It's never been easier to teach. And learn.
The new CourseSites provides educators across the globe with access to Blackboard's comprehensive digital learning environment, including Learn, Collaborate, Ally, and our mobile apps. It is your destination to try out the Ultra experience and teach courses online, for free.
Below are answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Not sure how to begin? Try our Top 15 list of things to try in CourseSites.
What is CourseSites?
CourseSites provides educators with access to Blackboard's comprehensive digital learning environment and the ability to teach courses online, for free.
CourseSites enables you to take advantage of our modern, intuitive, and personalized user interface – the Ultra experience – designed to make it easier than ever to teach and learn online, from any device. Through this cloud-based platform, you have access to a simple, yet powerful learning environment that goes beyond the traditional LMS. In addition to Blackboard Learn, you have access to Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Ally, and our mobile apps - which are all seamlessly integrated into a connected experience.
With CourseSites, you can use the latest technology from Blackboard to deliver an unparalleled online learning experience for your students.
What is the Ultra experience?
The Ultra experience is our modern, intuitive, and engaging user interface that is designed to make it easier than ever to teach and learn online, from any device. It is characterized by simplified workflows and an accessible, fully responsive design. The Ultra experience is consistent across our teaching and learning products - Learn, Collaborate, and our mobile apps - to provide a connected experience for educators and students.
Watch a video about Ultra
The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.
Video: Introduction to Blackboard Learn with the Ultra Experience provides an overview to help you become familiar with the new interface.
And the following video playlist provides additional Ultra experience tutorials for instructions.
How can I register and is it really free to use?
Registration is easy, and it's free for all! Simply fill out your name, email address, institution, role, and country—and you'll be on your way. And don't worry, your CourseSites account doesn't expire. It is NOT a limited trial, you can use it for as long as you'd like! For free!
How many courses do I get to conduct live teaching?
You get ten course shells to play with, build out content, and conduct live teaching. You will have five courses in the Original Course View as well as five courses in the Ultra Course View. You are able to convert your five Original courses to be Ultra courses, so it is possible to carry out live teaching using the Ultra Course View with up to ten courses. You'll also get a demo course with exemplary content that demonstrates best practices and the Ultra Course View's potential.
The Ultra Course View is known for it's modern, fully responsive, and intuitive interface and workflows that make it engaging, efficient, and enjoyable to use on any device.
The Original Course View is familiar to many educators and students from Learn 9.1. It is known for its unmatched breadth of functionality that allows for full control of the course design and presentation of content.
How can I invite students to participate?
It's easy. For Ultra courses, select Roster on the Course Content page and select the Invite plus sign.On the Invite Students panel, type an email address where you want to receive the invitation email for the sample student. You can use the same email address that you used to register yourself for CourseSites. Select Send. Feel free to invite yourself so that you can experience the course from a student's perspective.
For Original courses, you can add students as follows. From the Course Management Control Panel, expand Users and Groups, then select Users and Create User. Complete the form for each user you wish to add. The mandatory fields are first name, last name, username, and password. Click the Submit button. You will need to provide your students with their username and password and ask them to complete the rest of their profile. Note: Coming soon, we will have a more streamlined workflow for inviting students to an Original course, which will be consistent with the workflow for inviting students to an Ultra course. This functionality is planned to be released this month (July).
Is CourseSites mobile friendly? Can I use it with the Blackboard app for students and the Blackboard Instructor app?
Yes. The Ultra experience is responsively designed, meaning it adjusts to a wide variety of screen sizes for mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktops. It also pairs with the Blackboard app for students and the Blackboard Instructor app, so you and your students can easily stay connected and informed as well as complete common tasks from anywhere. Simply download the app, type CourseSites (NEW) by Blackboard as the school name, and use your CourseSites username and password. View the instruction guide for more details on the mobile app.
Is CourseSites available in languages other than US English?
The Ultra experience is available in many languages. In the Ultra experience, you may set a language pack for all of your courses. Your students will be able to change their preferred language as well.
To view and change the language at a user level:
- Select Language on your profile.
- Select a language pack from the menu.
- Select Submit.
Where can I get help?
Try one of these links for help on specific features. Or, you can log in to CourseSites and select the question mark icon for Help anywhere you see it.
Can I use Collaborate with the Ultra experience in CourseSites?
Collaborate is integrated with Learn Ultra, which allows you to explore and experiment with your CourseSites account. To make it available in your Ultra course, use these simple steps:
- Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience gives you a room for each of your courses. We call this a Course Room. You can find the Course Room under your course Details & Actions.
- On the New Session panel, you can set the title, date/time, and other settings. Remember, if you use ONLY guest access, it won't pull your students' names into the session.
- Select the Session Settings button on the panel to allow Recording Downloads, Moderator Permissions, and Participant Permissions.
- After you choose Save, you'll see your sessions listed on the screen.
If you have further questions about Collaborate with the Ultra experience, check out the Collaborate Ultra help pages.
How can I get in touch with someone at Blackboard?
Connect with us through the Blackboard Community.
Where can I share my product improvement idea?
Feedback is always welcomed and plays a huge part in our product development process! Please submit your ideas at community.blackboard.com/community/ideas (available in English only).