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A Technology-Enhanced Lesson on Conflict

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This lesson was done with undergraduates, ages 18-20.  As you can see by the lesson, the driving pedagogical tenets are:

  • Experiential and authentic learning.
  • The use of technology to increase student engagement and motivation.
  • A focus on student-centric learning with the teacher only providing directions as to how to complete the experiential activities.
  • Students interacting with each other and the content much more than the teacher.

The Goals:

  • Define conflict.
  • Describe differences between destructive and constructive approaches to managing conflict.
  • Identify and describe win-lose and win-win negotiation strategies.
  • Identify and use conflict management skills to help manage emotions, information, goals, and problems when attempting to resolve interpersonal differences.

Define Conflict

Students are given the following directions:

Write the word conflict in the center of a blank piece of paper and draw a circle around it. Quickly jot down all the words and phrases you associate with the word conflict by arranging them around your circle.

Review your list of associations and categorize them as positive, negative, or neutral. Count the total number of positive, negative, and neutral associations, and calculate the percentages that are positive, negative, and neutral. Did you have more than 90% positive? Did you have more than 90% negative?

What do your associations with the word conflict indicate about your views about conflict and your approach to conflict?

Following a discussion of the positive and negative aspects, students are asked to complete the following tasks:

  • Reduce your list to four words.
  • Find a partner, reduce that list to four words.
  • Join another partner team – reduce the list to four words.
  • Go to Visual Thesaurus –  get definitions for each of the four words
  • Create a web on the white board that includes your group’s four words and key words associated with those main words.

Escalating and Deescalating Conflict Situations

Students are presented with the following scenarios and compose two responses for each, one that would escalate the conflict, and two, another that would deescalate the conflict.

They are invited to use their own laptops to compose their responses.  They find partners, who reads and finds the comments composed by their partner to share with the rest of the class.

Conflict Resolution Techniques

Through a brief Powerpoint presentation, students are introduced to the following conflict resolution techniques:

  • Abandoning
  • Getting Help
  • Humor
  • Postponing
  • Compromise
  • Integrating
  • Collaborate/Problem-Solve

To practice using these strategies, students write a Dear Abby letter that describes a conflict they are currently or have experienced in their lives.  These are composed on Primary Pad.   Their individual links are emailed to the teacher.  These links are shared with the entire class one at a time so the other students can make recommendations for resolving the conflict based on the strategies above.

Win As Much As You Can Negotiation Strategies

A separate blog post describes this activity – Win As Much As You Can Mobile Edition

Personal Goal Development – Motivational Posters

Finally, students make goals for improving their conflict resolution skills by creating a motivational poster using the Big Hub Motivational Posters.  These are uploaded to a Google Presentation to create a class aggregate of motivation posters.’

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

December 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm

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