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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 02-May-24

Fall 2024 | COM-2360-VO01 - Conflict Resolution

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 2 (as of 07-24-24 8:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.
Materials/Lab Fees: $15.00


Amy Beth Kessinger
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Ashraf Alamatouri

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
CCV Communication
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

Students will explore the scope and nature of, and become acquainted with, methods of conflict resolution and nonviolent change at various levels. Focuses on active listening and oral communication skills, principled negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and nonviolent direct action. Students also examine their own personal communication styles with regard to conflict.

Essential Objectives

1. Explore the nature of conflict and conflict management.
2. Describe different conflict management processes and their characteristics, including conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, and nonviolent change.
3. Discuss the connections between conflict, violence, and human nature.
4. Examine the role of ethics in managing conflicts.
5. Interpret and understand personal conflict styles in order to identify roadblocks to communication.
6. Develop strategies for active listening, assertiveness, and cooperation in order to strengthen his/her skills in managing everyday conflict in the workplace and at home.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in speaking through participation in mock conflicts, role playing, presentations, and discussion.
8. Prepare a formal presentation that demonstrates proficiency using the CCV Oral Communication Rubric.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations, along with free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials.

Fall 2024 textbook/book details will be available on 2024-05-20. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

COM-2360-VO01 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

For Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Artificial Intelligence(AI) Policy Statement

CCV recognizes that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools are widely available and becoming embedded in many online writing and creative applications.

Integrated: This course's generative AI policy acknowledges the use of AI is an essential skill in today's world. By using genAI for specific purposes, students become equipped with relevant skills and tools necessary to thrive in a technology-driven society. Emphasizing the mastery of generative AI should empower you to harness its potential, enhancing your problem-solving abilities and preparing you for future challenges and opportunities. Be aware, however, that any time generative AI is used at any point in the assignment without attribution it may be considered a violation of CCV's Academic Integrity Policy.

A Few Words about Generative AI (e.g. ChatGPT)

Writing is integral to thinking. It is also hard. Natural language processing (NLP) applications like ChatGPT or Sudowrite are useful tools for helping us improve our writing and stimulate our thinking. However, they should never serve as a substitute for either. And, in this course, they cannot.

Think of the help you get from NLP apps as a much less sophisticated version of the assistance you can receive (for free!) from a Tutor.com tutor. That person might legitimately ask you a question to jump-start your imagination, steer you away from the passive voice, or identify a poorly organized paragraph, but should never do the writing for you. A major difference here, of course, is that an NLP app is not a person. It’s a machine that is adept at recognizing patterns and reflecting those patterns back at us. It cannot think for itself. And it cannot think for you.

With that analogy in mind, you will need to adhere to the following guidelines in our class.

Appropriate use of AI when writing journals, essays, or discussion board entries:

  • You are free to use spell check, grammar check, and synonym identification tools (e.g., Grammarly, and MS Word).
  • You are free to use app recommendations when it comes to rephrasing sentences or reorganizing paragraphs you have drafted yourself.
  • You are free to use app recommendations when it comes to tweaking outlines you have drafted yourself.

Inappropriate use of AI when writing essays or discussion board entries:

  • You may not use entire sentences or paragraphs suggested by an app without providing quotation marks and a citation, just as you would to any other source. Citations should take this form: OpenAI, chatGPT. Response to prompt: “Explain what is meant by the term ‘Triple Bottom Line’” (February 15, 2023, https://chat.openai.com/).
  • You may not have an app write a draft (either rough or final) of an assignment for you.

Evidence of inappropriate AI use will be grounds for submission of an Academic Integrity report. Sanctions will range from a zero for the assignment to an F for the course.

I’m assuming we won’t have a problem in this regard but want to make sure that the expectations are clear so that we can spend the semester learning things together—and not worrying about the origins of your work.

(This AI statement is used with permission from Chris Beneke.)

