This course will prepare you to implement restorative practices in your residence hall. Universities around the world are using restorative practices to foster meaningful relationships, encourage accountability, improve communication, and encourage feelings of connection and belonging that allow students to thrive. 

Learning Outcomes

This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to be a leader of restorative practices implementation in your institution.

  • Understand and describe the Restorative Philosophy and how it differs from punitive approaches.

  • Facilitate a Connection Circle to build relationships in your community. The circle supports the development of interpersonal skills, promotes cultural awareness, and contributes to a safe and healthy living and learning environment.

  • Facilitate a Circle for Establishing Group Norms, providing students with the opportunity to co-create their hall environment and encouraging ownership of community guidelines.

  • Facilitate a Circle to Respond to a Community Conflict or Trauma, providing a space for healing and resolution following a difficult community experience.

  • Hold a Restorative Conversation to address a conflict or behavior issue. Participants will learn how to ask effective questions, maintain a focus on impacts and repair, and resolve conflict and misbehavior in a way that honors and strengthens relationships.

  • Join an international community of professionals transforming their residence halls through restorative practices.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the Course

    • Welcome to the Course

    • Meet Your Instructor, Dr. Lindsey Pointer

    • About You

    • My Favorite Connection Circle Question

    • My Answer

    • Thank you!

  • 2

    The Restorative Lens

    • Introduction: The Restorative Lens

    • Different Questions

    • Assignment: Apply the Retributive Questions

    • Applying the Retributive Questions

    • Assignment: Apply the Restorative Questions

    • Applying the Restorative Questions

    • "Taking the focus away from punishment to repair the harm." - Nicole Chelmis

    • Expanding Applications of Restorative Practices

    • Apply the Restorative Questions to an Issue in Your Life

    • “There has been a massive shift in terms of how we influence our students' behavior.” - Ryan Meachen

  • 3

    Building a Restorative Community

    • Introduction: What is a Restorative Community?

    • Reflect on your Community

    • "I really believe in Trickle-Down Culture." - Ryan Meachen

    • Article: Building a Restorative University

    • "The more we know each other, the less likely we are to cause harm." - Nicole Chelmis

    • Understanding the Term "Restorative Practices"

    • Quiz: Which Restorative Practice is the Best Fit?

  • 4

    Why Residence Halls?

    • Introduction: Why Residence Halls?

    • Reflect on Your Experience

    • My Experience

    • "Our most important asset is our relationships." - Ryan Meachen

    • Article: Restorative Practices in Residence Halls at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

    • "What they want more than anything is to feel they belong." -Jamie-lee Costa

  • 5

    Circles for Building Relationships

    • Introduction: Circles for Building Relationships

    • Circle Guide

    • PDF Circle Guide and Example Circle Questions

    • Elements of the Circle Process

    • Selecting a Talking Piece

    • Finding your Talking Piece

    • Example Talking Pieces

    • "It helps you understand where they're coming from." - Nicole Chelmis

    • Why use Circles to Build Relationships?

    • How the Circle Impacts Community

    • “We use circles for everything.” - Jamie-lee Costa

    • Insights from Google's “Project Aristotle"

    • “There have been some RAs that are reluctant.” - Ryan Meachen

    • Assignment: Design a Circle for Building Relationships

  • 6

    Circles for Establishing Group Norms

    • Introduction: Circles for Establishing Group Norms

    • Establishing Group Norms Circle Guide

    • “Probably the most important tool we have for establishing culture in the hall.” - Ryan Meachen

    • An RA's Experience

    • "If you set the rule, you're more likely to stick to it." - Nicole Chelmis

    • Case Study: Circle for Establishing Group Norms with Returner RAs

    • “What do you need for this to feel like home?” -Jamie-lee Costa

    • "We re-visit it every six weeks." - Nicole Chelmis

    • Assignment: Design a Circle for Establishing Group Norms

  • 7

    Circles for Responding to a Community Trauma

    • Introduction: Circles for Responding to a Community Trauma

    • Responding to a Community Trauma Circle Guide

    • Reflect: Possible Applications

    • Case Study: Responding to a Community Trauma

    • “We have creatively used Restorative Practices to hopefully make a wider shift in university culture.” - Ryan Meachen

    • Article: Sustained Restorative Dialogue

    • Assignment: Design a Circle to Respond to a Community Trauma

  • 8

    Circles for Responding to a Group Behavior

    • Introduction: Circles for Responding to a Group Behavior

    • Group Behavior Circle Guide

    • Example Circle: The Rowdy Group

    • How to Design a Circle

    • Circle Design Guide and Worksheet PDF

    • Example Circle: The Messy Apartment

    • “The energy in the room completely changed.” – Ryan Meachen

    • Assignment: Design a Circle to Respond to a Group Behavior

  • 9

    The Restorative Conversation Model

    • Introduction: Restorative Conversation

    • The Social Discipline Window

    • Social Discipline Window Quiz

    • “This is my expectation; this is your support to get there.” - Jamie-lee Costa

    • Restorative Conversation Planning Worksheet

    • Open-Ended Questions

    • Open-Ended Questions Activity

    • “It gives people the capacity to still be in the driver’s seat.” – Ryan Meachen

    • Assignment: Plan a Restorative Conversation

    • A Benefit of the Restorative Conversation Model

  • 10

    Implementation Planning

    • Introduction: Implementation Planning

    • "It works on all levels." - Nicole Chelmis

    • Reflect: How will you implement at all levels?

