Chemical Eric - The Clicker Version
A Case About the Complexity of Hormonal Control
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Illinois University
This “clicker case” is a modified version of a case originally published in the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science case collection in 2006, “Chemical Eric: Dealing with the Disintegration of Central Control,” by the same author. The case is designed to teach introductory biology majors about the role of the pituitary in controlling hormones. It presents an actual case in which the pituitary is seriously disrupted. By examining the various effects of pituitary disruption and tracing them back to their hormonal causes, students gain an understanding of the role of the pituitary in controlling a variety of hormones and in the cascade of effects triggered by high-level pituitary hormones. The case is formatted as a PowerPoint presentation (~7.7MB) punctuated by questions that students answer in class using personal response systems (“clickers”). The case could be used with slight modifications in a human physiology class or a more advanced animal systems course.
- To present a story of pituitary disruption, and thus bring the list of pituitary functions to life.
- To see the effects of the pituitary on a variety of physiological functions.
- To introduce students to problem-solving and working from data to theory.
KeywordsPituitary gland; pituitary adenoma; tumor; hormones; feedback loops; endocrine pathology; hormonal dysfunction; uteinizing hormone; LH; follicle-stimulating hormone; FSH; acromegaly; diabetes insipidus
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsClicker, Interrupted, Demonstration
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Physiology |
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.