes regarding mentoring?
  • Understanding processes & behaviours
    • What are common pain points encountered in mentoring?
    • What improvements could be made or potential features that would entice them/provide sufficient value to motivate them past those hurdles?
    • What do they consider best practices or exemplary qualities of mentoring?
  • [tertiary] Provide a general profile of a mentor
    • Tenure as an editor?
    • Languages and other sister projects?
    • Editing areas of interest?


Conduct 13 video interviews and collected 6 more written responses with a cross-section of editors who have participated as mentors on the Growth experiments.


Generally, the suggestions fell under 3 main categories:

  • Suggestions that allow mentors to be more proactive when mentoring.
  • Improve the general way mentorship is done (eg. providing better mentor support).
  • Improving mentor-mentee communication.

And the frustrations fell under 3 broader themes:

  • Revolving around the mentees.
  • About other mentors and their behavior.
  • Frustrations about the website and existing features.

There were trends seen across some wikis:

  • Arabic mentors suggested having personalizable template answers for FAQs.
  • Czech mentors wanted to improve the mentee-based notification system and match mentors and mentees by interest.
  • The Russian mentor was interested in creating a modular dashboard with badges and a mentor feedback feature.

A more detailed summary of findings can be found in this slide deck.

Event Timeline

RHo renamed this task from Mentorship dashboard: Interview to understand mentor pain points to Mentorship dashboard: Research interviews to understand mentor pain points.Feb 15 2021, 10:18 PM