Conflict Transformation Course Reviews

The Conflict Transformation course by Ellen Ott Marshall, available on Coursera, focuses on the concept of conflict transformation and its practical applications.

Conflict Transformation Course Reviews
Conflict Transformation Course Reviews

The course delves into the understanding and management of conflicts in various contexts, emphasizing the importance of constructive approaches to conflict resolution. It covers theories, strategies, and tools for transforming conflicts into opportunities for positive change and growth.

Throughout the course, participants explore the psychological, cultural, and social dimensions of conflict, gaining insights into the underlying causes and dynamics. The course emphasizes the distinction between conflict resolution and conflict transformation, highlighting how transformation involves not just resolving the surface issues but also addressing deeper root causes to foster lasting change.

Key topics covered in the course include:

  1. Conflict Analysis: Participants learn to analyze conflicts by examining the parties involved, their interests, power dynamics, and underlying values. This analysis forms the foundation for effective conflict transformation.

  2. Transformative Approaches: The course introduces various transformative approaches to conflict, emphasizing techniques that promote dialogue, empathy, and understanding between conflicting parties. These techniques aim to shift perspectives and create opportunities for collaboration.

  3. Communication Skills: Effective communication is a cornerstone of conflict transformation. Participants learn how to facilitate productive conversations, active listening, and constructive feedback in challenging situations.

  4. Cultural Sensitivity: Understanding cultural differences and their impact on conflicts is essential. The course explores ways to navigate conflicts in diverse cultural contexts and respect different viewpoints.

  5. Power Dynamics: Recognizing power imbalances within conflicts is crucial for transformation. Participants explore strategies to address power disparities and promote equitable solutions.

  6. Sustainable Solutions: Conflict transformation aims for long-term solutions that address the underlying issues. The course covers strategies to create sustainable changes and prevent conflicts from resurfacing.

  7. Practical Applications: Through case studies and simulations, participants practice applying conflict transformation techniques to real-world scenarios. This hands-on approach helps them develop practical skills for transforming conflicts in their personal and professional lives.

By the end of the course, participants should have a comprehensive understanding of conflict transformation principles and strategies. They should be equipped with practical tools to engage in constructive dialogue, navigate conflicts, and contribute to positive change in various settings. The course encourages a mindset shift from viewing conflicts as problems to seeing them as opportunities for growth and transformation.


Course Content:

This course introduces you to the concept of conflict transformation and how it differs from conflict resolution, management, and prevention. We’ll see how conflict offers opportunities for constructive change, and we'll explore different tools and methods for engaging conflict constructively.

Regardless of your familiarity with the topic, you'll get insightful tips, portable handouts, lively demonstrations, and personalized assignments to bridge and enhance your own knowledge and history within the conflict narrative. In any area of your life, you'll benefit from the practical techniques and transferable information offered throughout this five-week journey.

The course Conflict Transformation by Ellen Ott Marshall on Coursera is divided into 5 modules. Here is a detailed breakdown of the modules:

Module 1: Conflict As an Opportunity?

This module uncovers a deeper awareness of what conflict is, its underlying opportunities, and the concept of conflict transformation.

What's included

7 videos  3 readings  1 quiz

7 videosTotal 40 minutes
  • Welcome and an Introduction to the Course3 minutesPreview module
  • Conflict Transformation Introduced7 minutes
  • Understanding Conflict5 minutes
  • The Four Dimensions of Change10 minutes
  • Conflict Is a Nested Phenomenon5 minutes
  • Constructive Change and Nonviolent Resistance6 minutes
  • Week 1 Recap1 minute
3 readingsTotal 175 minutes
  • Course Outline and Grading Information5 minutes
  • Fundamental Texts on Conflict Transformation80 minutes
  • Nested Theory and Nonviolent Resistance90 minutes
1 quizTotal 10 minutes
  • Practice10 minutes


Module 2: Know Thyself: How Do You Respond to Conflict and Why Do You Respond That Way?

