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Mis à jour le 27/02/2020

Working with a student

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What's it like to work with students?

The major themes can be summed up in this repeating cycle:

  1. Check in and see how it's going

  2. Make progress on projects

  3. Identify new goals

  4. Take notes on the session

  5. Give the student a week to work


The student meets their mentor once per week over Hangouts. The date of the session is scheduled at the end of the previous session. You use the time of the Hangout (45 min - 1 hour) to check in with the student.

This means steps 1-3 above happen during the Hangout itself:

  1. Check in and see how it's going

  2. Make progress on projects

  3. Identify new goals/objectives

More specifically, what goes on during each of these phases?  Let's give you the details step by step!  👣

Checking in

Duration: around 10 minutes

When you start your Hangout, do not get into technical details right away. Just generally see how the student is doing. It's important to get to know each other!

It's not unsual for mentors to start their sessions with a question like "When are you going to move into your new house?" or "How's your baby doing?"

While you don't want to spend half of your session on small talk, either, exchanges like these create a link of trust between the student and the mentor, and above all allow the mentor to understand the student's environment better.

Faites un petit checkup au début, demandez comment ça va !
Do a little check-in and see how it's going!

Progress on projects

Duration: around 30 minutes

Let's get into the heart of the matter: projects! For every project, we give you a mentor instruction document that will help you accompany students regardless of the project subject itself. You'll find these instructions on the Trello Board called "Mentor Organization EN." Carefully read over what's expected for each project, as well as the instructional guide before meeting with the student.

When you see your student during your videoconference session, you'll be asking yourself the following question: How has the student progressed in the projects or in preparation for their projects? Let's say you gave them the following assignments:

  • Read part 1 and 2 of the HTML5 course, and do the quizzes and related activities

  • Do a particular exercise which consists of correctly indenting code

There are 3 possible cases:

  • The student did everything (and aced it! 😎): this is great. This means either that you were totally correct about the student's level and potential, or that the work was too easy. Ask them what they think. If necessary, give them more work or more difficult exercises for the next time. But above all, congratulate them! 👏

  • The student tried but had difficulties. For example, they finished part 1 of the HTML5 course but got stuck on the part 2 activity, and they didn't understand the extra assignment you gave them! This is okay! It happens a lot. Take the time to thoroughly analyze what they did not understand and provide different examples. Have them explain it back to you if necessary. Avoid giving away the answers: instead, explain the problems you see and help the student find the solution themselves.

  • The student didn't do as asked. They stopped before they had any real difficulties. This is rare, but you could be faced with this situation. If so, it's the time to be firm and strict. 😡  Let them know that this is not something that should happen. If the student has not had time to get their work done, they need to cancel their session (at least 48 hours in advance). If this occurs multiple times, you should notify OpenClassrooms.

Once you've gone over the work status, you will often ask the student to share their screen. Here's the button to make that happen:

Bouton partage d'écran sur Hangouts
Screensharing button on Hangouts

You can now help the student by seeing what's going on:

Accompagnement via le partage d'écran

Set new goals

Duration: approximately 10 minutes

This is a crucial step. You will give the student work so that they can make progress on their projects. This is when you adapt:

  • ...to the student's free time (does they have a job or are they unusually unavailable this week?

  • ...to the student's level (do they learn quickly?)

At first, this stuff will be hard to gauge, but it'll get easier. 😉

Don't forget that students are following a specific path, so you can use that as a guide.

Know that you can also add small exercises: you can either create them yourself or find them in the mentor collection of exercises. Projects are "big" exercises. Sometimes your student is not ready to do the major projects and instead needs small scale exercises before digging in.

Example exercises
Sample exercises

Now, set a date for next week. Make sure you choose a day 📅  and a time 🕔  for the Hangout!

Session notes

After each Live session, you must:

  • Confirm the student's attendance

  • Describe how the session went and if needed, evaluate the student's skills 

Confirm the student's attendance

In your dashboard, go to the session and write the report that will be automatically shared with the student.

Completing the session
Completing the session

Validate by clicking "end session" and it's done!

Here's what the session will look like:

Completed Session
Completed Session

In case of a No-Show

No-Shows are sessions canceled in less than 24 hours in advance by the student or sessions for which the student is more than 15 minutes late.  In this case, the session is considered lost and you are paid up to 50% of the price of the session.

Here's how to notify a no-show:

Enter the relevant session:

Cancel the session to flag as No-Show

Then cancel it by choosing the right reason (you can mark a comment that will be shared with the student on the reasons and the context of the cancellation):

Flag the session as a No-Show

Here's what the session will then look like next:

No-Show Session
No-Show Session

In case of a planned absence - more than 24 hours in advance

It is quite possible that the student is unavailable for the session that you have planned.

If this does not happen often, then it is not a problem.  You will want to cancel the planned session - indicating it was with more than 24hrs notice.

This action will automatically send an email to alert the student of the cancellation.

You will be then be able to reschedule the session for a new time (another automatic email will be sent to the student ... nice and easy 😏).

Student's work week

Duration: one week

So far, we've talked about the Hangout session which lasts 45 min to 1 hour on average. However, the student's work does not stop there! Now that you've given them courses to take, exercises to do, etc, it's their turn to work on them and get them done! 😈

During the week, the student probably won't be in touch much because they're busy making progress on these elements. Generally, students do everything they can to finish before seeing you again during the next session.

Some, from time to time, may contact you during the week if they are really stuck or have an unexpected situation. We expect mentors to try to help as best they can. Do not spend an hour responding to an email: just give a few instructions, but don't take as much time as you would for an actual Hangout!

There's no obligation to respond quickly either. Take the time you need, and if the student gets impatient, remind them that they're asking questions outside of the Hangout. If they need help ASAP, you can suggest they get in touch with other students on Workplace or save their questions for the next Hangout if really you are unable to reply.

If you can no longer mentor your student

It may very well happen that you can no longer mentor a student at a given time, because you no longer have the skills or for reasons of availability.

This is not a problem, just transfer the student, warning them well in advance.

One or two weeks before the transfer, you create a card in the Trello table "Transferring Mentors Between Mentors".

If you are taking over a new student, feel free to reach out to the mentor ahead of time to get the details you need to start working with their student.

Student transfer
Student transfer

Once you have found a new mentor for your student will you choose the mentors card and then you can make the change.

Then, go into the student's dashboard in OpenClassrooms and attribute the new mentor who will take over the student.  At this point you will no longer be that students mentor.

Attributing a new mentor
Attributing a new mentor

Exemple de certificat de réussite
Exemple de certificat de réussite