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria (please note that this may change before the start of the semester)

  • Class Participation (Forums): 40%
  • Weekly Journals: 30%
  • Conflict Style Presentation (informal!): 5%
  • Difficult Conversations Reflection: 10%
  • Lecturette: 15%

Participation in Weekly Discussion Forums (40%): The forums are the place where we build community and practice applying the concepts and skills you're exploring each week. You will be graded on the quality of your overall engagement, which will include your first posting as well as the required subsequent reply posts you make throughout the week. Participation in the forums is of paramount importance.

Weekly Journals (30%): Each week, you will craft and submit a brief written response to a specific question I pose related to the reading/viewing homework. You might be asked to practice skills, apply concepts, reflect on your learning, etc.

Conflict Styles (Informal) Presentation (5%): You will take a conflict styles inventory that will help you to discover, reflect upon, and make connections about your preferred conflict modes and behaviors. You will take this survey and then report out to us the results of your profile and interpretative report in a brief presentation. (Why a video presentation? Well, one of your final projects requires you to deliver a video presentation, so this is another low-stakes opportunity to practice!)

Difficult Conversations Reflection (10%): In this reflection paper, you will identify a difficult conversation you wish to have with someone and then fully prepare for this conversation using specific strategies from the Difficult Conversations book.

Lecturette (15%): This assignment helps fulfill the VSC oral communication requirement; it is also meant to allow you to explore a topic of interest we've not covered in the course and then share key information about this topic with your peers. You will prepare and present a video presentation that teaches the class about a topic of your choice related to the vast field of conflict resolution.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Introductions & What is Conflict?


Course Rationale: Why study conflict and conflict resolution?

The Nature of Conflict: What is conflict? What causes conflict?


Forum: Introductions & Practice Asking Powerful Questions

Quiz: Path to Success Quiz

Journal: Letter to Amy Beth



Personal Perspectives on Conflict


Personal Perspectives on Conflict: Conflict Belief Metaphors

Values and Beliefs about Conflict: Is conflict acceptable? How should people behave in conflict? Is conflict solvable?

"Thirdsider" Roles People Play in Conflict: Provider, Teacher, Bridge-Builder, Mediator, Arbiter, Equalizer, Healer, Witness, Referee & Peacekeeper


Forum: Conflict Metaphors - A Visual Explorer Activity

Journal: Reflections & Connections on the Reading



Approaches to Assessing, Analyzing, Managing, and Resolving Conflict


Conflict Resolution Processes: Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration, Judicial Decision, Legislative Decision, Nonviolent Direct Action & Violence

Approaches to Engaging in Conflict: Rights-based approaches, Interest-based approaches, Principle-based approaches, Manipulation-based approaches

Conflict Assessment & Analysis Tools: The Wheel of Conflict & The Wilmot-Hocker Conflict Assessment Model


Forum: Small Group Mini-Teach - Conflict Resolution Processes

Journal: The Wheel of Conflict practice analysis



The Role of Identity, Values & Perception in Conflicts


Values and Beliefs about Conflict: Is conflict acceptable? How should people behave in conflict? Is conflict solvable?

The Listening Process and Listening Styles

Skills-Building: Listening Skills and continue practicing asking prompting questions


Forums: Conflict at the Campground Activity & Social Identity Mapping Exercise

Journal: Personal Values Card Sort



Introduction to Conflict Styles


How People Conflict: Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Inventory - you will (hopefully!) discover, reflect upon, and make connections about your preferred conflict modes and behaviors. You will take the TKI inventory and then report out the results of your profile and interpretative report in a brief small-group video presentation.


Assignment: TKI Presentation

Forum: TKI pair-and-share activity

Journal: Wellness Check-in



Conflict Styles (con't)


Continue to expand self-awareness of your own conflict style, recognize the conflict styles of others, assess conflict situations, practice using different conflict modes


Forum: Choose-your-own-conflict style-story activity

Journal: Mediator Skills - Paraphrasing, Summarizing & Reflecting



The Role of Emotions in Conflict


The Role of Emotions in Conflicts: What are emotions, exactly? What's the difference between emotions, feelings, and moods? And what role do emotions play in conflict management?


