Comprehensive Otolaryngologic Curriculum Learning through Interactive Approach (COCLIA) is a novel teaching tool designed to help residents systematically acquire otolaryngology-head and neck surgery knowledge. Based on adult learning principles, the program provides a discussion platform for basic anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, management and decision making of over 100 major otolaryngology topics.

An active learner centered approach encourages residents to take responsibility for their learning. Research has shown that placing the emphasis on the learning process improves the understanding and long term retention of educational content; traditional lectures, no matter how brilliant, will not be remembered. Now in its 3rd iteration, COCLIA has been well received by residents and faculty; it is an effective and fun way to learn otolaryngology.

How to use this website

Instructions for the Faculty Coordinator:

  • Visit:
  • Click on the Unit name then the Topic name to view the list of discussion questions.
  • Email each resident the website link, the topic name, and the question numbers assigned to them.

Optional: Click the Export to WORD link to create a WORD document listing each question. *Residents will still need to visit the website to view any images/video associated with the question.

Instructions for Residents:

  • Visit:
  • Click on the Unit name then the Topic name to navigate to the topic assigned.
  • Click the Export to WORD link to create a WORD document listing each question.
  • Type your answers in the WORD document.

Optional: Images may be downloaded from the site by using the “save picture as” option on the contextual menu. (Hover the mouse over the image then, If using a PC, click the right mouse button. If using a MAC, command + click.)

How to use these materials

Assign each resident a question to research and respond with a one-page handout.

Residents are responsible for researching answers to assigned questions and sharing the information with their colleagues.  Junior level residents should focus on the basic science or general anatomy and physiology questions. More senior residents should review and discuss landmark or current journal articles pertaining to the topic. Chief residents are assigned management of difficult cases or oral board scenarios.

Schedule time weekly for the residents to gather and present their responses.

Conferences must be scheduled at a time when all can attend. Residents should be exempt from all clinical duties to attend the teaching conference. The program will not work if 1/2 of the residents are absent.
Invite a faculty member who has experience in the topic to attend. The faulty member should be present to serve as a facilitator and oversee the discussion. However, the teaching is done by each resident as they answer their questions.

Cultivate a relaxed learning environment.

Learning can and should be fun. Joke, make the questions funny, have coffee, etc.  Encourage the residents to save the weekly conference handouts. By the end of the two-year program, residents will have a binder with pertinent information on the major topics in otolaryngology.