Online Mediaton Project Virtual Mediation Lab – Frequently Asked Questions

1 – What is The Goal of this Pilot Project?
To show how mediators around the world can practice and improve their mediation skills by participating – with other mediators – in online mediation simulations via Skype

2 – Who Thought About This Project? Who Sponsors It?
On November 7, 2011 Giuseppe Leone presented this online mediation project to the board of the Association for Conflict Resolution – Hawaii Chapter. ACR Hawaii then decided to sponsor the project and form a working group with Karen Cross, Ann Smoke, Louis Chang, Lisa Nakao, Chuck Hurd, and Giuseppe Leone (project manager).

3 – When Will This Pilot Project End?
After we run 50 simulations around the world. At that point the Association for Conflict Resolution — Hawaii Chapter will hold a workshop/webinar to share the results of Virtual Mediation Lab, and discuss the following topics:

  • What did we learn? Feedback, comments and suggestions from mediators who participated in the pilot project
  • Is Skype reliable and easy to use for online mediation and mediation skills development? What works well? What’s missing?
  • Which critical factors should a mediation training organization or a mediators’ association consider to set up and run successfully a project like Virtual Mediation Lab?

4 – What are the Requirements for Participating in Virtual Mediation Lab?

  • Basic mediation training – no experience is required
  • PC/Mac with latest version of Skype
  • Fast Internet connection
  • Headset
  • Be available Monday through Friday at 7:00am or 12:00pm (Noon) Hawaii Time. To convert Hawaii Time into your time zone click here

5 – What Happens After the Pilot Project Ends?
Given the positive feedback, comments and suggestions received from many mediators/participants, it is very likely that Virtual Mediation Lab will continue after the pilot is over.

6 – What Happens After the Registration?

Coach Giuseppe Leone will call you via Skype:

  • To check that your Skype connection works properly
  • To explain in further details how our online mediation simulations via Skype work
  • To answer any questions you may have

You will then receive a link to an online monthly calendar where you can mark:

  • Your availability during the upcoming weeks
  • Which role(s) you are interested to play for that simulation

 7 – Which Role Can I Play During the Simulation?
For each simulation you can choose which role you are interested to play:

  • Mediator
  • Comediator
  • One of the Parties
  • Party’s representative — Attorney or Union Representative
  • Any role, as needed

8 – How Are Mediators Assigned to a Simulation?
Mediators who have not participated in any simulation have priority over mediators who have.

9 – When are Simulations Scheduled?
When 3 mediators and the coach are available Monday through Friday at 7:00am or 12:00pm (Noon) Hawaii Time. To convert Hawaii Time into your time zone click here

10 – What Information do the Mediator and the Parties Receive Before the Simulation?
A few days before the simulation the mediator and the parties receive by email the script of the case which will be mediated. Such script consists of 2 parts:

  • A summary of the dispute and a brief description of the people involved
  • An additional script, known only to each party

11 – What Kind of Sessions Can Be Simulated?
Joint and private sessions. In addition, we will always assume that both parties have never participated in mediation before.

12 – What Happens Between Sessions?
The mediator may request a caucus with the Coach – to discuss which strategies he or she may pursue during the next sessions.

14 – When Do Simulations Start How Long Do They Take?
Our simulations start at 7:00am and 12:00pm (Noon) Hawaii Time and last 90-120 minutes – a 60-min mediation followed by a 30/60-min debrief – an opportunity:

  • For all participants to discuss what happened during the different stages of mediation
  • For the mediator to hear directly from the parties the impact that his or her decisions had on them

To convert from Hawaii Time to your time zone click here

15 – What Happens When the Simulation is Over?
All participants receive a link to a video recording of the entire simulation. This way, they can replay step-by-step what happened during the joint and private sessions.

In addition, participants fill in an online “Exit Survey” with their comments and suggestions for future simulations. All that information is shared with the other VML mediators who participate in the project.

16 – Any More Questions?
If you have any more questions please contact Coach Giuseppe Leone

PLEASE NOTE – We no longer use Skype for our Virtual Mediation Lab online mediation simulations. To learn why, sign up for our 1-hour Introduction to Online Mediation with PC Mac and Mobile Devices. One of the topics we cover during that training is “How to Choose a Video Conferencing Software for Online Mediation”.