Fall 2015 - 59955 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2015 - 59955 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

The course approaches the study and practice of mediation for executives from four perspectives; skill development; practice; theory; and the law.  Initial classes explore dispute resolution and dispute prevention, with particular emphasis on negotiation. Later class addresses the mediation process and skills useful for mediators assisting stakeholders in resolving issues. The course addresses relevant mediation regulations and trends. The role of the mediator is examined, including ethical responsibilities, explicit authority and limitations. Participants will consider and experience mediation from four perspectives: as a disputant, as an advocate representing clients; as an observer; and as a mediator.

The course is designed to exceed the requirements for a “Certificate of Completion” of the Texas Mediator Trainer Roundtable standard for a forty-hour ‘Basic Mediation” course, so a person can be certified as a Mediator in Texas based on the mediator training requirements under the Texas ADR Act. To assure certification, participants must be present for a minimum of 40 hours of in-class instruction, participatory activities, and role-plays to gain an understanding of the course materials and competence in mediation practice.

The course seeks to enable executives to learn, integrate, and apply the knowledge and skills of dispute prevention and resolution negotiation, and multi-party mediation. Participants in the class will be able to: (a) assess when to use negotiation or mediation; (b) advise clients about the process and potential of negotiation or mediation; (c) assist clients effectively before, during, and after mediation; and (d) demonstrate the skills necessary to be an effective negotiation or mediator.

Prior to, during and after World War II, the US Army conducted research on the topic of ‘how to teach adults.’ Researchers reported that the most productive approach was to have adults practice an activity without fully understanding it, then learn about it, and then practice it again. That process of ‘do it, learn it, do it, to master it’ motivates the teaching in the course. 

The instructor uses diverse training methods to address different learning styles, including: (a) lectures; (b) group discussions; (c) mediation simulations; (d) role plays and mock negotiations; (e) videos of meditations; (f) other structured participatory activities. Participants will complete 45 hours of in-class training that includes mock negotiation and mediation exercises. Participants will observe different types of simulated, videotaped, or actual mediation or negotiation sessions to evaluate behavior of disputants and mediators. A minimum of 20 training hours will be spent in participatory activities, defined as supervised and structured activities that require interaction among two or more people. Each participant will contribute to role-plays as a mediator, disputant, an advocate or as an observer in role-plays. Each person will either mediate or co-mediate in at each three role-plays.

Initial classes explore dispute resolution with emphasis on negotiation. The class then shifts to the mediation process and the skills needed for mediators to assist parties in resolving issues. The course will discuss relevant mediation regulations, and trends. The role of the mediator is examined, including ethical responsibilities, explicit authority and limitations. Participants will consider and experience mediation from the perspective of parties, advocates representing clients in mediation, the mediator and as an observer. Each student will be assigned to a group of participants and will meet regularly with the group during class hours for participating in exercises. Mediation training is organized in a way to enable that each participant to receive individual attention and feedback for improving her/his skills. One expectation of the class is that each participant can finish the course with a realistic understanding of her/his abilities and limits as a negotiator and as a mediator.

The course design satisfies the requirements for a “Certificate of Completion” of the Texas Mediator Trainer Roundtable standards for a forty-hour ‘Basic Mediation” course, so a person can be certified as a Mediator in Texas, based on the mediator training requirements under Texas ADR Act. This curriculum follows the Mediation Training Standards for the 40-hour basic mediation training as set down by the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable (TMTR), a group in which your instructor is a member and you can join after the course.  These standards for the 40-hour course were established in 1993 and have been adopted by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA), an organization promoting quality mediation throughout Texas. If a person completes the 40-hour training, then it will be possible to award the person with a certificate indicating that the person has achieved the key step to be qualified as a mediator in Texas, per the standards of the under the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable, the only set of mediation training standards in Texas. 

One requirement is that each person completes forty hours of training. Attendance will be taken; if a person who fails to complete either the 40 hours or the other requirements, they cannot be certified as a mediator. This course meets for 4.5 contact hours during each of 10 weeks (45 hours), so a person could miss one class out of 10 and still complete forty hours. The TMTR experiential requirements include:

* Trainees must participate in at least three role-plays as a mediator and two role-plays as a disputant under the supervision of a trainer; the instructor will try to keep track of your role-plays, but you should be active in assuring that you exceed the number of mediation and disputant role-plays.

* Trainees must observe at a minimum one simulated, videotapes, or actual mediation; participants in this class will observe many

* A minimum of 20 class hours of training must be spent in participatory activities, which are defined as supervised and structured activities that require interaction among two or more people; the draft schedule exceeds the nominal expectations.

* Trainees must receive individual feedback from experiences mediators/trainers on their performance in training practice sessions. This can be accomplished by direct trainer feedback, trainer-facilitated coaching, trainee observation, or videotaping.

* Trainees must be present for 40 hours and must participate in all role-plays to gain a comprehensive understanding of course materials.

* Group interaction that fits into the ‘participatory category’ is identified with time measurements, in the event that there are any concerns as to adequate group process interaction.

Ph.D.
M.P.Aff
MGPS
M
6:00PM to 9:00PM
SRH 3.316/350