As I described in this recent post, we decided that the Stone Soup Dispute Resolution Knowledge Project would defer developing a centralized database but pursue the same goals in a decentralized stone soup project.  In particular, we still encourage faculty to assign students to collect qualitative data about actual dispute resolution practice, starting next year.

We have revised documents for faculty to use, reflecting the changes in the project.

Guidance for Faculty in Developing Stone Soup Course Assignments.  This provides an overview of the project, provides advice about planning Stone Soup assignments, discusses whether you need approval from the institutional review board at your school, and gives advice about dealing with IRBs.  At this stage of the Stone Soup project, most faculty probably will use the assignment solely for teaching.  If you plan to use the assignment only for teaching and not for research, presumably you should not need to have your IRB review your assignment, though you should confirm this with your IRB.

Model Interview Assignment.  This gives instructions for writing papers.  This illustrates an assignment for students to conduct interviews about a negotiation, but you can adapt it for other assignments.

Guidance for Students in Conducting and Summarizing Interviews. This gives advice about effectively conducting interviews and taking notes.  These techniques are similar to those used by lawyers and other professionals.

Model Invitation for Interview.  This is a model request for an interview and includes information for subjects to provide informed consent.  Even if your assignment does not require IRB approval, it is good practice to follow a procedure like this.

Professional Ethics Rules Regarding Confidentiality of Interviews.  This document includes provisions from ethical rules permitting lawyers, mediators, and arbitrators to disclose information about their cases as long as the information provided could not reasonably lead to identification of the parties.

Sample Papers.  Here are papers by Rafael Gely’s negotiation students Aaron Jolly and Shelby Murdock-Kempf (with their permission and that of their interview subjects).  As with all these documents, they are for illustration and you should tailor your assignment to fit your instructional goals.

Plan to Use a Stone Soup Assignment Next Year This short form is to let me know if you plan to use a Stone Soup assignment next year. Fifteen faculty have already indicated that they plan to participate in this project and we are encouraging more to do so.  On June 30, I plan to post a list of faculty using these assignments next year in various courses so that you can exchange ideas.

Bon appétit.

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, at the University of Missouri, School of Law. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an avid writer and contributor to