Thoracic Surgical Curriculum

The Thoracic Surgical Curriculum (TSC) is part of a new Learning Management System (LMS) launched and retained by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. This LMS can help easily fulfill a significant part of cardiothoracic surgery educational needs.

Program directors and coordinators can set up a 1-, 2-, or 3-year curriculum in just a few mouse-clicks, as well as create customized assignments and offer National Benchmarked Quizzes for resident comparison across programs. It is important to note that the information available through the LMS is the same as that used by The American Board of Thoracic Surgery to create its certification exams, and the LMS offers functionality to help program directors report progress milestones.

All users, including residents and faculty members, have full access to the System’s robust library that features textbooks, videos, case presentations, and more. The content is concise, and up-to-date, assembled by a national group of cardiothoracic surgery educators.

If you already have a login, check out the new content that is available.  If you don’t have a login, go to learnctsurgery.sts.org, click SIGN-IN at the top right, and then click REQUEST SITE ACCESS.

For more information about the LMS, contact Lauren Aloia at laloia@sts.org.


Program Directors and Coordinators will be able to upload and use their own content in assignments.

The new LMS will allow Program Directors and Coordinators to upload their own content to the library. Acceptable file formats include pdf, docx, mp4, jpeg, gif, png, and pptx, and they cannot exceed 50 MB. Program Directors and Coordinators can also add external links to the library, this may be useful for videos on YouTube or other content you can access online. The uploaded files and external links will only be visible to users in the same program as the Director or Coordinator and will be stored under External Content in the library (see image below).

The PD uploaded two files and added one external link to the program’s library housed under “External Content”.

Program Directors and Coordinators can include the external content in new assignments.  For example, the image below shows an assignment with all the content from TS10, plus an external piece uploaded by the Program Director.

At any time, the users can go into the library and view the external content added by their Program Director and Coordinator.


All users will have access to all content in the TSC library at all times. 

The TSC library consists all of the content hand-picked by the TSC Section and Topic Editors for the 88 pre-determined assignments. At any time, a user may go into the library and search for anything using the advanced filters. Users have the option to filter content by type, level, milestones, ABTS categories, courses, and topics (pre-determined assignments).


The new online curriculum will allow program directors and coordinators to view their trainees’ progress for each assignment.

Below is an example of what a new assignment will look like from a program director or coordinators point-of-view.

Image -1

In reference to yellow markers on Image-1:

  1. The name of the assignment and instructions from the program director/coordinator.
  2. Assignment content: This assignment contains one video, two reading assignments, and a Test Your Knowledge called “Cardiac review quiz.”
  3. See how many people have completed the assignment at a glance.
  4. View, in detail, each trainees’ progress for this assignment (see Image-2).
  5. This is a group chat with the program director/coordinator and trainees.


Image-2

In reference to the yellow markers on Image-2:

  1. The status of the trainee: not started, in progress, or completed.
  2. The number of attempts and score are show for Test Your Knowledge.
  3. Program directors/coordinators can email trainees or return their completed assignments to them with feedback.

The new TSC system will give program directors and coordinators the ability to assign National Benchmarked Quizzes to all of their trainees and see how they compare to others.

The quizzes can be taken over and over again. For each quiz, the system will save your highest score. The reports will compare your score with three different groups:

  1.  The average high score of all the trainees in North America.
  2.  The average high score of all the trainees in the same type of program as you (I6, traditional 2 or 3 year).
  3. The average high score of all the trainees at the same PGY level and same type of program as you.

The new online curriculum will allow program directors and coordinators to assign years’ worth of pre-determined assignments to their trainees in just a few mouse-clicks.

Pre-determined assignments are created by the TSC editors; there are 88 assignments total: 33 cardiac, 42 thoracic and 12 congenital. Each assignment contains content (textbook chapters, journal articles, or videos), hand-picked by the editors and identified as the most relevant and up-to-date content for the topic. These assignments are the same ones used in MOODLE, now they are just easier to assign and to keep track progress.

What are the benefits of using the pre-determined assignments?

In just a few clicks, the program directors and coordinators can assign all 88 pre-determined assignments to their trainees, spread-out over 1, 2 or 3 years. The following schedules will be available to choose from:

  • 1 Year Curriculum Schedule – 88 assignments assigned over 46 weeks: Each week, trainees will have two assignments: a cardiac/congenital topic AND a thoracic topic. This leaves 6 weeks of the year to schedule around breaks, holidays or conferences.
  • 2 Year Curriculum Schedule – 88 assignments assigned over 89 weeks: Each week, trainees will have one assignment: a cardiac, thoracic OR congenital topic. This leaves 15 weeks, out of two years, to schedule around breaks, holidays or conferences.
  • 3 Year Curriculum Schedule– 88 assignments assigned over 135 weeks: Every one or two weeks, trainees will have one assignment: a cardiac, thoracic OR congenital topic to complete. This leaves 21 weeks, out of three years, to schedule around breaks, holidays or conferences.

What if my program doesn’t want to use the pre-determined assignments?

You don’t have to! The new system will also give program directors and coordinators the freedom to create their own custom assignments of any number and length.


The new online curriculum will allow program directors and coordinators to create their own customized assignments.  

Pre-determined assignments are created by the TSC editors; there are 88 assignments total: 33 cardiac, 42 thoracic and 12 congenital. Each assignment contains content (textbook chapters, journal articles, or videos), hand-picked by the editors and identified as the most relevant and up-to-date content for the topic.  These assignments are the same ones we have used in MOODLE, now they are easier to assign and keep track of progress.

What if your program doesn’t want to use the pre-determined assignments?

You don’t have to. The new system will give program directors and coordinators the freedom to create an infinite number of their own custom assignments.

Here are the steps for creating custom assignments:

1.    Name the assignment.
2.    Add instructions for the assignment (optional).
3.    Set the assignment start date and due date.
4.    Use the content library in the system to add items to the assignment and/or upload your own content.
5.    Choose the trainees you want to give the assignment to.
6.    Add a “Test Your Knowledge” section (optional) – this is similar to a quiz, but it is not included in the benchmarked reporting.

You can also use a combination of both the pre-determined assignments and the customized assignments, you won’t be limited to one option.   All program directors and coordinators will be able to see their trainees’ progress and “Test Your Knowledge” scores at any time for any assignment. PDs and PCs will also be notified when a trainee adds a comment in the assignment’s chat section or turns in an assignment.