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Agreement to Learn

What is the Mi Agreement to Learn?

Role plays can be intimidating at first unless the right environment is created. The Mi Agreement to Learn has been created to make sure that students know what to expect when they come to a role play.

We encourage open feedback and discussion following role plays. The feedback is detailed and constructive. This can be challenging for learners however the benefits in applied learning support the process.

The Mi Agreement to Learn is an agreement between students and Mediation Institute that outlines expectations in regards to some of the areas of learning where the potential for misunderstandings to occur. This particularly relates to issues around group feedback, role play behaviour and client confidentiality during supervision.

Mi Agreement to Learn

Mi Agreement to Learn

The learner and Mediation Institute staff agree:
1. To work together with an intention to learn and facilitate learning with a willingness to actively listen, to ask questions to confirm understanding and to communicate openly.
2. Learners and staff have the right to be treated with respect during this process.


3. It is understood that Roleplays both online and face to face are designed to give the student mediator the opportunity to practice the mediation process in a safe environment and in
good faith from all participants.
4. It is expected that those playing the “client” character in a role provide the mediator with sufficient conflict for the Mediator to work with and considering the mediators experience. Do not get carried away or become stubbornly entrenched in your position.
5. Learners are required to observe at least one mediation role play prior to participation as a Mediator or Client.
6. When participating in role plays you will be expected to be respectful towards other learners and trainers and conduct yourself accordingly.
7. Disrespectful language towards mentors or outrageous behaviour is not acceptable.
8. The trainer or coach may elect to pause or stop the mediation at their discretion.
9. Feedback is done in a group to maximise learning for the mediator and parties. A learner may request the trainer or coach provide a private feedback session.


10. Learning new skills requires practice and feedback on your performance. Self-reflection and self-awareness is supported by encouraging learners to evaluate your own performance in role plays.
11. You will be given constructive feedback following role plays and other assessment. This may include live feedback during your mediation role plays and may be in the presence of other staff, learners or
12. Learning is more effective if most feedback is focused on reinforcing what is done well and corrections are given in terms of what to do differently and how to make that change. Feedback is intended to
support, encourage and develop skills and understanding.


13. Mediation Institute embraces a shared learning approach and learners will participate in discussions, collaborations, role plays and other activities where contact information such as email addresses and
phone numbers may be shared between learners to facilitate communication . Any learner with privacy concerns is responsible for contacting Mediation Institute to discuss their concerns about the sharing
of your contact information.
14. Mediation Institute may take video recordings or photographs of learning activities. These media files may be used in a variety of ways such as learning resources or for marketing purposes. They may be
stored on websites open to public viewing such as Facebook, Vimeo and You Tube. Any learner with privacy concerns is responsible for contacting Mediation Institute to discuss their concerns about sharing of their images or voice recordings.

Mi Supervision

15. Participating in Group Supervision sessions may be part of your course curriculum. Learners are encouraged to maximise their engagement and various times and dates are made available.
16. Mi Supervision is modelled on positive supervision principles and supervision should be an enjoyable and constructive experience. Any disagreements between supervision group member’s beliefs, values, opinions or any other matter should be discussed in a respectful and thoughtful manner with respect for diversity and the value of difference.
17. Personal attacks, insults, aggressive language or other behaviour that is intended to intimidate or impose upon other people is completely unacceptable.
18. The confidentiality of client information must be protected during work placement. Client names should not be used during supervision and descriptions of their circumstances kept sufficiently vague or modified
to avoid their identity being apparent.


19. Participation in workshops is an important part of the some of our course. You are expected to participate in workshops. If you are unable to attend a workshop you must apply for an exemption.
20. Learners are fully responsible for any costs associated with traveling to or attending workshops associated with their course.

Role Play Scheduler

Update on change to the role play scheduler for all current students.

What’s changed

We have closed the Role Plays Course and Eventbrite events which used to be used to coordinate role plays and are now using a google spreadsheet that all students can access from whatever course you are in within the LMS.

How do I get to the spreadsheet?

MenuTo access the Role Play Scheduler just go to your course 

No matter where you are in the course you can see a dark blue menu on the left of your screen.

Click on the Links Icon.

A Links Help Menu will pop out. It has a number of links that will take you to where you need to go.

  • Role Play Scheduler – Links to the Role Play Scheduler (I know, amazing!)
  • Videos- Role Play Recordings and Webinars – Links to Recorded Videos from Mediation Institute faculty and students
  • Mi Students and Graduates Linked In – Links to the “Mediation Institute Students and Graduates” Linked In Group.  If you haven’t already please follow the link to join this closed group for our students and graduates.
  • Mi Mediation Facebook Page – Links to the Mi Facebook Page. We often share interesting content so if you use Facebook follow the page.
  • Mi Website Student Area – where posts for students are collated.
  • The rest of the links are more to do with the learning management system interface so may not be of interest.


What do I do when I get there?

Contact Information

1st thing check your contact information. Is it showing the correct information.

