What’s Online Learning?

What's online learning?

Online learning is a method of delivering educational material via the internet instead of in a physical classroom.

There are many different applications for online learning.

The simplest form of online learning involves providing a website with downloadable content and assessment booklets that are completed then emailed or even posted back to the institute for assessment.  We don’t do that.

Mediation Institute delivers eLearning that maximises the use of technology. That means you complete the coursework and assessment through a structured program with student interaction and feedback from the assessors on a task by task basks.

Guidance for Role Players mediation institute frequently asked questions

The history of Distance Learning

“Distance learning” refers to the idea of learning at a distance where learning materials are sent to the student. This was first put into practice by the University of London External System in 1858 and would have relied entirely on the postal system.

Back then the distance learning experience may not have been a particularly interactive system and unfortunately there are still a few providers around who haven’t really advanced much in the past hundred and fifty or so years.

The opportunity that the internet provides

Modern technology has the potential to offer the advantages of the traditional classroom to distance learning students and yet many of the so-called online learning courses offered today in Australia make little practical use of the internet. They are little more than distance learning with the post office replaced by downloadable materials and submission of assessment tasks by email.

This is not what we consider leading edge modern education!

Computers and internet give us the opportunity to engage with the learner using a variety of electronic means including recorded video and audio materials, presentation materials, online seminars complete with whiteboards and live person to person interaction over video.

Technology with a human touch

At Mediation Institute we want our students to experience the peer learning benefits of participating in structured workshops without the inconvenience of travel and having to invest days at a time into their studies.

We are achieving this by enhancing the learning experience through our use of online services.

Have we completely replaced the experience of attending a workshop?  Honestly, no.

But for students who participate in all of the interactive learning opportunities available to them we believe we’re at least achieving 80% of the benefits and avoiding all of the downsides of attending workshops.

Mediation Institute eLearning experience

We make use of the industry leading eLearning Management System – Instructure’s Canvas as well as other technology to support the ways in which our trainers can interact with students and students can work with other students through live video meetings.

Recordings allow the very time poor to time shift and watch the webinar discussions after the event although it is much better if you can attend live so that you get your questions answered.

Our routine Wednesday role plays provide the opportunity to Zoom in and participate in a role play with other students every week or less frequently depending on your personal priorities.

“Our focus on engaging our students saw us win the converted eLearning Excellence Award for Vocational Education and Training in 2014 and achieve a student completion rate of 83.3% in 2015.”

Joanne Law, Director of Studies

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The next innovation

Our core values are Accessibility, Collaboration and Innovation.

That means we don’t intend to stand still ether.

We are currently developing the new Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution Program (CHC81115) and are excited by the way we are packaging in the use of supervision to support students even more as they complete their studies with Mediation Institute and support them when they being working with clients.

We have also applied to add the new Graduate Diploma in Relationship Counselling to our course selection. This course complements many of the FDR units and will allow us to offer a Double Grad Dip FDR/Relationship Counselling for those who have the necessary Counselling background.

With a targeted start date later in the year we will be seeking to employ a head of Counselling and counselling trainers to support this and a new Diploma of Counselling course.

In both the new FDR and Counselling courses we will be utilising the supervision model between students and their allocated trainer to improve learning outcomes and develop an understanding of the value of ongoing supervision particularly where a practitioner is working in their own practice or remotely from an employing entity.

Under the careful watch of Colin, Paul and Joanne; Mediation Institute is growing strongly and we will be striving to ensure that our version of online learning is not only as good as traditional classroom learning but far exceeds it in terms of making quality education available to Australians no matter where they live or how they live there life.

Russian or Chinese Hackers interested in Mediation

Overnight our LMS was visited by Russian or Chinese hackers who broke in, and locked up our learning management system. We were made aware of the breaking in early this morning and by lunchtime we were able to reinstate our site on a new server with new IP address.  We have additional new security features that should not be apparant when you use the site.

