Construction and Practice of General Education Course “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Chinese Culture”


Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Chinese Culture is a general education elective course offered by Yangtze University. This paper introduces the construction of the course from six aspects: course objectives, course construction, teaching design, course assessment and evaluation, course characteristics and innovation, and continued construction plan, which can provide some reference for the construction of similar courses.

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Qi, G. , Heng, Y. , Pan, F. , Lu, C. and Huang, J. (2022) Construction and Practice of General Education Course “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Chinese Culture”. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 10, 123-130. doi: 10.4236/jss.2022.107011.

1. Introduction

In August 2016, at the National Health and Health Conference, President Xi Jinping proposed to focus on promoting the revitalization and development of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In December 2016, Xi stressed efforts to promote and strengthen the cultural construction of colleges and universities, on the basis of educating all staff, enhance cultural consciousness and cultural confidence (Liu, 2018). In October 2019, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the “Opinions on Promoting the Inheritance, Innovation and Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine”, which pointed out that it is necessary to promote the inheritance and open innovation and development of traditional Chinese medicine, implement traditional Chinese medicine culture dissemination actions, and integrate traditional Chinese medicine culture into national education. In the same year, Health Science Center of Yangtze University established a course team, and selected the “National Excellent Online Course” “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Traditional Culture” launched by the team of Shanghai Jiaotong University on the “Good University Online” platform as the online teaching resource, aiming at the actual situation of Yangtze University to integrate resources, combine the regional cultural characteristics of local colleges and universities to enrich the teaching content, carry out teaching reform, set up the general education elective course “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Traditional Culture”, and devote itself to spreading the traditional Chinese medicine culture. Over the past three years, the number of students taking this course has exceeded 500, the overall satisfaction rate of students’ teaching evaluation is over 93%. In 2021, the course was approved as a first-class online and offline mixed first-class undergraduate course in Hubei Province of China. So We want to share the course construction experience.

2. Course Objectives

Yangtze University is a comprehensive university with a complete range of disciplines. The university gives full play to its multi-disciplinary comprehensive resource advantages and offers a variety of general education elective courses to cultivate broad knowledge, high comprehensive quality, entrepreneurial spirit and innovative talents. This course is open to all grades and majors in the university. It adopts a mixed online and offline teaching mode, with a total of 30 credit hours and 1.5 credits. Through the study of this course, students should achieve the following value, knowledge, and ability goals to support the training requirements of various professionals.

2.1. Value Goals

Enhance the sense of historical responsibility, national pride and cultural self-confidence, and establish a good moral outlook on life and a healthy outlook on harmonious life.

2.2. Knowledge Objectives

To understand the cultural background of the origin and development of TCM; to be familiar with its important academic thoughts and figures; to understand its historical status, value, the foundation of traditional Chinese culture and its important contribution to Chinese culture and even world culture.

2.3. Ability Goals

Have the ability to learn independently, and be able to use critical thinking to think about how to inherit the essence and keep upright and innovate.

3. Course Construction

3.1. Team Construction

From the beginning of the course preparation, a professional teaching team with a stable structure has been formed. There are 5 teachers, 4 of whom have education and teaching research backgrounds in Traditional Chinese Medicine universities, and 1 has literature and history education and teaching research background; 4 doctors, 1 master; 1 professor, 2 associate professors, and 2 lecturers. The team teachers have rich teaching experience and fruitful results. They have undertaken a number of national, provincial and school-level teaching and scientific research projects. In the past 5 years, they have won 2 teaching achievement awards in Hubei Province of China, 2 school-level teaching achievement awards, and school-level teaching, 5 Outstanding Contribution/ Quality Excellence Awards.

3.2. The Resource Construction

The course team combines the educational orientation of Yangtze University, the situation of students and the training requirements of various professionals. In order to avoid duplication of resources, based on the high-quality online teaching resources built by the team of Associate Professor Chongsheng Peng, make full use of the platform and teacher resources such as experimental center of Health Science Center (the provincial demonstration base), Jingchu Culture Research Center (the provincial key research base for humanities and social sciences), integrate and expand resources, set up theme reports and discussions in offline classrooms, visit Traditional Chinese Medicine laboratories, and study Chu culture College and field seminars, etc., do a good job in course teaching design, prepare course syllabus, lesson plans and courseware according to local conditions.

4. Teaching Design

4.1. Teaching Concept

Student-centered, teacher-guided, and moral education-based.

4.2. Analysis of Academic Situation

Students involve multiple grades and majors, and there are certain differences in cognitive level and professional background. Some students only aim to take credits and do not have enough learning initiative.

4.3. Teaching Points and Difficulties

1) Teaching points: dig deep into the traditional cultural elements of TCM and inherit the essence.

2) Teaching difficulties: critically inherit the traditional culture of TCM, carry out self-reflection, and keep upright and innovate.

4.4. Teaching Methods

The combination of task-driven, participation, interaction, inspiration, lecture, discussion, experiential and other teaching methods.

