Ohio University

You're Invited: Preview Blackboard Ultra Courses

 

Instructors: You're invited to preview Blackboard Ultra Courses for Summer 2020-21 and/or Fall 2021-22!

Be one of the first instructors to experience Blackboard Ultra Courses, a cleaner, more modern design with easy-to-use workflows and powerful new tools. Your experiences and feedback will help OIT prepare for a larger-scale rollout of these new features.

Interested? Learn how to join our Ultra Courses preview group to try it for your Summer 2020-21 and/or Fall 2021-22 courses.

Join the preview group

Step 1: Learn whether Ultra Courses will meet your current needs

 

Feature Changes

Ensure Ultra Courses' feature changes will meet your needs and keep your classes running smoothly.

 

 

Publisher & Add-on Compatibility

Ensure Ultra Courses are currently compatible with your preferred publishers and add-ons before making the change.

 


Step 2: Schedule a consultation with an OIT Blackboard expert

 

meet with an expert to get started

Why Ultra Courses?

Modern Look

Content is displayed on a single page, with folders that expand and collapse so it is easier for students to find the content they need.  Tools are contextual to reduce clicks and content appears in the course using peek layers that slide from the right.

New Ways to Add Content

Quickly add files, links, assessments, and other content wherever you want. With a brand-new text editor, the ability to drag and drop files directly to the course content area and integration with cloud storage, building content has never been easier.

Build Complex Content as Documents

The Ultra Courses contain a new content type called Document that allows you to build complex pages with a mix of text, images, videos and files.  Best of all, Documents are optimized for mobile devices so students can view them directly from a smartphone browser.

Conversations for Student Questions

You can enable conversations for Documents, Assignments and Tests that will allow students to ask for help, share sources or answer questions that others have, with the conversation being tied to that specific content.

Grading Enhancements

The default view of your Gradebook, Item List, allows you to quickly see how many students have submitted an assignment/assessment, how many you need to grade and how many grades need to be posted.  Grades are kept private until you are ready to post them.  Past due assessments are automatically assigned a zero.  And you can set accommodations once for a student and apply that to all assessments.

Communicating with Students

You can get to know your students by viewing their profile pictures in your Roster, Gradebook, Discussions, Conversations and Messages.  In Ultra Courses you communicate with your students via Messages rather than email, and unlike email, Messages keeps a record of the sent messages.  Course Announcements appear as a pop-ups in your course.

Changes to features & content in Ultra Courses

Some Blackboard Original (current version) features and publisher content and add-ons may be unavailable or accessed differently in Blackboard Ultra Courses (summarized in the tables below). Our consultants will be happy to help you prepare for these changes should you choose to opt into our preview group.

The tables below will be updated frequently as changes occur.

Feature changes in Blackboard Ultra

Original Feature Ultra Feature Status in Ultra Details
Achievements To Be Determined Planned for Future Release Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Courses.
Add/Modify Enrollments Roster, Enroll People Available with Limitations Beginning on May 6 instructors will be able to add students to their Ultra Courses. If any other extra users are needed, such as a TA or secondary instructor the instructor would need to contact the IT Service Desk to request that the user be added. 
Adaptive Release Conditional Availability Available  
Anonymous Grading Anonymous Grading Available  
Announcements Course Announcements Available   
Assignments Assignments Available  
Attendance Attendance Available  
Audio/Video Feedback Audio/Video Feedback Available  
Blogs To Be Determined Planned for Future Release Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Courses.
Calendar Calendar Available  
Contacts N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses.
Content Editor Content Editor Available with Changes Ultra Courses uses a different Content Editor than Original Courses. There is no ability to edit HTML, and you can only embed certain media types. 
Course Banner To Be Determined Planned for Future Release Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Courses. 
Course Link To Be Determined Planned for Future Release Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Courses.
Course Menu N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 
Course Merge N/A Discontinued The instructor facing tool is not compatible with Ultra Courses. The process can still be completed by an admin. The instructor would need to contact the IT Service Desk to request that the courses be merged.
Course Reports Student Activity Available with Changes Reporting capabilities are different. 
Course Surveys To Be Determined Planned for Future Release Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Courses.
Date Management Bulk Edit Available with Limitations Limitation: You can only edit within a single folder at a time; you cannot bulk edit items within and across folders at the same time. 
Delegated Grading Parallel Grading Available with Limitations There can be only 2 graders specified, graders cannot be assigned subsets of students, graders cannot also be reconcilers, graders cannot see the rubrics/scores or feedback submitted by other graders, and students can only view the rubric/score and feedback submitted by the reconciler. 
Discussions Discussions Available with Changes

In Ultra Courses, discussions with grading enabled have a detailed Discussion Analysis feature that provides insight on the level of complexity and critical thinking of a student's posts compared to their classmates. Additional capabilities are planned.

Limitation: You cannot prevent students from editing or deleting their posts, but replies are not deleted when posts are deleted. Subscriptions are not available, but discussion posts are included in the Activity Stream and daily notifications. 

