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Title: “Let’s work it out": A web-based learning environment on conflict resolution for 6th graders
Authors: Nicolaidou, Iolie 
Adamou, George
Ioannou, Yiota
Keywords: Conflict Resolution;Interactive Learning Environment;Instructional Design;Primary Education
Category: Media and Communications
Field: Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: IATED
Source: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona, Spain.
Abstract: In the past few years, inter-school violence, “bulling” (repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt other students physically, verbally or emotionally) and peer conflicts resulting from students’ inability to control or manage aggressive behavior have increased significantly worldwide. Following the results of a needs analysis that documented the existence of student conflicts in a primary school in Cyprus, this study refers to the design of a prototype learning environment, aimed to support students in developing conflict resolution and anger management skills. Despite the abundance of research studies on bullying at an international level, in Cyprus, very few studies have been conducted examining the effect of bullying in education. These studies do however point out to increasing levels of anti-social behavior among youngsters. Anecdotal evidence from teachers of a local school in Cyprus pointed out to severe problems of antisocial behavior, especially among 6th graders. To examine whether this problem would be amenable to an instructional intervention, a needs analysis involved the administration of a questionnaire to all 6th graders of the school (n=55). The questionnaire consisted of 14 questions, each describing a scenario and asking students to choose their approach among three options: a) aggressive attitude (use of violence), b) demanding attitude (correctly managing anger and demanding respect), and c) passive attitude (accepting violence with no attempt to defend oneself). The results revealed that 63% of students can correctly handle anger. However, an alarming finding was that 28% of students use violence to handle conflicts and about one in ten students passively accepts violence without reacting or demanding respect. A suggested solution following an instructional design approach, was the design and development of an online, interactive, multimedia learning environment to demonstrate and have students practice specific conflict resolution and anger management techniques. The prototype version of the learning environment included tools and techniques that students could implement for conflict resolution, and three different scenarios, requesting students to use those techniques to solve a misunderstanding or look at an issue from the victim’s perspective. It also included short videos modeling behaviors that should be discouraged and a forum for discussing incidents occurring at school. Preliminary usability evaluation results involving three students with the same characteristics as the target audience were positive and pointed out to minor weaknesses of design. As this is a work-in-progress, as a future step, teachers and students will be involved in the design as stakeholders so that the learning environment can be extended to accommodate their needs. The learning environment will then be implemented in classrooms so that its effect over time for supporting students’ conflict resolution skills can be evaluated.
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
Type: Conference Papers
Appears in Collections:Δημοσιεύσεις σε συνέδρια/Conference papers

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