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Online Mentoring at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Online – Making It Possible For Every Learner To Realize Their Potential (First of a Four-Part Series)

By Our Illinois Community Ambassadors Team, featuring the members listed: Clinical Assistant Professor Vishal Sachdev, Manuel Feldmann, Mark Benson, Luis Chavez, Vignesh Malayan and Afsal Sameer.


We begin a new four-part series of blog articles on online mentoring in Discussion Fora found in University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Larry and Beth Gies College of Business Online (UIUC Gies Online) Digital Marketing and 3D Printing Courses and Specializations. Online mentoring is a signature feature of UIUC Gies Online Digital Marketing and 3D Printing Courses and Specializations available via Coursera. UIUC Gies Online community members share the feeling online mentors have the power to transform the professional and personal lives of each and every learner. Online mentors encourage their proteges so they possess the knowledge, skills and confidence to express their creativity and grow professionally, intellectually and emotionally into competent, mature and innovative Digital Marketing Scholars.

The UIUC Gies Online mentoring program features dedicated volunteer mentors with subject matter expertise and a desire to give lifelong learners of all ages and backgrounds the help, encouragement and support essential to becoming a Digital Marketing Scholar. Our Illinois Community Ambassadors Team would like to celebrate what UIUC Gies Online Course Mentors have already accomplished, discuss current innovations to better serve the wants and needs of learners, and encourage successful completers of UIUC Gies Digital Marketing and 3D Printing Courses or Specializations who are not already Course Mentors to consider becoming part of our online mentoring program.

We will present the first installment in the series, “Online Mentoring at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Online – Making It Possible for Every Learner To Realize Their Potential.”


The UIUC Gies Online mentoring program is a structured learning framework. Course Mentors impart career-building knowledge and skills while fostering a positive psychosocial environment essential to successfully cultivating each protege’s sense of self so they have the confidence to want to become Digital Marketing Scholars who innovate.
UIUC Gies Online Course Mentors ensure every protege hones their marketing acumen, and is infused with a desire to want to go out and explore, create and grow. It is also hoped they may want to pay it forward and become an Online Course Mentor themselves.

Basic Theoretical Framework of Online Mentoring at UIUC Gies Online

Illinois and UIUC Gies Online make distinctions between the general concept of elearning and what is meant by online education. Elearning can describe any type of delivery of educational training over an internet-enabled device. Online learning is an elearning method to replicate the quality and depth of the relationships and outcomes typically found in traditional brick and mortar settings.

UIUC Gies Online’s online mentoring program is part of a structured learning framework and consists of two essential characteristics that are part of mentoring programs in any setting, whether it is in person or online. UIUC Gies Online Course Mentors are dedicated to career development, specifically, the process of successfully sharing career-building knowledge and skills to every protege. Course mentors also are inspired with the desire to foster a positive psychosocial environment essential to successfully building each protege’s confidence to innovate. (One academic team who was among the first to identify these two essential parts of a successful mentoring or online mentoring program is W. Brad Johnson and Steven Ridley, in their 2004 book, Elements of Online Mentoring.)

UIUC Gies Online makes certain its online mentoring program has both of these two essential characteristics working in harmony so every protege possesses well-honed marketing acumen, a desire to explore, create and grow, and willingness to consider becoming a mentor someday.

Developing Knowledge and Skills in Every Learner By Showing Care for the Whole Person

The online mentoring program relies on Course Mentors with the background to successfully develop their Search Engine Optimization, analytics, content creation, email and social media messaging and 3D printing expertise. To qualify to become a Online Course Mentor, one must successfully complete a Digital Marketing or 3D Printing Course to become knowledgeable and skilled when mentoring learners online.

After enrolling in the Coursera online mentoring training program, potential online mentors receive guidance on mature, respectful, positive, conversation-advancing communication to transpire when Online Course Mentors and Learners exchange ideas. It is essential so each and every learner feels they are valued for their own unique talents and as growing, creative individuals.

Manuel Feldmann, our colleague and a Senior Illinois Community Ambassador, loves participating as an Online Course Mentor in Discussion Fora. He has been a longtime Online Course Mentor in the first offering in the UIUC Gies Online Digital Marketing Specialization, “Marketing in a Digital World,” taught by UIUC Gies John M. Jones Professor of Advertising Aric Rindfleisch. A link to a past Ambassador blog on this pioneering course, among the most popular Massive Online Open Courses of all time, is given–http://digitalmarketingprofs.com/blog/a-conversation-with-professor-aric-rindfleisch-upon-reaching-the-milestone-of-200-000-learners-in-his-course/

Feldmann, a lifelong learner and a self-improvement enthusiast, recently completed the new Coursera-sponsored online mentoring training program available to UIUC Gies Online Course Mentors. He has often expressed how he loves how UIUC Gies Online encourages its Course Mentors and Community Ambassadors to show empathy and treat everyone in a way that shows we all care about each other’s emotional and intellectual well-being. It is the care to cultivate the best in the whole person or learner we find so appealing about online mentoring available from UIUC GIes Online.


The online mentoring program is intended to give Course Mentors examples of how to appropriately help and encourage each and every learner. We as Online Course Mentors contribute positive, constructive comments in a forward-thinking spirit consistent with respect for diversity, equity and inclusion and international harmony so every learner can realize their professional and personal goals. We believe in making it possible for every learner to become a Digital Marketing Scholar and possibly a Course Mentor someday by caring for the whole person.