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Objectives and concept

The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Lung Cancer is an academic post-graduate studies programme issued by the University of Zurich with the scope of advancing knowledge and science in the management of patients affected by lung cancer or other thoracic malignancies.

The Programme provides state-of-the-art information and best practice in research and therapy including decision-making and diagnosis, treatment options and planning of the comprehensive management.
The main objective of the Programme is to improve both the theoretical knowledge as well as to enhance the competence and performance of state-of-the-art care for patients with lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies and to provide the additional skills and in deep knowledge on how to design and perform clinical research in the field. A professional attitude to patients, families and all members of the interdisciplinary team provides the framework for all considerations.

The Programme enables participants to advance individual strategies and bridge the gap between evidence-based guidelines and professional experience. Thus, it intends to make current strategies and behaviour consistent with best practice of treatment and care in lung cancer and thoracic malignancies. Successful completion of the Programme qualifies for a state-of-the-art diagnostic, treatment, research and care of these patients. In addition, the Programme provides better insight and skills in multidisciplinary team work and improves communication skills. Accordingly, the Programme leads to better care of each individual patient as well as to improved control of lung cancer and thoracic malignancies in a whole society.

The blended learning concept of the Programme combines three attendance seminars, which include sessions designed for the Programme participants only and participation in other selected conferences and courses, with web-based and individual learning. All contents were designed to meet the highest international scientific level in oncology dealing with lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.

To enhance a deep understanding as well as sustainable learning outcomes, the Programme presents a teaching model based on an active, constructive and target-oriented learning process. The collaborative approach combining attendance seminars and online-modules is intended to construct knowledge by networking within scientific workgroups. Both the content’s definition and the methodological approach are geared towards the learners’ expectations in terms of value and outcome. To allow all involved parties to ascertain the ultimate achievement of the objectives, the results are translated in measurable terms with clear workload hours, ECTS, tests and exam.

The attendance seminars include lectures and practical workshops that contribute to the implementation of good clinical practice, sound clinical decision-making processes and overall competence. The web-based modules offer a comprehensive portfolio with basic lectures, clinical case-based learning and collaborative exercises to put the learners in real-life scenarios, discussing diagnoses and treatment of patients with international renowned experts. Thus, learners will follow the curriculum by working individually, in collaboration with their fellow students and with the experts. The purpose of this design is to enhance the peer assessment offering the possibility to review one’s own and the colleagues’ work. To achieve a high degree of self-directed and interactive learning – especially in the online modules – the Programme presents different levels of interactivity and a number of theoretical suggestions regarding e-content organisation to be provided in the units. All standards are defined in the e-learning style guide of the Programme. Participants will be divided in groups and each is assigned to one of the chairs who will act as tutor offering them support throughout the curriculum.

The teaching method is based on a theoretical framework that integrates the learning process with the participants’ prior knowledge and profile, therefore taking into account the significant degree of expertise and experience that the participants had already acquired.

The learning environment is developed in several formats:
Scientific lectures, multiple clinical cases and case studies, virtual classrooms and meet-the-expert sessions.

Didactic Structure for the development of clinical competence

Curricular dimension
Processual dimension
Performative dimension

 - Knowledge-based
 - Evidence-based medicine
 - State-of-the-art therapy

 - Analysing and reflecting clinical
 - Case-based learning
 - Procedural knowledge

 - Presenting and performing clinical 
   treatment implementing good clinical practice


 - Lectures
 - Reading
 - Virtual classroom teaching

 - Clinical cases
 - Virtual clinical-cases
 - e-sessions

 - Clinical case presentations by participants
 - e-sessions