Blended learning: A new approach to peer mentor training

Ms Katie Yamaguchi1, Ms Rita Kusevskis-Hayes2

1UNSW Sydney, Kensington, Australia, 2UNSW Sydney, Kensington, Australia

The Peer Mentor blended learning training package was an initiative developed by the Peer Mentoring @ UNSW coordinating team to provide an accessible and flexible training for mentors, whilst simultaneously making the training more sustainable by reducing staff time and facilitation costs.

Mentor training had previously been delivered via a six-hour interactive face-to-face workshop. When the new blended learning training package was developed, both training materials and methods were re-designed, considering which aspects of the content would best suit either the online or face-to-face format, to maximise each student’s learning experience. It was important to ensure that the training remained engaging whilst allowing students to reflect on their learning and transition experiences as a first-year student.  The new blended learning training package consists of a two-hour online component which aligns with a three hour face-to-face workshop.

There are many complexities and considerations when moving from a face-to-face training to a blended learning format. However, if the new format is developed successfully, there are also many benefits to be gained by both mentors and facilitators. This presentation will look at the redesign of the previous face-to-face training content and the integration of the two main components. It will explore the methods and tools used to design the online component, the use of the online platform for administrative purposes, the implementation process and evaluations. Lastly, it will reflect on challenges faced and future developments.


Katie Yamaguchi is a Project Officer with ‘Student Life’, at UNSW Sydney. Katie brings over 10 years of experience in education, training and event management, to create purposeful programs and training packages for ‘Peer Mentoring @ UNSW’. Previously, Katie’s position at UNSW ’s Student Development International, also required her to use her skills and knowledge to design workshops and events to meet the needs of incoming international students.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

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