We did not pay the ransom demanded to unencrypt our site and your study material. We have reinstated our full content from a backup that was done on the 3 February and your materials from a database backup done on the 4th February 2019.

If you have done work on 4th February 2019 or early morning Melbourne time 5 February, can you check whether your latest submissions are online. If they are not please contact Joanne Law and explain what materials are missing – if you have copies of submitted material please upload them.  All is not lost if you do not have copies. We have access to the hacked site and can access some material but we need your guidance so we can look in the right place.  I cannot merge the hacked site back into the new site and maintain security.

Regrettably this is one of the troubles of running a busy on-line learning site.

Paul Kenna

Mediation Institute

Group Supervision Sessions Update

We had our first Group Supervision Session for 2019 on Tuesday 29th January.

Peer Supervision

The session was held online with sixteen members from Queensland, NSW and Victoria in attendance.
The day time session that had been scheduled was cancelled due to lack of interest. We recognise that the timing was terrible so close to the return to school so hope that some of our members will be able to take advantage of the opportunity next month.
The group agreed to the last Tuesday of the month as the regular time for the session.

Mi Group Supervision Sessions

The Mi Online Peer Group Supervision Sessions are a way of supporting shared learning, collaboration and support for Mediation Institute Members.

We had a mix of NMAS Mediators, Family Group Conference Facilitators, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and Mediation Institute students in attendance last night.

The discussion ranged across a number of topics but an area of great interest for participants confirmed the absolute importance of good preparation for clients before mediation.

We’d like to take the discussion of this topic into the groups area of the Mi Members course which all students and members have access to.

Go to https://mi.study247.online/groups/41/ to check the discussion out and contribute.

What happens in Mi Group Supervision?

The group supervision sessions follow a format that helps ensure that participants are able to share and contribute.

  • Introductions and catch ups – we go around the virtual room for everyone to say who they are, where they are and what sort of work they do plus anything else that they want to briefly share.
  • Open Discussion – this is the open forum part of the session where participant can raise case issues, questions and comment on their views. It is unstructured with minimal facilitation other than keeping the focus on professional practice.
  • Insights and reflections –  this part of the session gives the participants the opportunity to speak about any insights and learnings that they want to share. We know from the study of the mind that it is important to talk about or write down insights in order to remember them so this is an opportunity to do that.  

Find our more about Reflective Practice in this article

When is the next session?

The next sessions will be on the last Tuesday of February.

Again we’ll propose two sessions (day and evening) to accommodate the needs of members but will cancel if we don’t have three or more people registered.

Book to attend in February – https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/online-peer-group-supervision-for-dispute-resolution-professionals-registration-42801856505

Practice Development

One of the topics that came up was about practice development and this we deferred to our Practice Development Mastermind Sessions which will be on the 5th February at two time options.

We have 8 people registered for the day session and 4 for the evening session at this stage so the sessions will proceed but we’d like more participants to come along and share.


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Contracting Opportunity – Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Administrative Appeals Tribunal – Early Case Assessment and Resolution

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is seeking proposals from individuals to assist with Early Case Assessment and Resolution (ECAR) at the AAT. Suitably qualified and experienced individuals will be engaged on an as-needed basis and will typically conduct conferences and conciliations to cover periods of leave and workload peaks.

Conditions for Participation:

Good character, Legal qualificationsAccredited mediator, Professional indemnity insurance

The following qualifications are mandatory:

  • A recognised degree in Laws of an Australian tertiary institution or comparable overseas qualifications, which, in the opinion of the Registrar, is appropriate to the duties of the office or Admission as a practitioner, however described, of the High Court or the Supreme Court of an Australian State or Territory.
  • Training, accreditation or qualifications in mediation, arbitration, conflict coaching or other relevant conferences.


$350 – $600 per day (as a contractor i.e. not including tax, superannuation or insurance).



The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is seeking proposals from individuals to assist with the Early Case Assessment and Resolution (ECAR) at the AAT.