Forum: EQ Coaching Activity

Journal: Empathy-building Workout

Journal: Listening Styles Self-Assessment & Plan



Culture & Conflict Engagement


Culture & Conflict: What is the relationship between culture and conflict?


Forum: Culture & Conflict Student-Driven Discussions

Journal: Meditator Skills Lab - Identifying Positions & Interests



The Role of Power in Conflicts


What is power? What are some dimensions of power? What are the personal and environmental conditions/dynamics that influence social relationships and shape interpersonal and organizational conflicts?


Forum: Power & Conflict Case Study Analysis

Journal: Bases of Power Exercise



Getting to Yes: Persuading, Influencing & Negotiating


Finish Getting to Yes by the start of the week.

Develop your BATNA: Understanding your best alternative to a negotiated agreement; making the most of your assets; recognizing the other side's BATNA; formulate a tripwire.

Invent Options for Mutual Gain: Separating inventing from deciding; brainstorming; broadening your options; looking for mutual gain.


Forum: Sally Soprano Negotiation Role Play (or some similar role play)

Journal: Explore Your Influencing Style



Negotiation Role-Play Debrief & Low-Stakes Negotiations


Continue applying and mastering the concepts and skills from Getting to Yes


Forum: Sally Soprano Role Play Debrief

Journal: Low-Stakes Negotiation Summary



Justice, Forgiveness & Reconciliation


Can there be healing without justice? What is the relationship between freedom, justice, redress? How do national and interpersonal movements towards reconciliation intersect, if at all? What is the difference between restorative and retributive models of justice?


Forum: Analyze a documentary (TBD)

Journal: Check in with Amy Beth about Lecturette (final presentation)



Independent & Small-Group Study Week to Work on Final Projects


Independent and small-group work on preparing your final projects


Forum: Thought-partner Activity

Journal: Presentation Outline & Difficult Conversation Topic



Conflict Resolution Virtual Symposium & Difficult Conversation Reflection Essay


Submit and post your Lecturette and particulate in our Conflict Resolution Symposium in which you will view and discuss each other's presentations.

Write your Difficult Conversation Reflection Essay (not to be shared with your peers)


Forum: Conflict Resolution Virtual Symposium

Assignment: Conflict Resolution Lecturette (presentation due Thursday or Friday)

Assignment: Difficult Conversation Reflection Essay (due Sunday)



Course Synthesis & Celebration!


Course Synthesis & Celebration


Forum: Course Synthesis & Phantom Feedback Activity

Journal: Note to Amy Beth about Grades


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations


Discussion forums = class participation.

Discussion forums are a vital and required component of this course because this is where you will apply concepts, practice skills, and build community with your peers.

Forums take place in an “asynchronous” manner; in other words, we all make contributions within a certain time frame but not necessarily at the exact same time.

Full participation requires active and thoughtful engagement in class each week. The following habits are important:

  • Complete all of the week's reading and assignments before the start of the forum.
  • Compose a timely, substantive, and thoughtful initial response to the discussion/activity prompt.
  • Contribute a minimum number of high-quality reply postings that significantly contribute to a positive learning environment.
  • Address and interact with your peers by name (e.g. Dear Sally) and sign off with your own name (the one you want us to use, of course).

Students who regularly participate in discussions perform better on the major weight-bearing assignments associated with that unit.

Missing & Late Work Policy


  • Discussion Forums: Students may not go back and participate in forums that have already closed, as this is akin to participating when everyone has left the room. If a student makes an initial post but contributes no replies, they may receive a grade of 1 out of 5 for the week.
  • Weekly Journals & Major Assignments: Extensions will be granted only in extenuating circumstances. If a lengthy medical problem or other emergent personal issue will result in missing weekly discussions and/or assignments, please let me know in writing as soon as possible.
  • I drop the lowest journal grade and I offer extra credit. This feels fair to everyone in the course since it grants all students the opportunity to have an "off" week - whether you're sick, on vacation, or just need to charge your school battery.
  • Anticipated Absences: Students who know that they will not have course access for any given week should make arrangements with me to complete assignments and some of the participation requirements prior to the absence.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.