4.5. Teaching Means

The combination of multimedia teaching methods and blackboard writing to assist the Changjiang Rain Classroom, QQ and other tools.

4.6. Course Content

This course has 30 hours and 15 lessons, 50% of which are online and offline. The main content is to combine TCM with traditional Chinese cultural classics, so that students can understand the origin and development of TCM and the basic theory of TCM. And the essence of TCM and traditional culture of the motherland such as thoughts, traditional cultural genes of TCM, characteristic thoughts of TCM and traditional Chinese medicine health culture. The specific arrangement of each class is as follows:

1) Offline class: course guide, introducing the course team, course learning method, and teaching plan; organize students to ask “Why should I study this course?” “How do you view the historical status of TCM?” “How much do you know about Chinese medicine culture? What other Chinese medicine cultures do you want to know?” Three questions were discussed in groups.

2) Online learning: introduction, go into TCM.

3) Offline classroom: review the content of online teaching; organize students to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of TCM” in groups; take students to visit the exhibition room of TCM specimens.

4) Online learning: Basic theories and thoughts of TCM.

5) Offline classroom: review the online teaching content; organize students to report in groups and discuss “talk about the yin and yang thoughts in natural sciences or social sciences in combination with their majors”; expand lectures on “TCM and science”.

6) Online learning: the traditional cultural genes of TCM.

7) Offline class: review the content of online teaching; organize students to discuss in groups “Which traditional culture has the greatest influence on TCM? Why?” “Combined with Confucianism, talk about your understanding and ideals of the doctor-patient relationship in today’s medical field. The relationship between doctors and patients”; visiting the Jingchu Culture Research Center to expand the teaching of “TCM and Chu Culture”.

8) Online learning: the characteristic thoughts of TCM “TCM View of Heaven and Man” and “TCM View of Life”.

9) Offline classroom: review the online teaching content; organize students to discuss in groups “discuss personal life planning based on TCM life view”; expand the lecture on “the concept of life in TCM and socialist core values”.

10) Online learning: the characteristic thought of TCM “the thought of famous doctors and famous masters”.

11) Offline classroom: review the online teaching content; organize students to report in groups and discuss “summarize the academic thoughts and contributions of famous ancient doctors”; extended lectures on “Thoughts and Inspirations of Famous Contemporary Doctors”.

12) Online Learning: Chinese Medicine Health Culture “The Origin of Chinese Medicine Health Ideas” and “The Way of Health”.

13) Offline Classes: Review Online Teaching content; organize students to report in groups to discuss “the idea of treating pre-diseases and the way of health preservation in TCM”; expand the “scientific concept of health preservation”.

14) Online learning: TCM health preservation culture “health preservation techniques”, “medicine and food homology”.

15) Offline class: review the online teaching content; organize students to report in groups to discuss “listing both medicinal and edible Chinese medicines and explaining their efficacy”; expand the lecture on “the recognition of TCM constitution”.

4.7. Course Organization and Implementation

1) Before class

· Pre-class study: after determining the list of students for elective courses, publish the study guide for the public elective courses of Yangtze University MOOCs and “Good University Online” in advance through the Changjiang Rain Classroom and the course QQ group Use the guide to introduce the learning methods, learning objectives, etc., of this course.

· Pre-classroom learning: it is realized through the introduction of the content of the stage course in each offline class and the tutoring of students during online learning. Students combine the course syllabus and the learning arranged by the teacher in advance. The task is to independently conduct video learning and data reading within the specified learning time, complete online chapter exercises, discussions, and preparation for offline classroom group reports. During this process, teachers conduct online tutoring and answer questions in a timely manner, and encourage students from different disciplines.

2) In Class: start the first half of the class in a “divided classroom” mode

· The first half of the class: take the task driven, participation, interaction and discussion teaching method, each group (4 ~ 5 students), send representatives to the theme of the report, specified by the class to guide students to discuss, to promote students’ understanding of the difficult point of knowledge, and cultivate students’ autonomous learning ability, teamwork ability, expression ability and practice ability in teaching. After each group reported and discussed, students were evaluated, students and lecturers were evaluated, questions were answered and mistakes were corrected to cultivate students’ critical thinking, further explore the cultural connotation of TCM and promote the internalization and absorption of knowledge.

· The second half of class: to teach, interactive, inspired and experiential teaching method, teachers union online teaching content and students report discussion of knowledge development, through the questions, the picture show, combining “the Changjiang rain classrooms” online interaction, part of the course was conducted in the Chinese medicine specimen showroom and jingchu culture research center of Yangtze University, guides the student to refine sublimation, think critically about how to inherit the essence and keep the integrity and innovation in combination with my own specialty. Finally, import the content of the next class and assign tasks for the next stage of online learning and offline classroom.

3) After Class: evaluation and improvement

Through the analysis of students’ online and offline learning progress and performance, comprehensive evaluation of teaching effect, timely improvement.

