April 30 - Forum on Online Mediation Training - SEE VIDEO
Hosts: Susan Guthrie, Donna Silverberg and Jim Melamed

(note: all Forums are 9-11 am Pacific - Zoom Login information is sent 3 days in advance)

The second Forum of the Online Mediation Training Task Force takes place this Friday, April 30 and centers directly on new and emerging issues of online mediation and the training of mediators online.

Chat from April 30, 2021 Forum on Online Mediation Training

Jim Melamed's Introductory Slides as PDF

Family & Elder Online Mediation Training - Susan Guthrie

Workplace DR Training Standards - Clare Fowler Materials

Public Policy and Large Group Mediation - Donna Silverberg Materials

Effective Online Mediation Training for Public Policy and Large Group Mediators (Draft - PDF Text)

Forum Evaluation & Comment Forum

The effects of COVID-19 has meant that not only is nearly all mediation now taking place online, nearly all mediation training is now taking place online.  This is true whether the ultimate intended mediation is “face-to-face” or “online” mediation, and is true globally.  As a result, “every mediation case is now also an online mediation case" (whether the participants get physically together for some discussions or not).

This Forum will first consider how COVID-19 has changed the world of mediation, mediators and participants, including specific consideration of the family, elder, workplace and public policy mediation sectors.  We will explore evolving and effective online mediation and facilitative approaches for practitioners, programs, and trainers.  Challenging new issues such as privacy, security, new ethical challenges, training techniques, technical enhancements and imbalances, and the "digital divide” will also be addressed.

This Forum will consider:

  • What does this mean for the mediation field when historic mediation training and ethical standards were developed in and for a "non-internet" world?  
  • What does it mean for the field of mediation if “every mediation case is now an online mediation case?”  
  • What do all mediators need to know about mediating online?
  • How should our mediation programs and trainings be adapted to the new online mediation reality?
  • Might working and training online enhance access for participants, observations, co-mediation, mentorships and apprencticeships?

There are many fascinating issues regarding the extent to which new and experienced mediators can achieve their required and desired training online.  How much of one’s training can a mediator reasonably accomplish online?  All?  What does that mean for those training mediators online? Does that training need to be “live” or can it be recorded?  And, if a mediator plans to only mediate online, is it fair to require this “online mediator” to get their mediation training “face-to-face”? Is in-person training that teaches online mediation skills effective?

Thinking “big picture,” our opportunities and abilities to reach the masses with capable mediation have never been greater.  Mediation is ultimately about communication, not about whether we are physically together at a certain time and place. This Online Mediation Training Forum, and our other forum sessions, will help us discern how mediation, mediators, mediation programs and mediation trainers can respond to these unprecedented opportunities for the expansion, improvement and elevated relevancy of mediation in our rapidly changing world. 

We hope that you will join us to discuss these and additional issues at our second Online Mediation Training Open Forum on April 30!

Additional topics raised by registrants for consideration:

  • What are new and effective techniques and best practices for online mediation?
  • How does online mediation impact the ability to offer co-mediation services?
  • How can we best train new online mediation technical capacities?
  • What are the most effective ways to train mediators online generally?
  • What new issues exist in the online mediation training environment?
  • How do we best accomplish role play exercises online?
  • What should be the sufficiency of recorded trainings in meeting qualification requirements?
  • How do we best train practice building and career development online?
  • How does a practitioner best transition to practicing full or part time online? 
  • What are helpful "Zoom techniques" for online mediation?
  • How do we best accomplish interactivity in online mediation training?
  • When the pandemic someday passes, how much of court and mediation program services should remain virtual?  Who will make these decisions?  Programs, mediators, participants?
  • The use of the phone in zoom meetings versus video (pros and cons)?
  • Where can one find sample Agreements to Mediate for online mediation?
  • What is the best way to get the Agreement to Mediate signed in online mediation?
  • What is the best way to get a mediated settlement agreement signed in online mediation?
  • How and how much should a mediator charge for services rendered in online mediation?  When and how best get payment?  
  • What are useful approaches and apps to use in online mediation training?
  • What are the biggest challenges and unexpected advantages for seasoned mediators switching from in-person to online mediation?
  • What are states' mediator training requirements?  Do these allow for online mediation training? 
  • How are mediation trainers and courses approved among different states and countries?
  • Waht are valuable tips for online mediators to share with participants?
  • How best overcome the disadvantages of gathering virtually rather than in person? And what challenges remain?