Mentoring Basics Class Concept

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Discussion page optional second OI class

This page lists ideas for a possible optional class for SL Apprentice Mentors and new SL Mentors. It should provide basic knowledge in mentoring, etiquette, teaching, practical problems, etc.
Please add your ideas here and don't worry about the formatting =)


After discussing many Mentor related things, we came to the conclusion we first need to know what makes a good mentor. This page can be used to share ideas about that.

Orange Planer adds...

What should a mentor be able to do?

How to ask for help

How to file an AR

Where to find resources

How to approach people who are misbehaving

How to do things in SL

How far to take a question

How to help people at Orientation Island

How to help people at Help Island (Public)

How to help people who are suicidal

What to do with the guy or girl who wants to have sex

How to handle yourself


  • Have to learn how to put themselves into the shoes of the one asking questions.
  • Often visit OI-classes on SLVEC and just observe everything.
  • Etiquette (like: starting mentoring when other mentors are around already, inquiring about the situation, stuff like that)
  • Teaching (like: put yourself in the shoes of the one asking for help)
    • What's my role as a mentor?
    • Dealing with clothing in the inventory
    • What's the pie menu?
    • What one can do at an HI/OI
    • How to find HI/OIs that are undermanned
    • What are the Infohubs?
    • What's a home location and how do I get one?
    • How does one chat
      • Text
      • Voice - troubleshooting tips
  • Procedures (by Lisa Lowe):
    • Doing AR's properly.
    • Situations when to AR and when not to AR.
    • Dealing with griefing situations.
    • Handling other rude mentors (for instance: I have seen two mentors fighting in public on HIP once).
    • Dealing with the VTeam.
    • How to get answers quickly if you don't know them (Q&A-, MM-channels, other mentors, notes)
    • Being prepared and in the right state of mind when going mentoring.
    • How to deal with angry residents (some are really pissed off with something going wrong, not mad at the mentor).
    • If you get overloaded with questions, how to redirect them to other mentors.
    • What to do when you find someone recruiting at OI's (either obviously or non-obviously)


Basic FAQ:

  • How to activate the advanced menu?
  • Blue/Red triangles popping up (CTRL ALT SHIFT U / advanced -> show updates)
  • How to (de)activate beacons + what are beacons?
  • How to teleport someone to an OI? Especially: What are admin options and how can I benefit from them?
  • What are new Residents (not) able to do on an OI? (use map / TP via search)

Addition Lisa Lowe

To my humble opinion, the class should focus on how to mentor. There are many technical manuals already on how to do things in SL (actually 'The Manual of SL'). More things like how to attract attention (or how to get them to talk to you) on OI'/HI's, how to explain things or how to address residents with questions. Or like do new residents (esp. on the OI/HI's) really need tons of freebie's? We could do a FAQ with references to various sources about the technical stuff.

What is required for being a mentor?

A mentor is a volunteer, so you can't demand the world of them. However, being a good mentor requires some knowledge and some teaching skills.

  • Knowledge: A mentor should know more about SL then the average SL user or at least be able to find answers to more difficult matters themselves. They have to be 'above the matter' they intend to teach (SL is technically quite complicated and involves many different elements. Most likely there is nobody who knows it all). For example knowing bad TP's are a problem related to the network, it may actually have several causes ranging from bad router settings not letting UDP packets through, bad ADSL/Cable connections to third party applications running next to the SL Client. Just telling someone to 'clear the cache and relog' will most likely not solve the problem.
  • Teaching: Knowing how to do things is not a guarantee they are able to pass this information to others in a way it is understood. For this they have to be able to 'visualize' the situation first and provide the ones with the question with a step by step solution. The solution should also have hints or additions in a direction, so they can solve similar problems quite easily themselves next time ('do not give them a fish, teach them how to fish'). But for being able to really understand the actual problem, the mentor may have to ask several questions first. Many residents ask questions based on the symptoms they notice, not about the actual problem (For example in IT when someone calls a helpdesk complaining about their email client not functioning properly, while actually the whole mailserver is down. Or if a resident on a OI asks how to change their outfit, they want to know about how to use Edit Appearance, not about using skins or flex hair. Right?).

Most new mentors like to help others already. So that is a good start. But they should also be curious about all the different aspects of SL. Many not realize the huge range of different questions and situations they may end up in mentoring for a while. From appearance, financial, technical, social, (RL) businesses, bugs, scams to suicide situations. And all in between. A good mentor has a healty interest in all these aspects. Next to that the rl business Linden Lab provides volunteers with lots of tools, resources and manpower to improve the overall retention rate. So we have an obligation towards them also.

About the class itself: A second OI-class should be part of the program in becoming a volunteer SL Mentor. In that case every Apprentice should at least attend it once. If it part of the Mentors Teaching Mentors program, most likely only the interested ones will show up and not the ones that actually really need it.

Lisa Lowe 17:04, 4 July 2008 (PDT)

OK, so if we follow that thought, then we should be thinking along the lines of how to troubleshoot problems and how to communicate walking someone through that problem.

Does this sound like a decision tree?

Orange Planer 6:27, 5 July 2008 (PDT)

== Class outline proposal == (7/16/2008: Due to an overload of rl work I did not make any progress with this yet) (still trying to figure out a workable wiki layout; Lisa 7/8/08)

Introduction: Who are we?

  • names, mentor program/mentors teaching mentors

Goal: Why this class?

  • about mentoring, meant for new mentors. how to mentor
  • not the technical stuff

Where and what?

  • What kind of questions to expect?
    • technical, social, economical, ..... (examples?)
  • Where to mentor?
    • Anywhere, with tag also OI/HI's,

How to address residents

  • not using the words noob or newbie in their presence. use new resident instead.
    • attracting attention (esp on OI/HI's)






Reading material

Zai created an awesome page about mentoring at the OI's. (Lisa Lowe 7/16/2008)


This page is set up by various residents and not under supervision of Linden Lab. Linden Lab employees can not be held responsible for the contents of this page!

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