LMS Standard Course Template

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Why do we use a standard course template?

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. ​This course shell provides a structure you can incorporate into your own Brightspace course to provide a more consistent experience for students.

Download the generic Course Template and then upload it to your Brightspace course shell. See our Step by Step instructions: How to import a zip file into Brightspace? or watch the Brightspace Tutorials on the right.

Course Template File - Click to Download

Uploading template to course shells

What is a generic course template?

Our generic standard course template

  • is a zipped file that professors can upload to the Brightspace 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).



  • 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 Brightspace and course standards; reduce training need

Support services:

  • when a course has a 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