Mentoring is provided by professionals with a higher level of experience and competence as part of the professional development of a university faculty. This paper explores the characteristics of the mentoring provided by those teachers participating in the development of an active methodology program run at the University of the Basque Country: to examine and to analyze mentors’ performance with the aim of providing empirical evidence regarding its value as a lifelong learning strategy for teaching staff. A total of 183 teachers were trained during the first three programs. The analysis method uses a coding technique and is based on flexible, systematic guidelines for gathering and analyzing qualitative data. The results have confirmed the conception of mentoring as a methodological innovation in higher education. In short, university teachers in general assessed the mentoring they received positively, considering it to be a valid, useful strategy in their professional development. They highlighted the methodological expertise of their mentor and underscored how they monitored the learning process of the active method and provided guidance and advice when necessary. Finally, they also drew attention to traits such as availability, personal commitment and flexibility in. However, a minority critique is pointed to some aspects of the performance of some mentors.
This paper outlines the design and development of the MENDEPRO questionnaire, designed to analyze mentoring performance within a professional development process carried out with professors at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. The study took into account the international research carried out over the past two decades into teachers' professional development, and was also based on a thorough review of the most common instruments used to identify and analyze mentoring styles, many of which fail to provide sufficient psychometric guarantees. The present study aimed to gather empirical data in order to verify the metric quality of the questionnaire developed. To this end, the process followed to validate the theoretical construct was as follows: The formulation of the items and indicators in accordance with the study variables; the analysis of the validity and reliability of the initial questionnaire; the review of the second version of the questionnaire and the definitive measurement instrument. Content was validated through the formal agreement and consensus of 12 university professor training experts. A reduced sample of professors who had participated in a lifelong learning program was then selected for a trial evaluation of the instrument developed. After the trial, 18 items were removed from the initial questionnaire. The final version of the instrument, comprising 33 items, was then administered to a sample group of 99 participants. The results revealed a five-dimensional structure matching theoretical expectations. Also, the reliability data for both the instrument as a whole (.98) and its various dimensions (between .91 and .97) were very high. The questionnaire was thus found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and can therefore be considered apt for studying the performance of mentoring in both induction programs for young professors and lifelong learning programs for senior faculty members.