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Re: mentor:student ratios, team mentoring, etc

On 15/03/2018 13:52, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> This year in particular, I notice the following languages are mentioned
> in multiple projects:
> 12   Python
> 6    Ruby
> 4    Java
> and this also suggests that some pooling of mentoring effort could be
> possible for anybody who wants to formally or informally organize
> themselves that way.

I would be happy to help mentoring projects involving technologies I'm
familiar with (Python in the example above).

> How do other mentors and admins feel about this?  What should be the
> safe minimum?  E.g. is 2:2, 3:4 or 4:4 considered reasonable?

I think that each student/project should have at least two mentors: a
primary mentor and one or more help/substitute mentors.  My main reason
for seeking a co-mentor is to avoid being a "single point of failure"
for the project and to help the student to have prompt responses through
the whole duration of the project.  I think the maximum number of
students mentored by someone should only be limited by the (honest!)
estimate of the time and resources they can invest in the GSoC/Outreach.

> When there are team arrangements, does each mentor act as a "lead"
> mentor for a different student or is it truly mixed?

I think team mentoring is an excellent idea, however I would favor
having a lead/primary mentor for each project/student.  This would help
in the organization and in avoiding that calls gets unanswered because
no one feels responsible.  I believe there must be a clear reference for
each project.  That does not mean that all activity must be supervised
or managed by a single person, but that there must be someone that keeps
track of the situation and ensures the students gets help when she needs it.


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