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

    • Congratulations!


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 she designed and implemented 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.


  • What is the time commitment?

    Approximately 8-10 hours of case studies, expert interviews, articles, and experiential learning activities. Work through the course at your own pace and receive regular feedback from the instructor.

  • How much does the course cost?

    The course costs $275 USD. Group discounts are available. Email 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.


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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