One successful practice used in UIS online classes is to designate an online peer mentor to join an online class. The peer mentor fulfills a liaison relationship between the faculty member and the student. The mentor models excellent student postings in the discussion board. S/he follows up with students who have not posted regularly and answers questions that the student is not comfortable directly asking the instructor.
A successful Higher Education Cooperation Grant on online peer mentoring was led by UIS with seven Illinois community colleges. The final report and evaluation sums up the research: