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CA 504 Special Topics in Communication and Leaders
Beach, Ronnie M.

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


CA 504 Special Topics in Communication and Leaders


F1P 2006 MC


Beach, Ronnie


Adjunct Faculty


M.S.    Psychology    Pittsburg State University
Ed.S.   School Psychology  Pittsburg State University
Certificate in Dispute Resolution  Baker University

Office Hours

By Appointment and After Class

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

August 21 - October 15, 2006

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM



Credit Hours



McCorkle, S., & Reese, M. J. (2005).  Mediation Theory and Practice.  Allyn and Bacon.



Additional Resources:

“Conflict: The Power of Honor, Dignity, and Face,” by D.W. Augsberger from In Conflict Across Cultures: Pathways and Patterns (1992), pgs 85-111


 The articles listed below will be provided:

Listening & the Rhetorical Process” by Carol Roach & Nancy Wyatt from Successful Listening

(1988), pgs 169-173

“Responding to Messages” by Judi Brownell from Nonverbal Elements of Interaction (1986),

  pgs 177-183

“Listening Is More Than Merely Hearing” by Robert Bolton from Listening (1979), pgs 175-191

“Dialogic Listening: Sculpting Mutual Meanings” by John Stewart & Milt Thomas from Listening

              (1983), pgs 184-201

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Course Description:

Mediation is the intervention of a third party to assist those in a conflict in determining their own resolution. Basic mediation introduces the theory of mediation, a balanced model of mediation, and introductory mediator skills. (In other workshops or classes, students will learn other, more specialized models of mediation and advanced mediator skills). Because the course requires extensive practice of mediator skills, absences will adversely affect a student's final grade.


Goals and Objectives


Goals: At the end of the Basic Mediation course, students will


1.         Be able to mediate a simple conflict using the balanced mediation model

2.         Understand the theoretical underpinnings of mediation

3.         Understand basic pre-mediation activities

4.         Understand and be able to implement proper mediator role(s)

5.         Understand mediator ethics 

6.          Differentiate among and be able to identify procedural, psychological, and substantive issues

7.          Be able to listen for emotions, reframe, probe, and content paraphrase

8.          Be able to set an agenda for negotiation

9.          Understand basic negotiation theory

10.        Be able to use more than one technique to assist disputants with negotiation

11.        Be able to probe and reality test agreements

12.        Be able to phrase a mediation agreement using testable, measurable language

13.        Understand when a mediation should be referred to someone with more specialized skills.



Educational Philosophy:


Means of Assessment

Develop practical skills as third party dispute managers.

Journal, Role play, Discussion, Mediation Notebook

Develop a deeper understanding of the nature of conflict.

Journal, Exams, Discussion

Identify individual perceptions and attitudes toward conflict.

Journal, Exams, Discussion

Understand cultural influences on the nature of conflict.

Journal, Exams, Quiz, Discussion

Identify the process and stages of mediation.

Journal, Role play, Discussion

Explain the difference among interests, issues, and positions. 

 Journal, Role play, Discussion, Mediation Notebook

Higher Level Thinking


Means of Assessment

Identify a problem using the steps involved in problem-solving processes and develop viable solutions.

Journal, Exams, Role play, Discussion

Make and evaluate decisions based on appropriate criteria and projected consequences.

Journal, Exams, Role play, Discussion

Analyze one's own thinking processes, including how one's experiences, feelings, ideas, and intuition affect thinking.

Journal, Exams, Discussion



Means of Assessment

Employ active listening techniques, including summarizing, paraphrasing, questioning, and nonverbal response.

Role play, Discussion

Read a document and demonstrate an understanding of its written and quantitative content.

Journal, Quizzes, Exams, Discussion

Write a clear, well-organized paper, using documentation and quantitative tools, when appropriate.

Quizzes, Exams

Personal and Social


Means of Assessment

Demonstrate self-motivation, intellectual curiosity and openness to differing perspectives.

Journal, Role play, Discussion, Mediation Notebook

Demonstrate sensitivity to socio-cultural diversity

Journal, Role play, Discussion, Mediation Notebook

Address issues of social justice.

Journal, Role play, Discussion, Mediation Notebook




Means of Assessment

Have knowledge of the principal theories that describe and explain individual and group behavior.

Journal, Quizzes, Exams, Role Play, Discussion, Mediation Notebook


Class Assessment:



Begin designing a role-play of a conflict you would like to mediate. You will need to think about the two participants in the conflict, develop the theme and substance of the issues, create typical behaviors and attitudes the parties would have in this conflict. It often works best to work with your classmates (in groups of three) to videotape the role play in one session.  However, you may do the role play on your own with people you know outside of class.  The first several class sessions should be used to design the mediation role-play.  Make final preparations for the role-play in weeks four and five. Record your video during weeks six or seven.  Be prepared to reflect on the strengths and shortcomings in your video in week eight.

Turn in videotape of the mediation role-play during the final class.



Quizzes will examine your understanding of the textbook and lecture materials. Quizzes will occur in the first twenty minutes of the class period in which they are scheduled and cover any past lecture and assigned reading material. Quizzes are short (10-15 questions) assessments of your comprehension. 


                                           The Mediator Notebook

This notebook is a three ring binder that you create to contain the tools, worksheets, and resource materials to be used in mediation. It is not intended to contain all your class notes.  The notebook will be collected two times during the semester. It is the student's responsibility to deliver the notebook on or before the due date.



For the journal, the students are asked to write a series of essays in a first person, journal format.  The objective of these writings is to complete the learning loop by processing one's thoughts and feelings on assigned readings, on class discussion topics and real life experiences.  The students may write about concerns and frustrations which they have experienced with concepts, issues, and ideas, connections they see between class concepts and their own experiences, or similarities between an issue discussed in class and what is going on at work or home.


As students listen to class discussions and read course materials, they should note in the journal their ideas, reactions, questions, and concerns that arise in response.  This writing should also include student responses to facilitators' questions, reflections on personal experiences and responses to presentations or material in the media. 


Students should not write for the facilitator, but for themselves (as in a diary entry or a letter to a friend).  The difference between an academic learning journal and a diary is that the thoughts written should relate to concepts and issues discussed in the class and the readings.


The journal should consist of three to five entries weekly, informally written, containing the following items:


1.         The student's reactions to the readings and class activities/discussions.  Please do not neglect either area.

2.         Any assigned questions, worksheets or topics from the facilitator.

3.         The student's attempt to make intellectual sense out of these experiences through his/her own theories or hypotheses.  Students should integrate the concepts and theories presented in class with their own experiences outside of the classroom.



The primary criterion for grading the journal is the student's comprehensiveness, that is, the depth of thought put into the journal and the level of development of his/her own ideas.  The journals will be collected two times: at Instructional Meetings 3 and 8.




Quizzes                                                                         10%

Journal                                                                          15%

Video presentation of a mediation                                  15%

Mediator Notebook                                                      15%

Participation, attendance and discussion                         20%

Final exam                                                                     25%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
This will be determined on a case by case basis.  It is highly discouraged as late work will be penalized.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

8 Week Schedule






August 21, 2006


Dispute Resolution Process

Sample Mediation Tape #1

Mediation Phases Overviewed

Roles of Mediator and Disputants

Chapter 1-2


August 28

Pre-Mediation Activities

Mediator Opening Statement

Opening Statement Practice

Skills for Mediators

Listening Tools

Listening Skill Development

Sample Mediation Tape #2

Chapter 3, 6



Issue Identification Phase

Types of Issues

Skills for Issue Identification

Issue Identification

Chapter 4, 7

Journal Due


September 11

Panel of Local Mediators

Uncovering Hidden Issues

Conflict Analysis

Power Balancing

Issue Identification Case


Generating the Issue Agenda

Agenda Setting Case

Case Practice

Chapter 5

Chapter 8


Notebook Due


September 18

Co-Mediation Models


Case Practice

Breaking Deadlocks

Reality Testing

Case Practice

Chapter 9


September 25

Writing Settlement Agreements

Closing the Mediation

Case Practice

Chapter 10



October 2

Mediation and Culture

Mediator Ethics

Case Practice

Skills Review

Chapter 11

Page 181


October 9

Final Exam

Video Presentations

Journal Due

Notebook Due




























Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 27

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:8/21/2006 10:54:20 AM