The Student Rover Mentor Program: Inclusion, satisfaction and perceived impact

  • Dana Chahal Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Keywords: peer learning, mentoring programs, student rovers, inclusion and access, service satisfaction, perceived impact


Peer mentoring has recently emerged as a key approach in Academic Language and Learning. One such peer learning strategy established at Victoria University is the Student Rover program, where Rover mentors are employed to assist other students with basic technical and study queries in the Learning Commons. The Student Rover role has been theorized variously in terms of service provision models, peer learning pedagogies, and work integrated “turn to practice” learning frameworks. However, little research has been conducted on whether the program achieves the operational aims of offering inclusion and accessibility to a diverse student population; providing satisfactory assistance to students; and positively impacting on student success, both at university and towards employment. This paper is an exploration of these questions. Using demographic and study information; service quality performance; and four broad predictors of university and employability success as respective measures of the three operational aims, the study surveyed both Rovers and the students they assisted. Findings indicate that the program succeeds in meeting each of its operational aims according to the measures used. However, this paper argues that these findings are important not merely because they show that the program meets service provision accountability measures, but precisely because it transcends them: the program reiterates theorisations of Rovers as “learningful” peer mentors who possess the potential to be “institutionally disruptive and transformative” (Tout, Pancini, & McCormack, 2014, p. 599) and to counteract the maintenance and reproduction of social inequalities at university.

Author Biography

Dana Chahal, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
Lecturer, Department of Academic Language and Learning
How to Cite
ChahalD. (2015). The Student Rover Mentor Program: Inclusion, satisfaction and perceived impact. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 9(2), A46-A61. Retrieved from
Research Articles