Learning about ODR and Colin Rule!

ODR stands for Online Dispute Resolution.  I am currently attending one of my doctoral courses entitled, “Conflict Resolution Education” taught by Dr. Pam Lane-Garon.  In one of the conversations, Dr. Lane-Garon, mentioned the name Colin Rule as someone I should interview (we have to interview someone or observe some conflict resolution program as one assignment for the class).

Colin is a pioneer in online dispute resolution or ODR and as most people know, I am now the Principal of the Clovis Online Schools serving the students of Central California and have researched K-12 online learning for awhile.   I thought I would take a minute to share what I have learned so far about ODR, which has some great applications in the K-12 online world.

ODR is a branch of dispute resolution that uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties (Wikipedia).  This type of dispute resolution utilizes a variety of online tools including email, skype, online forms, and of course, a phone if necessary.

Colin is one of the pioneers of ODR and after reading and listening to podcast interviews, there are some other questions I am considering asking him:

  • What got you started with ODR?
  • In your work with ePal and eBay, it appears you continue to perfect the art of ODR, what are some of the greatest advantages you’ve discovered as compared to face-to-face disupute resolution?
  • In our course, we have discussed peer mediation programs for students in K-12 face-to-face schools – students are trained to mediate problems between other students, etc….how might we train students in an online school to mirror  something like this?  What might an online school peer mediation program look like where students may never see one another face-to-face?
  • How are the strategies of dispute resolution in ODR different from those in face-to-face settings?

For those of you who would like to read more about ODR, Colin Rules’ blog is here.  He and others blog at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society as part of the Stanford Law School.

Most of Colin’s blog postings are here.

Interviews/Podcasts with Colin are here.

I found the video interviews and podcasts particularly useful in better understanding ODR.

Some online tools for ODR I discovered in reading Colin’s blog and Twitter…

I’m now thinking about how this may be applied in on K-12 online school.  Most of what I’ve read or heard so far applies ODR to adults.


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