ODR: Conflict Resolution by Instructional Design

ODR: Conflict Resolution by Instructional Design

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4555-3.ch005
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Most people in a dispute would rather use online dispute resolution (ODR) than go to court because it is less costly, more convenient, operates outside the formal court structure, and does not require legal representation. Unfortunately, these same reasons that attract most people to online dispute resolution also attract a more powerful clientele with the money to hire lawyers that have greater resources at their disposal than their less fortunate counterparts. This chapter describes a persistent problem in online dispute resolution, namely that substandard ODR presentations made by inarticulate and lesser dispute-wise disputants can make for uneven bargaining conditions, a perfect setting for human conflict. Brain-scanning technologies offer us a new perspective on gaining and maintaining attention during conflict and a model of instructional design from which inexperienced disputants can learn to prepare successful dispute-wise presentations.
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Conflict is a growing phenomenon. Gamers and cyberbullies thrive on it. Governments struggle with it, as do consumers with transaction problems. Some worry about protecting their identities because of it. Others suffer from conflict on social media. Businesses face threats to their brand, and everyone experiences imperfectly-functioning websites (Rabinovich-Einy & Katsh 2014). Similarly, the busy field of Online Dispute Resolution is an excellent setting wherein human conflict needs to be managed by our executive attention network.

Brain-scanning research tells us that we have an executive attention network for managing conflict. It’s one of three interdependent neural networks; one for alerting attention, another for orienting attention, and the executive attention network (Posner & Petersen. 2012). Executive attention is the dominant control network in older children and adults. Executive control is needed in situations that require monitoring and resolving conflict in planning, decision making, error detection, novel responses, and overcoming habitual actions. It serves as the mechanism whereby stored goals and intentions influence our behaviour through control of shifting and focusing attention. The executive attention network is also critical for multitasking in that it allows stored information related to one’s current goals to influence brain networks involved in the processing of more immediate information. It also plays a role in controlling distractions during task performance, as well as in switching between tasks to be completed (Rothbart & Posner, 2014). Figure 1 shows the approximate location of the anterior cingulate cortex, a major node of the executive attention network for resolving conflict (Posner and Rothbart, 2004).

Figure 1.

Location of the anterior cingulate cortex, a major node of the executive attention network for resolving conflict (Location data in Posner and Rothbart on Hebb’s Networks, 2004, p.8).

Image from Chan, Cheung, Sze, Leung and Shi (2011, p.2).

During conflict, the brain is regulated by dopamine. Similarly, our executive attention network, comprising the anterior cingulate cortex and lateral prefrontal cortical regions of the brain, is modulated by dopamine (Benes, Taylor & Cunningham, 2000; Fan, Flombaum, McCandliss, Thomas, & Posner, 2003). Dopamine is the chemical released by nerve cells (i.e., neurons) and function as neurotransmitters, sending signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which is the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior.


Instructional Design

Instructional design the process of developing instruction for learning (Roblyer, 2015). SSF instructional design relies on cueing to focus attention for learning (Mann, 2008). Table 1 shows sound cues to make an instructional presentation for an online dispute.

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