The design for our course follows the Massachusetts Institute of Technology motto mens et manus (mind and hands) approach. We consider hands-on activities and real-world application to be fundamental for acquiring significant learning. The structure of the course follows the MIT xPRO Pedagogical Model:
- Explore: Learn concepts through reading materials and videos. We follow behaviorist and cognitivist approaches to present the information.
- Practice: use the information you learned to reinforce your knowledge and skills by checking your understanding through practice questions.
- Apply: solve cases, problems, innovate in your practice, reflect on how to apply what you learn to real situations, solve scenario-based questions, design action plans, etc. The underpinning educational approaches for the activities we propose under this bucket are constructivist and cognitivist.
- ROLE-PLAYING: One of the primary ways you will learn in this course is by putting yourself in the shoes of a key player in a negotiation and role-playing an actual negotiation from that person's standpoint. Four simulations developed by the Project on Negotiation (PON)—a consortium created by MIT, Harvard University, and Tufts University—are included in this course. Role-play simulations give you the information you need to deliberate and make decisions while interacting with other key players whose interests may differ from yours. Role-play simulations foster both individual and collective learning that can be transferred to “real world” situations. They also provide safe and flexible settings for experimentation. Role-playing is a collaborative learning technique under the constructivist paradigm umbrella.
- Share: Connect with others, share your experiences, and get and provide informal feedback in and outside the platform (i.e., on your contexts). Sharing with others can help to expand your knowledge (through discussion forums, polls, and other activities to exchange communication, information, or resources with others). By including these types of activities, we aim for social learning under the connectivist paradigm.
- Assess: Learn and evaluate your knowledge through ungraded and graded assessments (e.g., check your understanding, multiple-choice questions, reflections). Provide and get feedback from others, and perform self-evaluation (check your understanding questions, pre and post assessment, graded assessments, peer-review). In this case, we also follow a combination of educational paradigms to assess the learning: behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism.
- REFLECTIONS: Throughout this course, we will introduce you to new concepts and negotiating situations. Reflection is one way of helping you to link what you are learning to the problems you will face in practice. Reflection is a process that allows you to analyze your own experience, make changes based on the lessons that you've learned, keep doing what is successful, and integrate new knowledge and techniques into your repertoire. By thinking carefully about what you are doing and why you are doing it, you can turn your experiences into meaningful learning. The more you become a reflective practitioner, the more you can continue to learn from your own experience. You can complete and keep track of self-reflection exercises by using any tool of your choice: e.g., a physical journal, a Word document, a Google document, a note-taking tool. If you wish, you will also have the opportunity to share your reflections when you join your peers in the discussion forums.