Determining Your Format

The content included in this curriculum is specially designed for presentation for inter-professional learning. It is also useful for individuals who may want to learn about the content in a self-paced format. Individuals can tailor their learning experience in a sequence that best meets their needs. When the curriculum invites reflection, an individual can pause for his/her own reflection of the question or issue.

If you are using the curricula in an inter-professional format, thinking through the resources and challenges at your institution and the desired outcome of the curricular activities is vital. The inter-professional curriculum reflects relevant issues and challenges that face patients, family members, and the healthcare team. The curriculum is composed of topics that will challenge and produce increased knowledge, attitude, and skill regarding pediatric palliative care issues such as: quality of life, communication, trust, hope, and pain management.  The concepts portrayed in the films are not typical curriculum subjects found in hospital institutions, but are crucial aspects of pediatric palliative care and quality patient care. In order for your training to be successful, it is important to think through what aspects of training would be of most importance and interest for your institution. You may want to consider using systematic assessment tools to understand the needs in your community and to inform your decisions about format, goals and results you hope to achieve.

Points to Remember

  • Conduct a Participant/Institution Needs Assessment to assist in formulating your training agenda. Being aware of the resources, challenges, and needs of your participants and institution can help you develop an appropriate agenda.
  • Focus on your primary goals for the training. Review each module and accompanying learning objectives, exercises, resources, and Powerpoint presentations to determine which elements best fit with your proposed outcomes.
  • Leave time for discussion. The films are poignant and jam-packed with potential discussion points so it is recommended that you leave a significant amount of time for group discussion. Try not to rush since the primary impact of this curriculum is the depth of emotion and empathy that can surface if time allows. Also, leave time for evaluations at the end of the session if you choose to do this.

We encourage you to review the following questions to assist you in determining the best training format for your institution:


  • Who is your intended audience?
    • Will it be presented to people with a broad range of experiences or focused on one profession or expertise?
    • Will it include an inter-professional team that is drawn from specialty clinics or inpatient units, or is it a hospital-wide training?
    • Do you want to include palliative care specialists?
    • Do you want to create a regional training that involves other institutions across the continuum of care?
  • Whose leadership and endorsement do you need to make this a successful project?


  • What are you trying to accomplish? What is your central aim/purpose?
    • Raise awareness?
    • Build skills and capacity among clinicians?
    • Foster relationships?
    • Others?
  • To what extent is there alignment with other personal, professional, or organizational values and priorities?
    • How might this training be leveraged to accomplish other important goals?
  • Why would participants want to attend?
    • What would make this training relevant and useful?
    • How do you align your vision with their interests?


  • What shifts in behavior, processes or practices are you seeking to change?
  • What will people be doing differently as a result of participating in this training?
  • What topics are most important to emphasize?
  • What format will work best in your institution?
    • Facilitated small group discussion, large group didactic?
    • Do you want a small, intimate setting for discussion or a large room to bring in the capacity of participants?
  • What will make your training effective?
    • What will be necessary to sustain the learning after the training?
  • What are the complexities of what you are trying to accomplish?


  • Where will this training take place (depends on number of people you want to invite, the number of people you expect, and the associated costs)?
    • During a regular training session, 1 day workshop?
    • 2 ½ day retreat?
    • In the hospital? Training center? Off site location?
    • What location, date, and time is most conducive for your target audience?
    • What equipment and technical assistance is needed and available?


  • When is an appropriate time of day/month/year to plan this training?
    • In terms of institutional culture?
    • What other trainings and required compliance activities may compete with this training?


  • How will the training best serve your intended audience?
  • How should you format the training to get your best response and achieve your desired results?
  • How will you know if you have been successful?

Additional Institutional Assessment Resources:

Levetown M, Dokken DHeller, K.S., et al. for The Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care (IPPC). A Pediatric Palliative Care Institutional Self-Assessment Tool (ISAT). Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc. 2002. For information, contact: M. Z. Solomon, EDC, 55 Chapel Street, Newton MA, 02458-1060.  Also available at or