    • “It takes time.” - Jamie-lee Costa

    • Reflect: What support do you need?

    • Revisiting the Restorative Community Triangle

    • Further Resources

    • Congratulations!

Reviews

5 star rating

Informative and thought-provoking!!

Emma Hochstetler

I truly enjoyed this class and the way it made me rethink my approach to leadership roles. Lindsey was amazing and I appreciated her calm demeanor.

I truly enjoyed this class and the way it made me rethink my approach to leadership roles. Lindsey was amazing and I appreciated her calm demeanor.

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5 star rating

Restorative lens

Aman Seyoum

It is literally one of the best courses I have ever taken.

It is literally one of the best courses I have ever taken.

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5 star rating

Wonderful Resource for Residence Directors!

Lindy Magness

Lindsey has done a great job organizing a course in Restorative Practices for University Residence Halls! It was wonderful to have some of my student staff i...

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Lindsey has done a great job organizing a course in Restorative Practices for University Residence Halls! It was wonderful to have some of my student staff in the course with me as a preview for them about some of the practices we plan to implement in our Residence Halls. The different circle outlines were especially helpful, and Lindsey is an excellent instructor. It was a great balance of work outside of class and hands on practice when we were together.

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5 star rating

Restorative Practices Course

Tyler Goss

The course was super helpful. I already knew a good amount about restorative practices, but it was a great course to really refresh my memory and dive deeper...

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The course was super helpful. I already knew a good amount about restorative practices, but it was a great course to really refresh my memory and dive deeper in my skills. I loved the videos and testimonies provided by all the different people.

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5 star rating

Well Organized Format!

Jessie Landis

Through asynchronous content and interactive group sessions Lindsey Pointer guides members through the course skillfully and full of intent. Lindsey holds he...

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Through asynchronous content and interactive group sessions Lindsey Pointer guides members through the course skillfully and full of intent. Lindsey holds herself both very professionally and approachable as she navigates online learning. She easy laughs with us and redirects conversation as needed. Lindsey was always available by email for questions and gave constructive feedback on assignments. With short readings and assignments that are completed individually, we were able to cover a lot of content, and put it into practice during group sessions. Although I knew little about circle processes before this class I am now fully convinced that they are one of the most effective ways to bring understanding and change to group or personal behaviors. And I now have a community to walk along side me as I start to put restorative practices in action! I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in an introduction to restorative practices. Even if you are not directly invested in Residence life on University Campuses, these tools can easily be applied to any personal or professional role.

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5 star rating

The Title is a goof fit for the class's content

Ruth Seyoum

This class has helped me to see things from a different perspective. It has helped me to focus on how to repair what was broken due to different circumstance...

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This class has helped me to see things from a different perspective. It has helped me to focus on how to repair what was broken due to different circumstances. It allowed me to focus on the need that led to people's misconduct or misbehavior.

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Instructor

Lindsey Pointer

Dr. Lindsey Pointer is an internationally recognized expert in restorative practices education and implementation. She has a PhD in Restorative Justice from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where played a key role in designing and implementing the Restorative University initiative. She is a former Fulbright Fellow and Rotary Global Grant recipient and has completed extensive research on restorative justice best practices. She is passionate about building more connected and caring communities.

Course Approach

  • Case Studies

    Learn through engaging with real world stories of applying restorative practices in residence halls.

  • Expert Interviews

    Learn from directors, hall managers, and residential advisors who have implemented restorative practices in their communities.

  • Experiential Learning

    Learn by doing! Practice designing your own circles and restorative conversations and receive feedback and coaching.

Ready to get started?

Begin building, maintaining, and repairing strong relationships in your community though Restorative Practices.

FAQ

  • What is the time commitment?

    The online modules include approximately 8-10 hours of case studies, expert interviews, videos, articles, and experiential learning activities. Work through the course at your own pace and receive regular feedback by email. I also offer a range of training packages for university residence life groups that combine the asynchronous training modules with live Zoom classes that include additional learning activities, skills practice, and discussion. This increases the time commitment to 16-24 hours and results in a deeper level of understanding and confidence when implementing the practices. Please be in touch to discuss which package would be the best fit for your community.

  • How much does the course cost?

    The best way to take this course is with a group of your colleagues. Restorative practices implementation at universities is more successful when there is a community of practice. I offer a range of training packages for university residence life groups that combine the asynchronous training modules with live Zoom classes that include additional learning activities, skills practice, and discussion. Please be in touch to discuss which package would be the best fit for your community. Email LindseyCPointer@gmail.com for more information.

  • What will this course prepare me to do?

    This course will prepare you to be a leader of restorative practices implementation in residence halls. You will familiarize yourself with the restorative philosophy and will learn how to hold a restorative conversation and how to facilitate a circle process, which is used to build relationships, establish norms, hold important community conversations, and respond to community traumas and behavior issues. You will also be introduced to the restorative justice process and will work with an example case study to better understand how it differs from punitive responses. However, you will not learn the specific skills and process needed to facilitate a restorative justice conference as a response to a crime or incident of misconduct. If you would like to take that next step through in-person training, please be in touch.

  • Can I take this training as an individual (rather than as part of a group)?

    Yes, absolutely! While most of the people in the course are part of university cohorts, this training is a great professional development opportunity for individuals as well. Please reach out if you are interested in registering for the course as an individual.

Banner image from Emory University (https://news.emory.edu/features/2019/04/oxford-experience/index.html).