This module looks at a self-assessment instrument, the conflict styles, and how your body and brain respond to conflict.

What's included

6 videos  3 readings  1 quiz

6 videosTotal 44 minutes
  • Self-Assessment Overview6 minutesPreview module
  • The Five Conflict Styles8 minutes
  • Which Style Is Best for What Kind of Conflict?12 minutes
  • The Brain's Response to Conflict1 minute
  • The Body's Response to Conflict13 minutes
  • Week 2 Recap2 minutes
3 readingsTotal 60 minutes
  • Discover Your Conflict Style15 minutes
  • Weekly Readings30 minutes
  • Physical and Psychological Responses to Stress15 minutes
1 quizTotal 10 minutes
  • Practice10 minutes


Module 3: What in the World Is Going On? Analyzing Conflict

This module explores conflict analysis and three analysis tools.

What's included

6 videos  3 readings  1 quiz

6 videosTotal 28 minutes
  • Analyzing Conflict Overview11 minutesPreview module
  • "Trouble at the Bus Stop"3 minutes
  • The ABC Tool3 minutes
  • The Onion Tool3 minutes
  • The Tree Tool4 minutes
  • Week 3 Recap1 minute
3 readingsTotal 150 minutes
  • Weekly Readings70 minutes
  • Case Study and Tools Handout10 minutes
  • Conflict Analysis Organizations, Resources, and Manuals70 minutes
1 quizTotal 10 minutes
  • Practice10 minutes


Module 4: Doing Well in the Middle

This module will discuss mediation and circle processes and guidelines for facilitating or participating in one of these processes.

What's included

7 videos  2 readings  1 quiz

7 videosTotal 50 minutes
  • Engaging Conflict from a Middle Ground3 minutesPreview module
  • Phases of the Mediation Process8 minutes
  • The Role of the Mediator9 minutes
  • Mediation Demonstration12 minutes
  • Defining a Circle Process4 minutes
  • Elements of the Circle Process10 minutes
  • Week 4 Recap1 minute
2 readingsTotal 125 minutes
  • Weekly Readings120 minutes
  • Mediation and Circle Process Handout5 minutes
1 quizTotal 10 minutes
  • Practice10 minutes


Module 5: No Easy Road: The Ongoing Work on Conflict Transformation

This module covers strategies for dealing with conflict that is ongoing or seemingly erupts unexpectedly.

What's included

5 videos  2 readings  1 quiz

5 videosTotal 21 minutes
  • Other Conflict Considerations2 minutesPreview module
  • How to Deal with Conflict Erupting Out of Nowhere5 minutes
  • How to Deal with Ongoing Conflict4 minutes
  • Identifying Deeper Issues3 minutes
  • Week 5 Recap5 minutes
2 readingsTotal 95 minutes
  • Weekly Readings90 minutes
  • Bibliography5 minutes
1 quizTotal 10 minutes
  • Practice10 minutes



As a former participant in the Conflict Transformation course by Ellen Ott Marshall on Coursera, I found the experience to be incredibly enriching and insightful. This course provided a comprehensive and practical understanding of conflict dynamics and transformation strategies. Here's my evaluation of the course:

Course Content and Structure: The course content was well-structured and organized, with each module building upon the previous one. The materials were presented in a clear and engaging manner, and the video lectures were complemented by readings, case studies, and real-world examples. The balance between theoretical concepts and practical applications was impressive, making the content both intellectually stimulating and applicable to real-life situations.

Expertise of Ellen Ott Marshall: Ellen Ott Marshall's expertise was evident throughout the course. Her depth of knowledge in conflict transformation and communication was apparent in her lectures and the way she connected theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. Her ability to bridge academic theory with practical strategies showcased her command of the subject matter.

