As professors work on their courses, it will be important to consider the student experience, particularly when it comes to course navigation.

The optional generic Course Template has been devised by Instructional Designers, has an evidence-based design, and has been in use for over 15 years at the College with minor updates. ​

What is it?

Our generic standard course template

  • is a zipped file that professors can upload to the Bb course shells
  • contains a standard, simple structure with straightforward navigation
  • includes a Home Page with folders and a menu with basic tools
  • includes design tips which are hidden from students
  • is fully modifiable and not prescriptive in terms of teaching style
  • can weave in learning design considerations as outlined in the essential tips here
  • can be customized so each program area has its own look or specific elements (connect with your Chair or Coordinator about program-specific templates).

Who benefits?


  • helps ensure that students have a consistent experience in terms of navigating their courses
  • reduces exertion to figure out where to find materials and tools with each course they start
  • can support persistence and satisfaction (by enabling focus on learning tasks, reducing confusion)


  • provides a quick-start environment that eliminates need to build a course structure from scratch
  • contains tips for professors (hidden from student view) on how to upload files, modify elements, and carry out other actions based on their preference


  • helps ensure consistency across courses within programs
  • can fast-track new professors in learning Blackboard and course standards; reduce training need

Support services:

  • when a course has standard structure, it is much easier for support areas (such as eLTI, help desk, Accessibility) to provide more efficient support to faculty
  • helps reduce student requests for help in navigating disparate courses

Academic Community

  • a common course structure facilitates easier collaboration on shared course resources and exchange of course ideas
  • enables faculty to more easily give peer support when there are questions about adding content or tools

Demo: Course Template Structure

The example below demonstrates a template that was developed for the Centre for Business in the past. Please note the disruption-specific template is not specific to a Centre and was designed for courses transitioning to off-campus during the disruption. 

Download the template

Download the generic Course Template and then upload it to your Blackboard course shells.

​See the how-to video below for information on uploading it to your course shells.

How to Upload the Template to Your BB Course Shell

Follow these steps to import the template into your course shells:

  1. Download the attached file
  2. Open up the course shell(s) that you want to copy the template into
  3. In the grey course administration menu on the left side, click 'Packages and Utilities'
  4. A sub-menu will expand; select 'Import Package/View Logs'
  5. In the screen that appears, click the 'Import Package' button
  6. Click the 'Browse my Computer' button, then browse for the zip file that you downloaded
  7. Click the 'Open' button;
  8. Under the Course Materials section, click the 'Select All' button
  9. Click the 'Submit' button; the course will be copied promptly and you can then make any modifications you wish to your newly-templated course

​In the video below, at the 01:09 minute mark, see the steps in uploading the zipped course template into your own Blackboard shells.