Edit Mode N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses.
Embed Media or Mashup Embed Media Available with Limitations Limitation: Video can only be embedded from select sources, including YouTube and Vimeo. For other platforms, such as social media or news site, you will need to simply create a link to the video. 
Files Upload or Insert Local Files Available with Changes Upload files from desktop or cloud storage. Files can also be dragged and dropped into your course. 
Folders Folders Available with Changes

Folders now expand and collapse rather than opening a new page. 

Limitation: Folders can only be nested 2 levels deep.

Glossary N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses.
Grade Center Gradebook Available with Limitations Limitation: Overall Grade can only be 
Groups Groups Available with Changes

Groups can be created manually or generated randomly. They can be created in three different places within a course and can be used or any of the following purposes: Course Groups, Discussion Groups, Assignment Groups.

Item Document Available with Changes Documents in Ultra Courses more closely resemble a web page. They can include images, text and uploaded files. 
Item Analysis Question Analysis Available  
Journal Journal Available with Limitations Limitation: You can mark a Journal for grading, which automatically creates a column in the Gradebook for the Journal. However, there is not yet a workflow for reading and grading a Journal simultaneously. This is on the roadmap for future development. 
Learning Module Learning Module Available  
Lesson Plan N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 
Performance Dashboard N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 
Portfolio Assignment N/A Discontinued Portfolios can still be created, the assignment type just no longer exists.
Retention Center N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 
Rubrics Rubrics Available with Limitations Limitation: Rubrics are limited to a maximum of 10x10 and percentage or percentage rate only.
SafeAssign SafeAssign Available  
SCORM SCORM Available  
Self and Peer Assessment To Be Determined Planned for Future Release Peer Assessments are coming in April, and there is not yet any additional information about Self Assessment
Send Email N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 
Student Preview Student Preview Available  
Tasks N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 
Tests and Pools Tests and Question Banks Available with Limitations Limitation: 
Question Types
Question Pools
Web Link Web Link Available  
Wiki N/A Discontinued Feature has been discontinued and will not be made available in Ultra Courses. 

 

Publisher & add-on content in Blackboard Ultra

Original Publisher or Add-on Publisher or Add-on in Ultra Status in Ultra Details
Cengage MindLinks Cengage Available Accessed via Content Market, Cengage
Cirrus by Paradigm Cirrus by Paradigm Available Accessed via ellipsis menu on the Course Content Page, Import Content, Import Course Content
Course Merge N/A Discontinued The instructor facing tool is not compatible with Ultra Courses. The process can still be completed by an admin. The instructor would need to contact the Service Desk to request that the courses be merged. 
Ebscohost Libraries' Content Folder Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Elsevier Evolve Evolve Portal Available Accessed via Books and Tools
ExamSoft ExamSoft Available For existing instructors there is no change, for new instructors please contact the IT Service Desk to request assistance with registering your account.
Flatworld Knowledge Flatworld Homework Available Accessed via Books and Tools
GoReact GoReact Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Labster Labster Available Accessed via ellipsis menu on the Course Content Page, Import Content, Import Course Content
Macmillan Macmillan Available Accessed via Content Market, Macmillan
McGraw Hill Campus N/A Discontinued No longer in use and being retired May 2021
McGraw Hill Connect and Create McGraw Hill Education, Connect Available Accessed via Content Market, McGraw Hill Education, Connect
Packback Packback_Questions Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Panopto To be Determined Coming Soon Should be available for Summer 2021
Panopto Quiz Panopto Quiz Available Accessed via Books and Tools 
Panopto Student Submission Assignment N/A Discontinued Panopto Student Submission Assignments are not available in Ultra Courses
Pearson's My Lab & Mastering To Be Determined Coming Soon Should be available for Spring 2022
Pearson Revel Pearson Available Accessed via Content Market, Pearson
Perusall Teaching tools with LTI Connection Available Create Item, Teaching Tool with LTI Connection
Piazza Teaching tools with LTI Connection Available Create Item, Teaching Tool with LTI Connection
Proctortrack Proctortrack Available Accessed via Books and Tools
RedShelf RedShelf Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Rising Software Auralia or Musition Available Upon Request If you would like to use Rising Software in an Ultra Course, please schedule a consultation via the link above for assistance.
Sage Sage Vantage Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Shadow Health Shadow Health Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Top Hat Gradebook Sync Top Hat Available Accessed via Books and Tools
Turnitin Assignment To Be Determined Coming Soon Should be available Summer 2021
VitalSource VitalSource Available Accessed via Books and Tools
VoiceThread VoiceThread Available Accessed via Books and Tools
WebAssign Cengage Available  Accessed via Content Market, Cengage
WileyPLUS Integrations by Blackboard To Be Determined Coming Soon Will be available on May 6, 2021
WW Norton Teaching Tools with LTI Connection Available Create Item, Teaching Tool with LTI Connection
Ximera Teaching Tools with LTI Connection Available Create Item, Teaching Tool with LTI Connection
Zybooks Teaching Tools with LTI Connection Available Create Item, Teaching Tool with LTI Connection