BB Upgrade – Ultra

Blackboard SaaS – Ultra

Blackboard SaaS – Ultra has is a new cloud-based online learning management system. The new navigation environment is called Ultra-Base Navigation. This environment is designed to elevate your daily experience in teaching and learning accessibility to various tools. The key features include links to new pages such as the Activity Stream, Calendar, Messages, and Organizations. These additions are aimed at providing a more streamlined and user-friendly experience.

As a new user, you can find guidance on how to get started, access FAQs for support, and receive a step-by-step guide to help resolve any issues. You can also learn about accessibility, explore course materials, assignments, grading, tests, and surveys, and gain valuable insights on effective communication with students, course creation, and progress monitoring. With a diverse range of fascinating subjects available, there’s plenty to explore and learn.

In Ultra, some of the functions you utilized in the Original version have been updated with new names and improvements.

The changes are located in three different categories:

  1. Content
  2. Assignments
  3. Tools

In Content, we have a series of different terminology, which is seen in the table below:

Original Ultra What’s New?
Blank Page Document
  • Embed files and set them to display inline and/or make them downloadable.
  • Build documents with the rich content editor, upload files using drag-and-drop workflows, or use a robust HTML editor for more advanced use cases.
  • Embed third-party integrations leveraging LTI to enhance the learning experience.
  • Enable conversations that allow students to talk about the content.
  • Progress Tracking can be enabled on Documents so that you can easily see which students have viewed it.
Content Folder Folder
Course Link Course Link
Files Files
  • Files can be configured to be view only, download only, or view and download.
  • Progress Tracking can be enabled on Files so that you can easily see which students have viewed it.
  • Use Progress Tracking on Files to quickly message students based on their engagement with the content.
Learning Module Learning Module
  • Students: Navigate to the next or previous item.
    • Number of items they need to complete and the items they have completed so far.
  • Instructors: Personalize Learning Modules by uploading or selecting a custom image thumbnail.
    • Enforce sequential learning, ensuring that students are working through items in the correct order.
Item Document
  • Instructors: Embed files and set them to display inline and/or make them downloadable.
    • Build documents with the rich content editor, upload files using drag-and-drop workflows, or use a robust HTML editor for more advanced use cases.
    • Embed third-party integrations leveraging LTI to enhance the learning experience.
    • Enable conversations that allow students to talk about the content.
  • Progress Tracking can be enabled on Documents so that you can easily see which students have viewed it.
Syllabus Document
  • Instructors: Embed files and set them to display inline and/or make them downloadable.
    • Build documents with the rich content editor, upload files using drag-and-drop workflows, or use a robust HTML editor for more advanced use cases.
    • Embed third-party integrations leveraging LTI to enhance the learning experience.
    • Enable conversations that allow students to talk about the content.
  • Progress Tracking can be enabled on Documents so that you can easily see which students have viewed it.
Web Link Web Link

 

 

Next, there are the changes to the Assignments, in which the only two elements that change their name are the “Discussion Board” and the ” Self and Peer Assessments”.

Original Ultra What’s New?
Assignments Assignments
  • Label assignments as formative to help set expectations for learners.
  • Consistent authoring experience when creating assignments and tests.
Discussion Board Discussion
  • Number of responses and replies each participant has made within the discussion.
  • Filter the discussion by the participant.
  • Identify which students have not participated and send them a message.
Journals Journals
Self and Peer Assessments Assignments
  • Enable peer reviews on assignments without having to use a separate assessment type.
Tests Tests
  • Students: Hide the timer on tests to reduce distractions.
    • Number of questions they have completed and the number of questions they have remaining.
    • Filter questions by type or extra credit to support their test-taking practices.
  • Instructors: Create multiple pages to group questions together. The pages can be randomized to help reduce academic integrity issues.
    • Check for originality on Essay question submissions with Turnitin.
    • Access to a more accessible Hot Spot question type that supports multiple choice and multiple answer options.

 

 

Lastly, we have the Tools. There are more changes here than in the previous two categories.

 

Original Ultra What’s New?
Adaptive Release Release Conditions
  • Adjust release conditions without having to leave the course content page.
Announcements Announcements
  • Students are prompted with a pop-up when they first enter a course if there is a new announcement.
  • Number of students who have viewed the announcement.
  • Announcements are conveniently located at the top of the course for improved visibility.
Attendance Attendance
Calendar Calendar
  • “Contacts” is renamed as “Roster”. You are able to see there the people who are enrolled at your course.
Contacts Roster
Content Collection Content Collection
Content Market Content Market
Date Management Batch Edit
  • Quickly edit dates, adjust the visibility of items, or delete items.
  • Modify items without due dates.
Goals Goals & Standards ·         It is not used currently
Messages Messages
  • See an unread message indicator when they enter a course and have unread messages.
  • Force an email copy to recipients to ensure that students see important communications.
  • Prevent replies to messages that are meant to be a one-way communication.
Portfolios Portfolios
Performance Dashboard Course Activity Tab
  • Set alerts based on the number of days since a student has last accessed their course and/or if their grade is below a specified percentage.
  • See students who have alerts based on their last access date and overall grade in the course.
Question Pools Question Banks
Retention Center Analytics
  • Set alerts based on the number of days since a student has last accessed their course and/or if their grade is below a specified percentage.
  • See students who have alerts based on their last access date and overall grade in the course.
Rubrics Rubrics
Wikis  Cloud Collaborative
  • Integration with Microsoft 365.
  • Become familiar with applications they will use in a work environment.
  • Collaboration and editing of documents can be done within the course.
Anonymous Grading Anonymous Grading – Hide Student Names
  • Make sure to select this option for each Assignment, Test, and Discussion you create. You cannot grade anonymously if scores are posted automatically. Disable automatic posting to enable anonymous grading.
  • Student grades will not be visible to you or students until you release the anonymity. Anonymous grades will also not be included in grade calculations until anonymity is released, as this could violate the anonymity of the assessment. You can send reminders to students who have not yet submitted an anonymous assessment and edit exceptions and exemptions.