The extension of the casual panel for ECAR services will allow the AAT to flexibly engage suitably experienced individuals on an as-needed basis. Panelists have typically been engaged to conduct conferences and conciliations in the General and Other Divisions to temporarily cover periods of Conference Registrar leave or assist with workload peaks. The AAT wants to extend the range of ECAR services to other caseloads in other divisions.


The range of duties will vary but may include:

  1. Triaging, assessing risk and prioritising case management responses.
  2. Working on caseloads with a particular expertise such as NDIS matters and certain types of migration visa cases.
  3. Establishing processes and capability in specialist caseload management and techniques.
  4. Engaging with represented and self-represented parties to define and clarify the issues in dispute.
  5. Conducting file reviews, identifying gaps in information, and setting timetables for the provision of further information.
  6. Preparing parties for participation in AAT proceedings including ADR and hearing processes.
  7. Conducting ADR processes to facilitate consent agreements.

For more information, Click Here to Apply

Locations: Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart. 

Applications close on 18 May 2018.


For more details, contact Mediation Institute.


New learning technology

New learning technology

Why do we need new learning technology?

In case you haven’t noticed the world is changing and it is changing very quickly. New learning technology has brought challenges but it has also brought amazing opportunities for those of us who lead, train and support others.

It has never been easier to connect people to share knowledge or conduct business. Forcing people to travel to sit in a room together is no longer necessary and as time progresses will no longer be desired.

We now live in the Information Age. Organisations and individuals must adapt to this new world or be left behind the same way that blue collar workers have been left behind at the end of the industrial age.

It is hard to realise what is happening when you are in the middle of it but we are living through a major adjustment that has just begun. If you want to compare it with the last age we are still at the steam engine stage!

Why eLearning?

Mediation Institute was established in 2013 with a mission to make mediation training more accessible for people throughout Australia using new learning technology strategies.

This is part of the mission of the founders of Mediation Institute which is to prevent violence, abuse and entrenched conflict by training and supporting dispute resolution professionals.

Our approach is to harness technology to maximise the convenience and accessibility of our courses.

Award winning eLearning Methodology

eLearning shouldn’t be an email correspondence course and it doesn’t mean just the passive acquisition (or not) of knowledge.

The potential of eLearning is to reach out to people in their homes and workplaces and engage them in interactive, student led learning.

Our approach in building our courses was validated by our peers. 

We submitted our course for independent evaluation in the 2014 eLearning Excellence Awards and won!

We were awarded the 2014 eLearning excellence award for the Vocational Education and Training Industry (VET) category.

Mediation Institute Winner of the eLearning Excellence Award 2014

Family Group Conference Facilitator Training

Family Participation Program

The Queensland Government department of Child Safety, Youth and Women has established a Family Participation Program (FPP) to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to participate in Child Protection Decision Making.

Read More »

But students like workshops!


Our student surveys indicate that what students like is the interaction with others not having to travel to a workshop nor having to sit in a room for hours on end. What they like is talk through ideas, have private conversations in the breaks and debate concepts when they challenge them during the learning process.

In other words, they want to connect, to be able to speak, be heard and talk through the confusion that is inevitable when learning new information. All of this can be enjoyed using new learning technology by providing discussion focused webinars and tutorials (not boring fly on the wall lectures) and content delivered in ways that they can interact and engage with.

Rural Residents

Rural and Regional Connection

Our prediction is that as the internet continues to connect up our regional and rural areas we will see a repopulation of regional areas. 

If it is possible to connect into the world economy and work in high level information and service jobs more people will escape the high real estate prices of capital cities to raise their children in regional areas.

 This will lead to a need to provide more services to widely dispersed people and technology will be used to achieve that in a way that provides quality, affordable services.

We see our role as trainers as being to support the upskilling of the community services workforce to support the need to use technology as core tools in their professional practice.

Upcoming Events
Sat 23

VADR Regional Mediation Workshop

23 March @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm AEDT
Daylesford Victoria
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