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Professor Eric Can’t Hear


Author(s)

Alexis Lee
Department of Health Sciences
Crean College at Chapman University
Diane Kim
Department of Health Sciences
Crean College at Chapman University
Eric Sternlicht
Department of Health Sciences
Crean College at Chapman University
sternlic@chapman.edu
Caroline H. Wilson
Department of Health Sciences
Crean College at Chapman University
cawilson@chapman.edu

Abstract

This case study is based on a true story of a professor who had hearing and balance issues and was subsequently diagnosed with a vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma). As learners label images, generate hypotheses, and think critically about Professor Eric’s diagnosis and surgery outcomes, they explore the anatomy and physiology of cranial nerves V–IX and topics related to myelination, brain meninges, and cerebrospinal fluid flow and blockage. This case was designed for a flipped classroom and includes a pre-class video reviewing key concepts. The in-class portion of the case begins with two large-class discussions, after which students are placed on one of four teams. Each team examines a different stage of Professor Eric’s treatment: presurgical planning, surgery, surgical complications, and his rehabilitation affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. Each team presents their findings to the class, and the class concludes by watching a video of Professor Eric discussing his progress a year after surgery. This case was developed for an upper-division neurophysiology course, but it may be suitable for advanced anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, or introductory neuroscience courses.


Objectives

  • Identify the cranial nerves, especially the anatomy related to CNs V–IX.
  • Outline the anatomical relationship between CN VIII (the vestibulocochlear nerve), other cranial nerves, and the brainstem.
  • Summarize the anatomy and physiology of the hearing apparatus.
  • Explain the symptoms of tumors related to CN VIII.
  • Interpret basic medical imaging data related to cranial nerve and brainstem anatomy.
  • Recognize some medical complications from brain surgeries including hydrocephalus, use of intraventricular shunts, and cognitive deficits.

Keywords

Hearing; balance; cranial nerves; imaging; brain tumor; myelin; meninges; cerebrospinal fluid; CSF; brain ventricles; therapy; schwannoma; acoustic neuroma; Covid-19;

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Directed, Discussion, Flipped, Interrupted, Student Presentations

Language

English

Subject Headings

Anatomy  |   Biology (General)  |   Cell Biology  |   Medicine (General)  |   Neuroscience  |   Nursing  |   Physiology  |  


Date Posted

12/27/2021

Teaching Notes

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Answer Key

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Videos

The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.

  • Professor Eric Can’t Hear: Pre-Case Video
    This video provides important background for the case study “Professor Eric Can’t Hear” and describes hearing and balance issues, anatomy of cranial nerves V-IX, and anatomy and physiology of the ventricles. The case is designed for a “flipped” classroom, and this video is assigned for pre-class viewing. Running time: 10:55 min. Produced by Diane Kim and Caroline Wilson, 2021.
  • Professor Eric Can’t Hear: Post-Case Video
    This video provides an update of Professor Eric’s progress a year after the 2020 global Covid-19 pandemic lockdown began. The video can be used to conclude the case. Running time: 2:57 min. Produced by Alexis Lee and Eric Sternlicht, 2021.

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