5. Course Assessment and Evaluation

5.1. Course Assessment

The proportion of course assessment is divided between online and offline, that is, online and offline grades each account for 50%. Among them, online score = 30% video/data browsing + 20% objective question practice + 20% online discussion + 30% online test; offline score = 40% offline classroom score + 60% offline test score. The offline class is comprehensively graded according to students’ reports, discussions, interactive speeches, etc. The offline test questions are selection, judgment, short answer, and discussion, which test students’ knowledge mastery and internalization absorption.

5.2 Course Performance Evaluation

Team teachers transform education concepts, integrate various teaching methods, and highlight “student-centered”; students change their learning concepts, improve their autonomous learning ability, and can analyze and solve problems with critical thinking, and their overall quality is greatly improved. Since the beginning of the course, it has been widely praised by students and highly affirmed by peer experts. According to statistics from the Academic Affairs Office, the overall satisfaction rate of students’ teaching evaluation is over 93%. During the course construction exchange and sharing with peer experts inside and outside the school, they were highly affirmed by experts. They believed that the teaching mode of this course was novel, integrating moral education into the whole course teaching, and actively committed to the dissemination of traditional Chinese medicine culture, which was of far-reaching significance.

6. Course Characteristics and Innovation

6.1. Characteristics

1) Focus on multi-disciplinary cross-integration

This course is an organic integration of natural sciences and humanities and social sciences. From the establishment of multidisciplinary curriculum teaching team to teaching design and classroom organization, TCM, literature, history and other humanities are inter-integrated, breaking the barriers between traditional disciplines.

2) Multi-scenario integration to carry out immersive teaching

Based on multiple scenarios such as online teaching content, offline integration classrooms, TCM laboratories, and Chu Culture Research Institute, it deeply explores the cultural connotation of TCM, inherits the essence, and guide students to think about how to maintain integrity and innovation by using critical thinking in combination with their own major.

6.2. Innovation

1) Cultivate talents according to local conditions

Use the resource advantages of local comprehensive universities to carry out personalized and differentiated teaching in combination with Jing-Chu culture and local conditions, use the past to lead the present, compare China and the West, break professional boundaries, promote the cross-integration of disciplines, and cultivate knowledge senior professionals with broad face and high comprehensive quality.

2) Adopt the teaching mode of “divided class”

First, the online and offline classes are divided, and the online learning and offline classes are divided into hours and the proportion of assessment; the second is the offline class, which organically integrates discussion and teaching , which not only ensures the efficiency of knowledge system transfer, but also gives full play to the initiative of students, and improves students’ higher-order thinking ability and comprehensive quality.

7. Continued Construction Plan

7.1. Teaching Team Building

Strengthen the humanistic quality of teachers with background in TCM education, appropriately increase the proportion of humanities teachers, optimize the team structure, and establish a teaching team with high morality, profound cultural heritage, and interdisciplinary teaching. Make the course construction sustainable.

7.2. Course Resource Construction

Give full play to the resource advantages of our local comprehensive university, enrich online and offline classroom teaching content and teaching practice base, build online open courses or virtual simulation projects with local cultural characteristics, and carry out course-related teaching materials construction, promote Jingchu culture according to local conditions and contribute to the construction of local social economy and culture.

7.3. Actively Carry Out Teaching Scientific Research

Actively apply for teaching and scientific research projects related to courses, publish teaching and scientific research results, promote and exchange curriculum teaching reform experience, and further promote the interdisciplinary integration.

8. Conclusion

Course construction is the key and core of general education. High-quality courses are an important carrier to implement and realize the educational concept and goals of general education. The construction of general education course is the basic project to play the role of undergraduate courses in educating people (Ji, Wang, & Yang, 2020). The general education elective course “Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Chinese Culture” offered by Yangtze University makes full use of the existing high-quality online teaching resources, explores the online and offline “divided classroom” teaching mode according to local conditions, and deeply explores the traditional cultural elements of TCM, inherit the essence, critically inherit the traditional culture of TCM, and promote students to carry out self-reflection and innovation. Due to the short course construction period, course design and course evaluation still need to be improved. The team will take the construction of first-class undergraduate courses as an opportunity, in accordance with the requirements of first-class undergraduate course construction work, relying on the Health Science Center and Jingchu Cultural Research Center, to develop online teaching resources with local cultural characteristics, and fully integrate the course content with local characteristics, and give full play to the advantages of big data in the era of information education 2.0, in-depth analysis of learning effects and related factors, to provide a certain reference for the construction of similar courses, and to provide wisdom for improving the quality of teaching and promoting “three comprehensive education”.


This work was supported by National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China (GZY-FJS-2020-221) and Health Commissioner of Hubei Province (ZY2019Q036).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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[2] Liu, L. Q. (2018). The Leading Role of Chinese Traditional Culture in General Education of “Double First-Class” Construction. Social Scientist, 124-127.

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