This course is designed as a blended comprehensive study in skills and knowledge needed to become a mediator. This course is designed to inform and teach a skill set intended to qualify the successful graduate as a recognized mediator. The didactic portion of the course is online and there are two six-hour face-to-face required skills demonstration labs. The skills lab is interactive with intensive role play and mediation simulations. This course comports with the Kentucky and national standards for mediation classes. The course is divided into 6 modules. Each module taking approximately 6 hours
Course Objectives: Participants will be exposed to and learn the history of mediation, an overview of ADR legislation, conflict resolution theory, mediation theory and practice, court processes, mediation processes and techniques, self-awareness, and ethics. Mediation skills are life skills and may be utilized every day in all situations involving others as well as an opportunity to transform oneself.
Theoretical Foundations: The student will have the opportunity to practice selected written and oral communication skills to enable the mediator to foster understanding and trust, elicit relevant information, and accurately track and record key areas of agreement. Training methods include lecture, group discussion, mediation simulations and role plays as well as readings, written exercises, video clips, and, if possible, participation in actual mediations. Participants will receive individual feedback from the instructors on their performance in training practice sessions.
Learning Outcomes: The participants will be able to demonstrate competence in effective listening and communication skills, knowledge of conflict sources, the ability to differentiate various mediation processes, distinguish interest from positional based negotiation, demonstrate ethical standards of practice for mediators, and possess the skills to serve as a mediator in court referred cases. Participants will attain a level on competence in advocacy, knowledge, and skills such as establishing rapport, active listening, identifying or affirming feelings, asking appropriate questions to gain clarity, identifying interests, exploring for mutual gain, and reaching agreement.
Instructor’s Expectations for This Course: The participants are expected to keep up with assigned readings, critically evaluate the information assigned, participate in the discussion areas, complete assignments on time, maintain a high energy level with a positive attitude, participate in role play simulations in good faith and make constructive evaluations of classmates’ performance. The participants can expect the instructors to give timely and analytical feedback and guidance, monitor skill development, and demonstrate concern for the development of mediator skills and the understanding of relational aspects of conflict resolution. Opportunities for learning will occur through online education, assigned readings, lecture, and practical, hands-on application of concepts and knowledge through simulations and evaluations. This course is delivered at the same rigor as the graduate mediation courses taught by Tony Belak, JD and John-Robert Curtin, Ph.D. at the University of Louisville.