Introduction to the Nervous System

Publication ID Published Version
8309 June 20, 2011 1


An interactive tutorial was developed in Macromedia Flash and Viewpoint for distribution to first-year medical and dental students. It serves as an introduction to the nervous system and the nomenclature (functional components) used for classification. The objective was to stimulate knowledge acquisition and retention by creating drill-and-practice exercises that focus on cranial and spinal nerve pathways including details about neurological deficits and tests of diagnostic and prognostic importance. Active learning was achieved by providing learners with opportunities for repetition and self-assessment through immediate feedback and quizzes. Content delivery consists of eleven objective-driven tutorial units with associated sound files, animated diagrams, labeled images, a glossary, e-flashcards, patient (virtual) simulations for physical examination, nine patient-based case studies, and five Jeopardy-style games in the format of NBME subject examinations. The tutorial complements didactic and practical (dissection) activities of beginner health care professionals enrolled in human structure courses. It is best used in conjunction with lectures and labs reinforcing didactic and practical (dissection) learning experiences. Convenient access also can be provided to learners reviewing for clinical certification and licensure examinations or to patients conferring with practitioners about their own neurological disorders.


Reilly F. Introduction to the Nervous System. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2011. Available from:

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To learn the normal structure and function of the peripheral nervous system and the nomenclature used to classify (functional components) the neurons forming it.
  2. To understand the neurological deficits of diagnostic and prognostic importance.
  3. To create opportunities for learner self-assessment through repetition and immediate feedback using unit quizzes and other interactive exercises.
  4. To provide access for self-directed and problem-based local and distance learning.


  • Differential Diagnosis, Physical Examination, Clinical Competence, OSCE, Cranial and Spinal Nerves, Computer-Aided Instruction


  • Medical
    • Neurology


  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Professional Interest

  • Instructional Materials/Methods

Instructional Methods

  • Independent Learning
  • Tutorial

Organ Systems

  • Nervous system

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Embryology & Developmental Biology
    • Gross Anatomy
    • Neuroscience
  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Exam

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student

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ISSN 2374-8265