Alternate Dispute Resolution

Any dispute that occurs within a Learning Team that can not be resolved utilizing the steps outlined in the agreed charter can activate the ADR clause. “An ADR offer parties alternate means of resolving their differences” (Jennings, 2006). Mediation, a form of an ADR, is a process in which both parties meet with a neutral mediator who listens to each side explain its position and assists with decision making. This form of ADR requires a mediator to be appointed. For purposes of the Learning Team Charter the class teacher can be considered as a potential mediator for the Learning Team. “Mediation is not binding unless the parties have agreed to be bound by the decision” (Jennings, 2006). Since Learning Team assignments are time-sensitive, if an agreement between the parties in mediation can not be settled within 48 hours after the mediation process has begun, the teacher/mediator has the authority to make a final decision. In order to invoke this ADR clause, the following must apply:
1) All Learning Team members have contributed and agreed to all sections of the charter inclusive of the ADR clause inclusion.
2) The class teacher has agreed, in advance, to be the mediator, if needed.
3) All conflict resolution techniques as outlined in the charter have been exhausted before moving to the mediation process.
4) A team member makes a motion to escalate to mediation and the Learning Team votes in favor or against mediation.   “The way mediation is initiated and prepared is frequently a determining factor in the outcome and effectiveness of the mediation. A request by all parties for mediation represents a commitment to the process that may well be important in securing a subsequent agreement” (Mediation and Negotiation, 2008).
5) Team members will be given 16 hours to vote if more than 48 hours remain until the assignment is due. If ≤48 hours remain, team members will be given until 8 hours before the assignment deadline to vote. Majority vote rules; in case of tie,...