Supporting Mentor Excellence:
Introducing Mosaic for Mentor Training
Written by Rebecca Smith, Business Growth Manager
24 January 2024
We are thrilled to unveil the latest addition to the Mosaic family: Mosaic for Mentor Training. In this article, Paul Mallaband, Co-Founder and Director of Product Development at Mosaic, guides us through the inception, features, and impact of this innovative solution designed to streamline the training of mentors in Initial Teacher Education (ITE).
Mosaic Co-Founder and Director of Product Development
An experienced engineer and former teacher, Paul leads on all new product developments in the Mosaic suite of online solutions.
A Brief Overview: Mosaic for Mentor Training
Mosaic for Mentor Training is a new suite of functionality seamlessly integrated into the Mosaic Platform for ITE (or alternatively available as a stand alone platform). It caters specifically to the unique challenges faced by ITE providers in mentor training, ensuring effective mentor development and streamlined reporting for Ofsted and the Department for Education (DfE), whilst prioritising mentor well-being and agency.
1. The Inspiration Behind the Product
“The quality of a mentor-trainee relationship is arguably one of the most important determining factors for trainee progress and wellbeing. Within the landscape of a teacher retention crisis and increasing time-based requirements on mentoring within ITE, the importance of mentor training that delivers both quality and care for mentors has never been more pressing.
When thinking about improving mentor quality, ITE providers need to consider how to engage mentors in new thinking, whilst respecting and recognising their experience. They need to model great practice, without being patronising and they need to carefully consider how their mentor training curriculum complements the curriculum for their trainees, so that the two work together for greater trainee outcomes.
When thinking about improving mentor care, ITE providers must constantly find ways to protect mentor time, whilst still meeting the DfE requirements. They must recognise mentor prior experience with other providers, whilst also ensuring that they remain true to their own standards of practice, and they must also ensure they retain agency for mentors so that they find fulfilment (and enjoyment?) in this vital role.
With the new Quality Requirements and the looming figure of Ofsted ready to investigate whether they are being met, we realised that technology could play a crucial role in avoiding needless admin or repetition on the part of the mentor or indeed the provider. We saw that Mosaic could help providers and mentors keep track of prior experience; help multiple providers in a geographical area work together to share these records; reduce workload in reporting on mentor time and indeed deliver high quality asynchronous content to complement in-person training through the academic year.”
2. Key Features that Set Mosaic Apart
“Key features in the suite include:
- The ability to curate mentor training frameworks that specify your own mentor quality requirements, that may well exist at different levels
- Authoring tools for creating asynchronous training modules
- Integrations with other platforms such as NASBTT Mentor Development Modules
- Certification based on frameworks to allow sharing of experience across organisations
- A variety of monitoring tools for tracking engagement and time spent training
- Mentor forums to build strong communities of practice
Crucially, this suite of features is seamlessly integrated with the full Mosaic platform, so a mentor can access everything they need for their own training and for work with their trainee in the same place.
Mosaic for Mentor Training represents a significant new value stream for the Mosaic platform because though mentors have always been integral users of the platform, their interaction with it has always been with trainee development, rather than their own in mind. We’re excited to engage more directly with mentors and find many more ways to reduce their workload, recognise their important professional experience, and deepen their impact with trainees.”
3. The Journey from Concept to Reality
“As with all developments in Mosaic, the concept started with our customers. As the impacts of the new mentoring requirements for ITE were being understood, we quickly began to hear how various providers were starting to think about how to meet these challenges. The following became clear within just a few conversations of this nature:
- Asynchronous content would have to play a much bigger role in mentor development than previously
- Innovative ways to recognise mentor prior experience and training time would be vital to protecting mentor time and professional agency
- Technology, and most definitely Mosaic, was perfectly placed to meet this need.
We began being more proactive in seeking out how customers were approaching this problem, but also quickly got to work on what we knew would be core functionality and could also be used straight away: delivering asynchronous content to Mentors.
We also began to speak to various regional partnerships to understand how the prior experience of mentors could be tracked across providers. In terms of design and development, we stuck very firmly to our agile, iterative approach, meaning we were able to deliver asynchronous modules and, quickly after, our concept of “Frameworks” within a matter of months. This has allowed us to gain rapid feedback and build our roadmap out to include the aforementioned functionality (and many other things that don’t quite make the headlines!)”.
Tailored to Sector Needs
"Mosaic for Mentor Training will be a game changer for any ITE provider in England, whatever size of organisational form they take. Additionally, any regional partnerships will benefit greatly from the ability to share the mentor training record with one another."
Integration Options and Collaborations
Supporting Resource Sharing for Consortia
"The ability for consortia to co-author and share content (if they want to!) is very much on our roadmap, though the way consortia will work together on content itself (rather than frameworks for mentoring) is still evolving and definitely not homogenous across the country, so we will be watching this space closely!"
4. Future Updates and Enhancements
“Mosaic for Mentor Training is a key active area of development for the Penrose Education team so yes we have a roadmap of upcoming developments. Having launched with asynchronous content and mentor quality frameworks, we are beginning work on our discussion fora before looking at certification and mentor training record sharing. All the while we will be looking at ways to improve the flexibility in authoring and overall user experience for Mentors. As with any Roadmap, we do not consider this a fixed sequence of work – we will always remain responsive to feedback and new information – this is just our best plan based on current information!”
5. Pricing and Availability
Mosaic for Mentor Training is available at no extra cost for existing Mosaic customers. As a standalone product, it will be purchasable from June 2024, with pricing based on the number of trainees and discounts available for various criteria.
“The great news is that if you’re already a Mosaic (for trainees) customer, then the use of our Mentor Training functionality comes at no extra cost.
However, we recognise that there are many providers out there not ready to completely change all of their technology platforms, but do need something additional to solve their challenges in mentor training. We’ve therefore made Mosaic for Mentor Training available as a standalone product as well, which will be ready for purchase and use from June 2024. (Please note that we may still be developing some of the features mentioned above so do please speak to us about your core needs when considering a purchase).
Pricing is based on trainee numbers per academic year to avoid having to account for changes of mentor, or mentors working with trainees for shorter or longer periods of time. Discounts are available for NASBTT members, providers opting for longer subscription periods, providers with larger trainee numbers and providers willing to purchase licences upfront.”
6. Inclusive Customer Training and Support
Committed to delivering value beyond the software, Mosaic includes customer training and support as an integral part of the subscription. First-line support is available to all users, and admin users have direct access to account managers for more detailed queries.
Mosaic for Mentor Training is a catalyst for elevating mentoring in initial teacher education, fostering collaboration, efficiency, and excellence. As we move forward, Mosaic remains dedicated to adapting, iterating, and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the education landscape.