TCC Blackboard Template

​All online courses at Tidewater Community College are delivered within an approved Blackboard template. TCC faculty designed and revised in response to suggestions by faculty and the Faculty Senate. The template ensures course navigation is logical, consistent, and efficient, and it provides students a consistent experience in online learning. The template does not dictate content; rather, it is designed to help faculty organize and deploy discipline content through a unit or weekly organization and to pre-populate for faculty many resources related to student services, communications, and student engagement, ensuring student achievement in the course.

Course Navigation

All Blackboard courses will include the navigation links displayed to the left. The single exception is that faculty must select one of the two "Course Content" items, delete the other, and eliminate the comment within the parentheses. The intent is to give students a consistent online experience. Faculty may add a maximum of three additional buttons to the menu. However, the content contained in any added button must also be included in the required button where prepopulated. For example, a Syllabus button may be added, but the official syllabus must also be located in the designated area of Course Information. Additionally, several of the areas are pre‐populated with "placeholders" that contain information and others that are to be populated by the faculty.

Each area is addressed below.



Announcements is the official opening page of the template. It includes announcements identified as important by the instructor.


Start Here

The Start Here area contains the following placeholders: 

  • Meet Your Professor – faculty to populate

  • Welcome to the Course: Summary of the Purpose and Structure of the Course – faculty to populate

  • Prerequisite Knowledge and Technical Skills Required for this Course – link to minimum technical skills provided, faculty to add prerequisite knowledge (often from the official course outline)

  • Required Textbook and Instructional Materials – faculty to populate

  • First Steps – faculty to populate

  • How to Navigate This Course – faculty to populate

  • Netiquette link (faculty may augment as desired)

  • Do You Have Any Questions About This Course? – link to Discussion area

  • Introduce Yourself to Your Classmates – link to Discussion area

The above items are required. Faculty may add additional information as deemed appropriate. 


Course Information

The Course Information area contains the following placeholders:

  • Syllabus, Schedule, and Course Policies

    • Syllabus

    • Course Schedule with Official TCC academic dates

    • Grading Policies

    • Late or Make‐Up Work Policies for this Course

  • Office of Educational Accessibility Individuals with Disabilities link

The above items are required. Faculty may add additional information as deemed appropriate.


Course Content

The intent of the Course Content area is that all instructional (“content”) material be located in this area.

Course content includes:

  • Power Points

  • Podcasts

  • Videos

  • Documents

  • Assignments

  • Quizzes

  • Information about discussion boards

  • Links to assignment discussion

Both Course Content by Units and Weeks are fully loaded (16 Units in "by Units" and 16 weeks in "by Weeks") with prebuilt learning modules. Faculty are to DELETE the unused Course Content menu item and update the item to simply "Course Content" (remove parentheses).



The Discussions has been pre‐populated with three folders corresponding to the “Learning Unit” assignments plus the following:

  • Class Introductions (Self-introductions)

  • Water Cooler Forum (may be renamed)

  • Open Forum – students ask questions of other students about assignment topics.

Not all faculty will want to use these; however, they are available.

For those who prefer to make use of Blogs, Journals, Collaborate and/or Wikis, "Discussions" may be turned into a content area with links to each, or into a discussion tool (such as groups or Collaborate) while retaining the name "Discussions".


My Grades

My Grades has a great deal of student support. It provides a quick link to a topic of significant interest to our students.

Student Services

Student Services has been populated with links for the following:

  • Academic Support for Students folder

    • TCC Libraries Information,

    • Resources and Tutorials folder

    • Student Services folder

    • TCC Academic Calendars link

  • Technical Support for Students folder

    • Blackboard Help with link

    • Minimum Computer Requirements and Technical Skills link

    • Wireless Service Access at TCC link


Tools and Features

Tools and Features includes all Blackboard tools

  • Instructors should hide unused tools