Mentoring guidance

A guide to leading and supporting peer learning using our coursebook

This is a live document that mentors are encouraged to feedback on.

Please read these notes and check with the course facilitator before your week starts with any clarifications, questions and/or thoughts.

Before Your Week:

  1. Ensure Ownership: Make sure you are an owner of the cohort’s GitHub organization.

  2. Familiarize Yourself: Read the workshops, solutions, project details, and learning objectives for your week. Note any changes made since your cohort started.

  3. Communicate with the Course Facilitator: Check in with the course facilitator for support before, during, and after your week.

During Your Week:

  1. Delegate Responsibilities: Decide who will lead specific portions of your week. Refer to the day-by-day checklist for a detailed breakdown.

  2. Review Recent Projects: Take a look at the cohort’s most recent projects and inquire about any relevant feedback from the previous week’s SGC (Student-Generated Content).

Additional Preparation:

  1. Understand Cohort Expectations: Read the cohort expectations document located at GitHub > fac# > cohort >

  2. Read User Manuals: Familiarize yourself with the cohort’s user manuals. Access them as raised issues on GitHub > fac# > user-manuals.

Being a Good Mentor:

  1. Share Experiences Mindfully: Avoid creating unnecessary expectations based on your own experience. Frame your experiences as such and only share when directly asked.

  2. Avoid Negative Opinions: Refrain from dismissing or criticizing course material. Present the curriculum and allow learners to form their own conclusions.

  3. Empower Through Questions: When approached with a problem, ask questions to guide learners in finding the answer themselves.

  4. Focus on the Problem, Not the Solution: Encourage learners to explain the purpose behind their actions and focus on the problem at hand rather than the specific solution.

  5. Encourage Collaboration: Suggest seeking input from team members or other teams who have encountered similar problems.

  6. Visualize Solutions: Keep a notepad and pen ready to visually aid explanations by drawing out problems and solutions.

  7. Embrace Not Knowing: If you don’t know the answer, admit it honestly and collaborate with learners to find the answer together.

  8. Break Down Big Problems: Help learners tackle overwhelming tasks by breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps.

  9. Allow Room for Mistakes: Let learners stumble and learn from mistakes. Provide support and encouragement during their problem-solving journey.

  10. Embrace Different Approaches: Avoid immediately rejecting learners’ methods. Be open to the possibility that their way could be right. Ask them to explain their steps to foster learning.

  11. Collaborate with the Cohort: Work with all members of the cohort and encourage those who understand a concept to assist others.

Note: learners may initially expect you to have all the answers, which may lead to frustration. Clarify your role as a mentor and emphasize working through problems together.

What you will do through the week


  • Join the conversation with the cohort about the previous Friday’s Workshop
  • Introduce the Project and Spike - share your experience of how that project went for your cohort.


  • Join the Zoom call in the morning and check in on the teams every 30/45 minutes to address any questions or concerns they are having throughout the day.


  • Work your way around the room and ask the teams if there is anything they need help with.
  • At the end of the day you will be doing a code review of the two teams. It is best to spend 30 minutes on one and then move onto the other team.


  • You do not come in on Thursday


  • You do not come in on Friday