Beyond Intractability
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Online Courses

 
We are now offering two for-credit online courses and two more "self-study" courses. All are based on Beyond Intractability and CRInfo (a partner site of Beyond Intractability). All are self-paced (meaning that you may start at any time and finish at any time within six months for the for-credit courses; at any time for the self-study courses). All of the courses have been developed by project co-directors Heidi Burgess and Guy Burgess, and are being taught by Heidi Burgess, who has been teaching and doing research on the topic of intractable conflict for almost twenty years. The four courses currently available are as follows:

Topics in Peace and Conflict Studies (Peace and Conflict Studies course PACS 3800)

 

  • Focus: This course examines intractable conflicts and ways in which these conflicts can be transformed to bring about stable peace. Fundamental concepts of both conflict studies and peace studies will be examined, including peace, justice, power, violence and nonviolence, peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. For more information, please see the course syllabus.
  • Intended Audience: Topics in Peace and Conflict Studies is intended for upper-division undergraduate college students.
  • Credit: This course may be taken for credit though the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education.
  • Cost: The cost is $777 for three semester hours credit.*
  • Requirements: There are six units. Each has 60-120 pages of reading (all available online), a small amount of listening (to online audio), an online quiz, and either a short paper or a hands-on exercise. Starting with Unit 2, these short papers all examine one conflict, and go together to create a major case-study of that conflict, along with an intervention plan at the end. There is also a final exam. In addition, all students are expected to participate in the course online discussion, relating what they are learning in the course to current events. This course requires about 100 hours of work (approximately equivalent to one 3-credit-hour, semester-long course).
  • Registration Process: Click here to visit the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education page for this course.
Conflict Management in Social Systems (Sociology course SOCY 4021)
  • Focus: This course examines the nature of conflict in society, including what causes it, what its effects are, and what can be done to maximize the benefits (by engaging in conflict constructively) and limit the costs (by preventing, managing, settling, or resolving destructive conflicts). For more information, please see the course syllabus.
  • Intended Audience: Conflict Management in Social Systems is intended for upper-division undergraduate college students.
  • Credit: This course may be taken for credit through the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education.
  • Cost: The cost is $777 for three semester hours credit.*
  • Requirements: The course has six units. Students will need to read 10-15 essays (or so) for each unit, which amounts to 60-120 pages of reading. They will also listen to an hour or less of audio for each unit, take an online quiz (to check their comprehension of the reading and listening assignments) and complete a short paper or outside activity for each unit that requires them to employ some of the ideas in the unit to a "real world" situation. The final exam is an online simulation, which can be completed at home at your own pace. This course requires about 100 hours of work (approximately equivalent to one 3-credit-hour, semester-long course).
  • Registration Process: Click here to visit the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education page for this course.
Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC)
  • Focus: This "self-study" course is designed to help students better understand and deal with long-lasting and difficult-to-resolve conflicts (although much of the course material is also applicable to simpler, more tractable disputes). Although this course used to be offered with formal grading and a "certificate of completion," our funding which allowed us to do that has run out. We therefore are leaving the readings and assignments posted for those who are interested, but grading and certificates of completion are no longer available. For more information, please see the DCIC home page.
  • Intended Audience: DCIC was intended for college students (both advanced undergraduates and graduate students); third parties (peacebuilders, mediators, and aid and development workers); and people who are directly involved in difficult conflicts as disputants or victims, and who want to find more constructive ways of approaching their situation.
  • Credit: None: this course is for self-study only.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Requirements: This program consists of 10 units, averaging about 40 pages of online reading and 1-2 hours of online audio interviews (for which transcripts are available for people who prefer to read). For those wanting more information, several thousand pages of supplemental material and about 100 hours of online audio are also accessible in the full Beyond Intractability system. When this course was offered in a graded format, students were asked to answer a few questions at the end of each unit, generally requiring writing about 5-8 pages in response. Since instruction is no longer available for this course, those assignments are still posted for self use, but are entirely optional.

Conflict 101

  • Focus: This also is a self study course wich focuses on things everybody should know about conflict: why it occurs, how it can be beneficial, and how to manage it so that it is beneficial and not harmful. For more information, please see the Conflict 101 home page.
  • Intended Audience: Conflict 101 was intended for college students (both advanced undergraduates and graduate students), people who deal with conflict a lot in their jobs (teachers, managers, health care providers, etc.), parents who want to do a better job of dealing with their kids or spouses, or anyone who wants a better understanding of ways of dealing with conflict.
  • Credit: None--this course is for self study only.
  • Cost: Free
  • Requirements: This program consists of 10 units, averaging about 40 pages of online reading and 1-2 hours of online audio interviews (for which transcripts are available for people who prefer to read). For those wanting more information, several thousand pages of supplemental material and about 100 hours of online audio are also accessible in the full Beyond Intractability system. When this course was offered in a graded format, students were asked to answer a few questions at the end of each unit, generally requiring writing about 5-8 pages in response. Since instruction is no longer available for this course, those assignments are still posted for self use, but are entirely optional.

If you have questions about which course to choose, look at each of the syllabi to see which one seems more interesting and relevant to your needs. If you still have questions, send an email to Heidi Burgess and she will try to help you figure out which course is best for you.

* Tuition rates were accurate as of August 4, 2010. Please visit the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education website for current rates.

 

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