We have taken the step of providing phone and email contact information as with the phasing out of the Role Play Course students in different courses can no longer email directly from the course.

If the page didn’t default to Contact Information you can find it by looking for the tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Book in for role plays

The spreadsheet is set up so that the days of the week go across the page and the weeks go down the page.

We are using colour coding to see at a glance if everything is in place for the role play to proceed or if a role is vacant

The two role plays on the evening of the 25th October below proceeded (they are in green) The column headings are on the spreadsheet but reading left to right is

  1. the date,
  2. Time (The first is Melbourne time, the second Brisbane) but we have standardised so that all future role plays should show EST (Brisbane Time)
  3. Name of the mentor
  4. Mentors zoom number
  5. Type of role play (determined by the person who is the mediator)
  6. The mediator
  7. Role Player 1
  8. Role Player 2

Role plays


If the row you are looking at is in orange it means that we still need role players, if it is in red it means the role play didn’t proceed.


Course Navigation – New Menu Link in LMS

It’s just gotten easier for students to navigate to resources outside your learning management system.  Go to your course now to check it out.

At the bottom of the main menu (the one with the dark blue background) you’ll find a Links option. Click on it to open up the help menu that you see below.

The main new feature is the Role Plays Scheduler which will take you to all of the role plays that are being planned.

info link

FDR Role Play Day – 28th September 2016

We’ll be taking the opportunity to get together and have some face to face role play practice in Melbourne on Wednesday the 28th September 2016

Where: Level 13 / 200 Queen Street, Melbourne

When: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Logistics: Early bird parking in our building is $20 if you are in before 10 am


  • 9:30 – 10:30 meet and greet, discussion and preparation
  • 10:30 – 11:00 morning tea
  • 11:00 – 1:00 role play and debrief (FDR Parenting or Property)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 lunch
  • 2:00 – 4:00 role play and debrief (FDR Parenting or Property)
  • 4:00 – 4:30 recap and end of session

Eligible participants:

To be eligible to be a mediator in the role plays you must have fully completed modules one and two in the LMS including your pre-mediation role plays.

All other FDR students are eligible to be a role player.

Mi Graduates are welcomed to attend as mentors (CPD points would apply)


Booking Link –


Scheduled Role Plays – Updated 16.8.16


Sarah and Claire have completed all of their role plays and demonstrated competence for the FDR qualifications.

We hope that Deepa will have similar success this week.

Role Players

Please read this post on Being a good Role Player – Guidance for Role Players

3 Day NMAS Workshop in Melbourne

Fred Stern will be facilitating a 3 day workshop in Melbourne CBD Monday to Wednesday 19th to 21st September.  If you are on the NMAS course and would like to fast track please contact Joanne asap to reserve a space.

Regular Role Plays and Webinars

Monday Webinars

Click here to book in.  Held on Mondays between 7pm and 8pm (Melbourne Time)

Next Monday  22nd – Communication


Tuesday Role Plays

Click here to book in. Tuesdays between 7pm and 9pm (Melbourne Time)

Next Role Play: 16.8.16

Status: Confirmed  (But still need a second role player)

Mediator: Deepa

Mediation Type: Education Dispute

Role Player 1: Sarah

Role Player 2:

Mentor: Ken


Role Play: 23.8.16

Status: Proposed still need a second role player

Mediator: Deepa

Mediation Type: ?

Role Player 1: Jo-anne Mc

Role Player 2:

Mentor: Ken

Click here to book in. Tuesdays between 7pm and 9pm (Melbourne Time)


Wednesday Role Plays

Click here to book in for Wednesdays between 12.30 and 2.30 (Melbourne Time)

Next: 17.8.16

Status: Confirmed

Mediator: Deepa

Mediation Type:  Elder Mediation 1 (Donna and Adam)

Role Players: Breanna, Sarah, Carolyn, Raelene, Jo-anne,

Observer: Lisa Walker

If any of the role players would like to step up as a mediator please get in contact with Joanne so that I can arrange a second mentor.

Role Play: 24.8.16

Status: Confirmed

Mediator: Deepa

Mediation Type: 

Role Players: Carolyn Howe, Raelene

Observer: Fiona Besir

If any of the role players would like to step up as a mediator please get in contact with Joanne so that I can arrange a second mentor.

Click here to book in for Wednesdays between 12.30 and 2.30 (Melbourne Time)


Saturday Role Plays

Click here to book in for Saturdays – 1st and last saturdays of each month 10 – 12 (Melbourne Time)

Next:   Sat 27.8.16

Status: Proposed

Mediator: Antoinette

Mediation Type: FDR

Role Player 1: Fiona Besir

Role Player 2:

Observer: Lauren Lee

Next:   Sat 3.9.16

Status: Confirmed

Mediator:  TBC Kylie Charlton

Mediation Type: 



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You just have to click on the links above to find scheduled mediations for the rest of 2016. Book in through Eventbright. We can also schedule other dates notify Joanne or Ken if you would like to book in sooner and we will accommodate if possible.

