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How to Use These Educational Resources

Teaching Formats

Each Module includes a summary of Objectives, Content, Discussion Questions, Teaching Formats, and Primary References. This information can be applied to several different teaching formats including:

Didactic Lectures

Instructors with limited course time (i.e. 10-12 hours) may prefer to use a lecture format, in which case, PPT presentations can be used as the primary tool for knowledge transfer. The Discussion Questions contained in each module may be used for subsequent class participation. Though the practical applications in Modules 3 (interview analysis), 6 (clinical impressions of Psychological Evaluations) 7 and 8 (medical evaluations of Case Examples) and 9 (mock court proceedings) were designed primarily as group activites, PPT presentions for these Modules can be used as case demonstrations for the entire class.

Self-Assessment quizzes are available for each Module and instructors may use these as the basis for knowledge assessments. Suggestions for individual research or assignments are included in each Module and may be used for knowledge assessments. Another option would be to ask students to keep a journal and make entries throughout the course. Suggestions for journal entries are included in the Teaching Format section at the beginning of each Module. They should consist of several paragraphs (no more than a page) that are shared only with the instructor or with the entire class. Reflections in student journals could be a formal or an informal tool to assess student progress.


Seminars are an ideal teaching format as they provide more time for student interactions and for practical applications and group activities that are suggested for each Module. In the seminar format, it would be advisable for the students to read the content of each module in advance of attending class. PPT Presentations are not as useful as they are redundant with the content of the Modules. Seminar classes may be structured to address the Discussion Questions listed for each of the Module or to work on a Group Activity. Suggestions for group activities are also included in each Module. The process for group activities is as follows:

Knowledge assessment may be based on participation and performance in seminar discussions and group activities. Student also may be required to submit their written reports for Modules 7 and 8. Another option would be to ask students to make journal entries throughout the course as described above. The Self-Assessment quizzes would likely not be used in the seminar format.

Student Groups

Health professional students may initiate their own course if instructors are not available and/or there is no time alloted for such electives in the students’ curriculum A seminar format would be advisable for such student groups, but any combination of the teaching formats could be applied for such purposes.

Individual Students

Individual students may access the Model Curriculum online and take the course at their own pace. This would be a very effective way of learning how to document torture and ill-treatment when there are no courses/instructors/student groups available. While individual, self-programmed studies may be convenient for students, the practical applications component of the Model curriculum would be limited.

Individual students should focus on the Modules rather than PPT Presentations. They should read through the Discussion Questions and give them careful consideration. The Self-Assessment quizzes for each Module would be useful for students to assess their progress. They also may consider keeping a journal as described above.

National Adaptation of the Model Curriculum

Torture practises vary, to some extent, in different regions of the world, as do national legal standards, and the extent of human rights monitoring and documentation of such practises. A systematic, country-specific review of legal standards and torture practises is beyond the scope of this Curriculum. It is highly recommended that instructors and students research and include relevant country-specific materials for effective national adaptation of the modules contained in this curriculum.

The Prevention through Documentation Project has included 10 target countries (Georgia, Mexico, Morocco, Sri Lanka Uganda, Ecuador, Egypt, Kenya, the Philippines, and Serbia). Country assessment reports by the IRCT are availabe (see: http://www.irct.org/Target-countries-2709.aspx [1]) and may serve as a model for national adaptation efforts. A series of national adaptation resources have been developed to relate generic, international materials to local settings (see: http://www.irct.org/Purpose—principles-2715.aspx [2] or contact the IRCT for additional information)

Guest Speakers

It is highly recommended for Model Curriculum instructors to contact local treatment centers for survivors of torture, and/or other experienced clincians or providers who may be available to participate in the the Model Curriculum course, especially in supervising the practise interviews for the cases included in Modules 7 and 8.