Introduction to Endocrinology

an interactive, foundation level computer-based tutorial to introduce the endocrine system

David Dewhurst & Lynne Robertson


This highly interactive program is divided into several sections, each of which may be accessed from a menu:

Introduction: an overview of the function of the endocrine system, location of some of the important endocrine glands;

Chemical properties: covers the three main chemical groups of hormones: peptides and glycoproteins, steroids and amines, giving examples of each. For each group the program describes the synthesis, transport and physiological implications of the chemical properties.

Cellular Mechanisms of Action: covers the main features of how (i) peptide and catecholamine hormones act at the cellular level (second messengers) and (ii) steroids and thyroid hormones act at the cellular level;

Hypothalamus - Pituitary: describes the anatomy of the structures and the relationship and connections between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland; the hormones of the anterior and posterior lobes, regulation of their release and main physiological functions.

High quality colour graphics are used extensively throughout the program and features such as animation and a hotword facility are used to enhance student learning. The program is highly interactive and uses several features to promote this. For example the main sections all have associated student tasks e.g. true/false questions with feedback, drag-and-drop exercises. These are designed to allow students to assess their understanding of the section they have completed and also to present additional information and explanations through the feedback. The learning package is intended to be used either:

to support existing teaching methods, or for independent study where it could be used as an alternative to staff-led tutorials or lectures. It is estimated that it would occupy students for two to three hours of fairly intensive study and is suitable for primary learning or revision. The question-answer sections may also be useful for self-assessment.

Language Versions: English

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Windows:
    • Microsoft Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8
    • 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
    • 128MB of RAM (1GB of RAM recommended for netbooks); 128MB of graphics memory
    • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, Safari 5.0 or later, or Opera 11
  • Mac OS:
    • Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, or v10.8
    • Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
    • 256MB of RAM; 128MB of graphics memory
    • Safari 5.0 or later, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 or later, Google Chrome, or Opera 11

Target Audience: Particularly suitable for undergraduates from a range of science, medical and health-related courses. It may be used for both primary learning, revision and as a remedial teaching resource.

Price: £250 (multiuser, educational license)

ISBN 1-874758-33-6
©2008 Sheffield Bioscience Programs