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Computer-assisted teaching in pharmacology
Thomas Hummel, Jörn Lötsch, Kay Brune and Gerd Kobal
Institut für experimentelle und klinische Pharmakologie, Universität Erlagen-Nürnberg, D-Erlangen
Computer-assisted teaching has become a valuable alternative to experimental animals in the training of medical students. The available software may be classified as follows:
1. Computerised textbooks, which include text, graphics, animations, video clips and sound.
2. Programs prompting the student to make decisions which may be commented by the program.
3. Interactive simulations of biological processes.
4. Computer-based, interactive engineering of experiments which include the processing of off-line recorded data.
Within the last ten years, programs fitting all of these categories have been developed at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Although both, development and maintenance are time-consuming processes, these programs have been introduced most successfully to medical students in pharmacology which, in turn, emphasises the growing importance of computer-based teaching.