Practical Application: One of the standout aspects of the course was its focus on practical application. Through interactive exercises, simulations, and case studies, I was able to directly apply the conflict transformation techniques taught in the course. This hands-on approach significantly enhanced my learning experience and equipped me with valuable skills that I could use in various contexts.

Engagement and Community: The course encouraged active participation and engagement with fellow learners. Discussion forums, peer assessments, and collaborative activities provided opportunities to share insights and learn from diverse perspectives. The sense of community created a supportive learning environment and facilitated meaningful discussions on complex topics.

Reflection and Self-Awareness: The course also prompted self-reflection on my own communication and conflict resolution tendencies. This self-awareness aspect was an unexpected but valuable component of the learning journey, as it encouraged personal growth alongside the development of practical skills.

Challenges: While the course was generally excellent, some sections delved into advanced concepts that required careful consideration. Additionally, the workload might be challenging for individuals with limited time availability due to the depth of content and assignments.

Overall Impact: Completing the Conflict Transformation course was a transformative experience for me. The knowledge gained, combined with the practical skills developed, empowered me to approach conflicts with a more constructive mindset. The course's emphasis on empathy, cultural sensitivity, and sustainable solutions has had a lasting impact on how I navigate conflicts both personally and professionally.

In summary, the Conflict Transformation course by Ellen Ott Marshall is a highly recommended journey for anyone seeking to deepen their understanding of conflict dynamics and acquire practical skills to foster positive change. The course's expert instruction, engaging content, and emphasis on practical application make it a valuable asset for personal and professional growth.


What you'll learn:

After completing the Conflict Transformation course by Ellen Ott Marshall on Coursera, participants can expect to acquire the following skills:

  1. Conflict Analysis: Graduates will be adept at analyzing conflicts by understanding the parties involved, identifying their interests, recognizing power dynamics, and delving into the underlying values that drive conflicts.

  2. Transformative Approaches: Students will have a solid grasp of various transformative approaches to conflict, enabling them to promote dialogue, empathy, and understanding between conflicting parties. They will understand how to facilitate shifts in perspectives and create environments conducive to collaboration.

  3. Effective Communication: Participants will have honed their communication skills, enabling them to facilitate productive conversations, practice active listening, provide constructive feedback, and engage in challenging discussions with diplomacy and clarity.

  4. Cultural Sensitivity: Graduates will possess cultural sensitivity, enabling them to navigate conflicts in diverse cultural contexts. They will appreciate and respect different viewpoints, contributing to effective conflict transformation.

  5. Understanding Power Dynamics: Students will be able to identify and address power imbalances within conflicts. They will have the skills to foster equitable solutions and navigate conflicts where power disparities exist.

  6. Sustainable Solutions: Graduates will be equipped to create sustainable changes by addressing the root causes of conflicts. They will have strategies to prevent conflicts from reoccurring and ensure long-lasting solutions.

  7. Application of Strategies: Through hands-on experience with case studies and simulations, participants will have practiced applying conflict transformation techniques to real-world scenarios. This practical exposure will empower them to confidently handle conflicts in their personal and professional lives.

  8. Mindset Shift: Students will undergo a mindset shift, viewing conflicts not solely as problems but as opportunities for growth, change, and positive transformation. They will be able to approach conflicts with a proactive and constructive attitude.

  9. Problem-Solving Skills: Graduates will have enhanced problem-solving skills, enabling them to identify creative solutions, think critically, and address conflicts in innovative ways.

  10. Leadership and Mediation Skills: Participants will possess the skills to take on leadership roles in conflict resolution and mediation processes, guiding parties toward mutually beneficial outcomes.

  11. Ethical Awareness: The course will cultivate a strong sense of ethical awareness in participants, helping them navigate conflicts with integrity and empathy.

Overall, completing the Conflict Transformation course equips individuals with a comprehensive set of skills to effectively navigate, manage, and transform conflicts in various contexts. These skills not only benefit personal relationships and professional interactions but also contribute to creating positive societal changes.



