Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a cooperative process that allows the involved parties an alternative means of resolving their differences and conflicts outside the court room. The process can be formal or informal depending on the groups involved. ADR is usually a cheaper process compared to litigation and involving the courts. This is the most practical business and personal solution as there are significant costs associated with different ways of resolving disputes, which often outweigh the conflict itself.
The ADR clause will be used by the learning team to resolve any disagreements among the learning team members. At University of Phoenix (UOP), teamwork is highly valued as research has been done to prove essential benefits that arise from it for working adult learners. As an element of their teaching/learning model, learning teams are always formed for collaboration on various shared assignments (University of Phoenix, 2004 See more). A learning team charter is expected to be filled out the first time the members meet to establish and emphasize the goals and objectives of the team. Before the ADR clause is implemented, all members shall agree to resolve all conflicts and disputes in good faith. The disputes must be in regards to members??™ disregard for rules or policies in the learning team charter or clause. The clause states: ???Each student is to abide by the student code of conduct implemented by the University of Phoenix. Each student is expected to complete his or her own assignment is a timely manner and to participate in the success of the team achieving their objectives. Each member is also expected to be ethical, respectful, and fair??™. Although there are various ways of ADR clause, I believe that mediation and peer review will be the most suitable clause to resolve any disagreements between group members.
Mediation is whereby team members will meet with a neutral third party who will listen to each member explain his or her position. The mediator is a judge, an arbitrator or someone who imposes a resolution or settlement upon the parties. The mediator will preferably be UOP alumni as he or she will have experience in working in a team. This mediator will help to seek common objectives by opening up the lines of communication and developing mutually acceptable proposals for settlement. It will not be a formal mediation but a decision has to be made within three days. If after three days and the disputing parties are unable to resolve their dispute, a second mediation will begin. This second mediation will be governed by the instructor.
Peer Review is an ADR process where the team dispute will be presented to a panel of classmates and instructor for a binding or non binding decision. The panel members are skilled in handling these issues as they have worked in learning teams. This process will be used only after mediation has failed. The panel will act as evaluators of the dispute with the goal of reaching an agreeable solution. They will provide a written recommendation after they hear both sides of the story. Their decision will be decided by majority vote. The panel will have two days to come up with a recommendation. An oral decision will then be announced on the spot and is final and binding. There will be no contest.
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