Education Committee Report: Enhanced Delivery of Online Medical Education

Zoher Ghogawala, MD

The Congress of Neurological Surgeons is launching a new, comprehensive online learning initiative. Since the CNS exists to enhance health and improve lives worldwide through the advancement of education and scientific exchange, online education is a key component to meeting that mission. For the past two years, we have worked to select, configure and deliver a new learning management system that will provide you with access to the best in online neurosurgical education. Products can be filtered by subspecialty, preferred format or by conventional search methods. When you participate in online courses you will receive recommendations on related courses along with a list of what your neurosurgical colleagues are viewing.

Access to the material has been greatly enhanced, with all courses optimized for desktop and tablet. The registration, viewing and evaluation processes for all products has improved.

Not everything is new: we’ve kept the things you’ve asked us to continue. Live webinars will continue to be recorded and made available on demand within days of the live event. In addition, with all of our online education, you will be able to immediately claim credit and print your CME certificate!

CNS’ most popular online learning resource, the Self-Assessment in Neurological Surgery (SANS) products, will be completely refreshed, not only in terms of look and feel but also in terms of content. The SANS editorial board, led by Ashok Asthagiri, MD, is in the process of vetting every single SANS question. Many will be rewritten, some will be discarded, and new questions will be added. As mentioned above, access to SANS will be mobile-friendly and registration will be more straightforward.

A shining star in the portfolio of online products is the new Case-Based Learning program. Case-Based Learning modules mirror clinical experience through real cases, engaging and informing you through a scenario-based program. The modules describe a clinical situation and force you to walk through the decision-making process. William T. Curry, MD, Case-Based Learning Editor-in-Chief, states, “CBL is a highly efficient learning process, with ready availability of concepts that are applicable to and necessary for everyday neurosurgery practice.” The first cases that will be available are:

  • Unruptured Right MCA Aneurysm andAsymptomatic Right Carotid Stenosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Glioblastoma
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

This exciting program has involved the work of countless volunteers who have painstakingly written and edited a variety of cases along with developing an editorial calendar that will deliver cases on a variety of topics across all subspecialties. Brian L. Hoh, MD, author of the Aneurysm and Carotid Stenosis case, states, “We are excited about Case-Based Learning as an innovative learning tool that brings the relevance of clinical case situations to the learner to enhance the education experience. Learners will find evidence-based, didactic teaching with the aid of the most up-to-date peer-reviewed literature applied to real-life clinical cases. The whole experience should be rewarding, educational, and hopefully, fun.”

The CNS is continuing to invest in developing subspecialty-specific material, so, when you need more neurotrauma/critical care credits, you can rely on CNS online education programs.

The new CNS Simulation program (see the Simulation edition of the Congress Quarterly) is integrating didactic and analytical components of the learning management system in order to teach techniques and impose standardized measurement of learning in the Simulation activities.

Lastly, content in the new learning management system has gone through a rigorous review by the CNS U Editorial Board, led by Nicholas Bambakidis, MD. The editorial board has vetted every single online course and either renewed or retired each one. You can be assured that all content is valid and current.

For Phase II of the online learning program, we will include the opportunity for discussion about each activity. We will also routinely incorporate your feedback into the products and the delivery methods in order to provide the optimal online learning system for neurosurgery.

The possibilities for delivering innovative, timely, accurate and relevant educational content in the new learning management system are endless. We are excited about the opportunity to show you more about what this new system can do. Please plan to stop by the CNS Booth in the exhibit hall for demonstrations on the new SANS and Case-Based Learning during the CNS Annual Meeting in Boston!