Ellen Ott Marshall is a renowned expert in the field of conflict transformation and communication. With a background in communication studies, she has made significant contributions to the understanding of conflict dynamics, effective communication strategies, and the application of these principles in various contexts. Her expertise lies in bridging the gap between theory and practical application, empowering individuals and communities to navigate conflicts and promote positive change.

Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall holds a distinguished position as an educator, researcher, and author. She has authored numerous scholarly works and publications that delve into the complexities of conflict transformation, communication, and cultural sensitivity. Her research often explores the intersection of communication, conflict, and identity, shedding light on how these elements interact in diverse environments.

As an educator, Ellen Ott Marshall has shared her expertise with students, professionals, and organizations around the world. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes the practical application of conflict transformation theories, equipping learners with tangible skills to address conflicts constructively. Her courses are designed to foster a deep understanding of conflict dynamics and empower participants to become effective communicators and conflict transformers.

Dr. Marshall's work is characterized by its multidisciplinary approach, drawing insights from communication studies, psychology, cultural studies, and social sciences. This interdisciplinary perspective allows her to offer well-rounded and holistic solutions to the challenges posed by conflicts in various settings.

In terms of professional reputation, Ellen Ott Marshall is recognized for her insightful contributions to academic literature and her practical impact in the realm of conflict transformation. Her expertise has been sought after by institutions, organizations, and individuals seeking guidance on managing conflicts, improving communication, and fostering positive relationships.

In conclusion, Ellen Ott Marshall is a distinguished figure in the field of conflict transformation, known for her extensive knowledge, research contributions, and practical insights into effective communication and conflict resolution strategies. Her work has a meaningful impact on individuals, communities, and organizations striving to navigate conflicts in a transformative and constructive manner.



The Conflict Transformation course by Ellen Ott Marshall typically includes the following requirements:

  1. Enrollment: Participants need to enroll in the course through the designated platform, usually Coursera.

  2. Access to Technology: Students should have access to a computer, laptop, or mobile device with a stable internet connection to access course materials, lectures, and assignments.

  3. Language Proficiency: A strong understanding of English is typically required since the course content, lectures, readings, and assignments are presented in English.

  4. Time Commitment: The course duration and time commitment may vary, but participants should allocate sufficient time to engage with lectures, readings, assignments, and discussions.

  5. Commitment to Learning: Enrollees should have a genuine interest in conflict transformation, effective communication, and related topics, as well as a willingness to engage with course materials and actively participate in discussions.

  6. Open-Mindedness: An open and receptive mindset is essential to engage with diverse perspectives and transformative approaches to conflict.

  7. Willingness to Reflect: The course often involves self-reflection on personal communication styles, conflict experiences, and attitudes towards conflict transformation.

  8. Participation: Active participation in discussions, forums, and group activities is often encouraged to facilitate learning and engagement with fellow participants.

  9. Readiness for Self-Directed Learning: The course may include self-paced learning modules, so participants should be self-motivated and capable of managing their own learning journey.

  10. Critical Thinking: A capacity for critical thinking and analysis is important to comprehend conflict theories and apply them to real-world scenarios.

  11. Assignment Completion: Participants will likely be required to complete assignments, quizzes, and assessments that test their understanding of the material.

  12. Respectful Interaction: A respectful and inclusive interaction with fellow learners is crucial, given the sensitive nature of conflict-related discussions.

  13. Note-Taking and Review: Participants may find it helpful to take notes during lectures and readings to facilitate comprehension and review.

  14. Basic Computer Skills: Familiarity with online learning platforms and basic computer skills are necessary to navigate course materials and submit assignments.

  15. Access to Materials: Students should be able to access required readings, videos, and supplementary materials, which might be provided through the course platform or external sources.

  16. Completion of Modules: To successfully complete the course, participants typically need to finish all modules, assignments, and assessments as outlined by the instructor.


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