Developing the University of Missouri “Stone Soup” Case Database

My colleague, Rafael Gely, and I are developing the University of Missouri “Stone Soup” Case Database project as I previously mentioned.  This post includes links to some short documents with more detail about the content and process of our planning.  And it invites you to respond with your comments, suggestions, and commitments to participate.

Overview of the Rationale for the Database and Our Plans for Moving Forward.  We are now soliciting input to refine the details of the database.  About June 8, we plan to circulate updated versions of key documents.  At that point, we would solicit commitments for faculty to use a Stone Soup assignment in one or more courses next academic year.  If we receive enough commitments by June 19, we will proceed with this project.

Creating Knowledge Together.  This post provides a vision of how students, faculty, scholars, practitioners, educational institutions, and professional associations can collaborate to produce, disseminate, and use valuable empirical data about actual cases.

Guidance for Faculty in Developing Stone Soup Interview Assignments for Their Courses. This document should answer most, if not all, questions about how faculty might use this assignment.  Faculty have very wide discretion in designing assignments.  This document describes the mechanics of developing assignments and submitting them to the database.  Faculty would submit Word documents for the University of Missouri staff to actually enter the data into the database.  This document also describes the process of getting approval from the institutional review board at faculty’s schools, which generally should be fairly easy.

Confidentiality of Interview Reports.  This document reviews ethical requirements for lawyers, mediators, and arbitrators, illustrating that these professionals generally may discuss cases as long as they do not disclose identifying information.  This document also reviews the multiple steps in this process to prevent confidential information from being included in the database.

Model Course Assignment.  This assignment is designed for a negotiation course and that can be adapted for many other courses.

Model Interview Request Solicitation or Confirmation.  Students will use a form along these lines to provide assurance of confidentiality and obtain informed consent.

Guidance for Students in Conducting and Summarizing Interviews.  This document instructs students how to be good interviewers.

Sample Research Papers of Real Negotiations.  This post includes several papers from Rafael Gely’s course illustrating the kinds of reports that students might write for inclusion in the database.

Possible Database Fields.  This document lists the variables that could be used to search the database.  Some of the variables have fixed options and others are for open text.  These variables are for students to use in completing a cover sheet for their interview reports.  Many of these variables relate to legal cases.  We strongly invite faculty in other disciplines to participate in this database project, so please do not get the impression that this is only for legal cases.  Hopefully, there are variables and response options that would fit your cases.  If there are other variables and response options that would be relevant to your cases, please let us know and we will do our best to include them.

Commitment to Use an Interview Assignment Next Academic Year.  We will develop the database only if we get sufficient commitments of faculty to use the interview assignment in their courses in 2017-2018.  We may refine the preceding documents as described above and will ask for commitments after we do so.  If you already know that you will use this assignment in one or more courses, you can email the form to me now, which would be very helpful.

Rafael Gely and Arizona State Professor Art Hinshaw used this interview assignment in their courses this semester and they found that it worked extremely well and plan to use it again.

We are hopeful that we will get enough interest to proceed with this Stone Soup project.  Even if we don’t, it is a terrific course assignment that you could use in virtually any course.

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