Please put your name down in the most advanced role you are ready to perform e.g if you are ready to mediate put yourself down as mediator or standby mediator. Only do this if you have completed the corresponding course work and mandatory participation as a role player so that you have the theory and experience of participating in mediation.


 We are prepared to offer supervised role play opportunities at 9pm (7pm for WA) for students who are ready for role plays at that time. Please contact the training team with as much notice as possible to advise of your availability.

Guidance for Role Players

Guidance for Role-Players

The aim of the role-play is to give the mediator an environment in which they can practice and demonstrate their skills in mediation.

The role of the role-player is to provide a scenario that is believable and allows the mediator to develop and demonstrate all of their skills.

The role-player should

  • add some conflict in the beginning to give the mediator the opportunity to enforce their ground rules for respectful behaviour
  • be willing to discuss the issues during the exploration phase and negotiate during the negotiation phase. Embellish but don’t add major new facts or deliberate red herrings.
  • if an opportunity to collaborate hasn’t developed, after the private sessions allow for some points of agreement. Role plays don’t have to end in a full agreement for the mediator to be competent but be kind and reasonable. Give them something to write down but don’t hand the mediator a completely unrealistic resolution that is out of context
  • add a moderate level of emotion but do not have a meltdown or make it impossible for the mediation to continue

The role-player should not

  • add new surprise facts that would mean that the role play scenario is seriously distorted
  • don’t forget that while some role plays may indicate low levels of financial or English literacy the parties have been screened and have the ability to mediate without  agreed that their comprehension is sufficient for the mediation to occur. It is good to ask the mediator to explain jargon or complex language but be mindful of the flow of the mediation.
  • DO NOT dig your heels in and refuse to budge. All parties in our role plays should have an interest in reaching a resolution of the conflict
  • DO NOT throw away your interests and agree to anything and everything


These are role-plays, not real life. It is not about winning or losing. It’s about providing a believable role-play so that the mediator can demonstrate their skills and be fairly graded.

Risk screening has already occurred (unless you are doing a pre-mediation role play) so don’t behave in an extreme way.

It is beneficial for you to be a role player as you will gain personal experience of the mediation or FDR process and be able to see and feel what is effective or causes negative outcomes. You’ll also gain new insights while participating in the feedback at the end.

You will never win an Oscar for your role playing efforts so please keep your focus on helping your mediator by being a good role player.

The Grading Rubric

During the mediation your mediator will be attempting to demonstrate the following skills.

For the NMAS / Certificate in Mediation Course we use the NMAS criteria:

NMAS Assessment – (You’ll have to be logged in to canvas for this link to work.

FDR Assessment – the folder in the FDR course with the assessment guides and tools

Summary of the skills your mediator needs to demonstrate

  1. Communication Facilitation – did the mediator facilitate the exchange of information and effective communication between participants?
  2. Opening Statements and facilitation of process – they need to clarify roles, explain the process and groundrules, confidentiality and exclusions and the legal status of any agreement reached. Then they need to follow the process!
  3. Identified the issues in dispute and created a useful agenda – they must develop an agenda that is neutral and designed to increase options (not positional) and ensure that all issues are identified.
  4. Procedural Fairness / Private Sessions – during the private sessions they must remind parties that it is confidential at the start and finish, avoid the perception of bias (give each party the same time), make effective use of the private sessions and during the facilitation of the process give the parties equal opportunity to speak, be heard and present needs, interests and concerns?
  5. In FDR – determined Asset Pool or key Parenting Issues – efficiently helped the parties to identify the asset pool or children’s issues.
  6. Facilitated the acknowledgement of Considerations – helped the parties to articulate, recognise and acknowledge (if they are willing) the considerations that the other party would like them to take into account. (Interests based negotiation)
  7. Maintained future focus and the reality of the situation – encouraged the clients to focus on future options and contingencies and to generate and assess workable options.
  8. Best interests of the child (FDR) – reminded the parents that the best interests of the child are to have a meaningful relationship with both parents as long as it is safe to do so.
  9. Increased understand between parties – encouraged mutual personal understanding between the participants by assisting participants to acknowledge each other’s needs, fears and concerns and acknowledging willingness to resolve the dispute?
  10. Full consideration of options – assisted parties to generate and consider options and consider the long and short term consequence of their suggestions and plans.
  11. Agreement – assisted the clients to document outcomes and agreements. Explained the legal status of the agreement and how to make it legally binding and enforceable.
  12. Overall – effectively facilitated the process including provided accurate information throughout

Scoring the Rubric is for a guidance only

The course is competence based and the scores are for guidance only.  In general the grading rubric scoring is based on the ranges below.

0 Non Existent
1 Requires a lot of improvement to meet the course requirements
2 Significant improvement still needed or a specific major issue.
3 Good but could be improved
4 Above Average with some improvement possible
5 Excellent. No major improvements needed. You nailed it!



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