This page contains a comparison of features and terminology currently existing on Learn Ultra and Learn Original. 


Learn Ultra vs Learn Original Highlights

A lady checking progress between two system windows with a green checkmark

We put together this collection of feature terminology so that, during the upgrade to Ultra process, you can identify what the tools that you have been using in Original Course View are now called, and how to find them in Ultra Course View. We also indicate what changes we've made to each one and some recommendations for the transition.

For more information see also: 

More on Learn Instructor Original Experience | More on Learn Instructor Ultra Experience | Blackboard Release Notes for Learn SaaS | Blackboard Learn 9.1 release notes | Blackboard Learn SaaS release schedule | Previous Ultra vs. Original table comparison

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Navigate to the desired topic to find the corresponding features, to ease your search:

OCV stands for Original Course View - UCV stands for Ultra Course View

Topics:

Course Content

Course content
Status OCV UCV Details and comments

Released

Achievements Badger Spaces

With the new Badgr integration in Ultra Course View, you can issue digital badges that recognize student achievement and allow them to granularly share their skills outside of Blackboard.
Access the integration from Books & Tools > Details & Actions panel by selecting the View course & institution tools link, then the plus (+) icon next to Badgr.

You cannot create and issue certificates using the Badgr integration, but participants can print their badge as a certificate via Badgr.

Released

Adaptive release Release conditions

Items can be made available based on date and time, performance (such as a grade on another item), and by individual or group membership.

Released

Announcements Course announcements

To create an announcement, select your Ultra Course > Details and Actions > Announcements. Announcements can be scheduled in advance. Announcements appear in a pop-up box when students enter the course and cannot include any formatting (plain-text only).

Announcements in Ultra can also be sent to students via email.

Released

Attendance Attendance

Access Attendance by selecting Details and Actions > Attendance in your Ultra course. Functions and features are identical to Original Course View.

Planning to implement

Blogs --

Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Course View and still available in Original Course View.

You can use the Discussion Board in Ultra Course View or on an external blogging platform like Wordpress.

Released

Calendar Calendar

Select the Calendar icon at the top of an Ultra course to access. Additional capabilities are planned.

Discontinued

Contacts --

Use the Profile feature to add a photo of yourself, and update who can view your profile information. Full name and email address are automatically updated. To share additional information within each individual course, you can create a Document (page) with the information you would have included in your Contacts profile. Information about office hours can be added to the Calendar.

Released

Content Collection Content Collection

To access the Content Collection, select Tools in the left-hand menu on the Blackboard landing page. Additional capabilities are planned.

Released

Content Editor Content Editor

The content (text) editor in Ultra includes the functionalities to format text, add images, embed YouTube videos, and build equations.

Colors are limited to ensure a sufficient contrast ratio for improved accessibility. HTML code edition is unsupported, to ensure the text is accessible and mobile-compatible.

You can create HTML content blocks in a Document.

Released

Course Banner Course Image

When a Course Image is set, it is displayed as the Course Tile on the Courses page in the base navigation. It can also be toggled on to be displayed as a course banner.

Planning to implement

Course links Course links

In development process, and planned for Ultra Course View. Still available in Original Course View.

A tool for LTI Course Links for administrators has been launched including the mobile application as well, since LTI links are handed off to the responsive web browser.

Discontinued

Course Menu Course Content page

In the Ultra Course View, all of the content is listed on a single page to make it easier for students to navigate, and links to course tools are organized in the Details and Actions area or along the top right corner of the page. Content can be organized using folders and learning modules, which can open and close.

Available with differences

Date Management Bulk Edit

Date Management has been replaced with the Bulk Edit tool, with which you can bulk edit content due dates and visibility. You can also delete multiple course items from Batch Edit. Additional capabilities are planned.

Editing must be done one folder at a time. You can edit all top-level folders, learning modules, and course materials at the same time.

Available with differences

Embed Media or Mashup Embed Media

Images and web-based videos can be embedded within a Document in the Ultra Course View.

Video can only be embedded from select sources, including YouTube and Vimeo. For other platforms, such as social media or news sites, you will need to simply create a link to the video or paste the embed code into an HTML block in a Document.

Released

Files File Upload

Upload files from your desktop or cloud storage. Files can also be dragged and dropped into your course.

PDF files that are uploaded directly to the Course Content stream will open in a new tab, and all files that are uploaded as part of a Document must be downloaded and then opened from the computer.

Released

Folders Folders

Folders organize content within the course outline, and open and close to make it easier for students to find specific files or Documents. Folders can have short descriptions to tell students what contents are inside. Folders can be set as visible or hidden, and the setting affects all contents inside a folder.

To prepare your course for conversion to Ultra, we recommend that you nest your content two (2) levels deep, and keep your folder descriptions to up to 250 characters. This way, your content will adjust properly to the UCV.

Discontinued

Glossary --

As an alternative, you can create a web link to an external subject-matter glossary or upload the terms and definitions as a file.

Released

Item Document

The term "Document" refers to a page in Ultra that resembles a web page. Documents can include images, text, uploaded files, and HTML content. If you only need to add a file without accompanying text, use the Upload option instead.

Released

Learning Modules Learning Modules

Learning Modules can contain multiple files, Documents, Assignments, Tests, folders or Discussions, and you can force students to view the content sequentially by using Release Conditions and selecting the Sequence checkbox. This also allows students to track what they have completed in the module.

Discontinued

Lesson Plans --

You can use Learning Modules or Folders instead. Then, create Documents that house information that would have been in the Lesson Plan -  Content Information section (description, objectives, subject area). You can organize the order of items in your Learning Module or Folder however you want, and you can use Conditional Availability to force sequential viewing within a Learning Module. If you are using Lesson Plans as a planning tool only, you can follow the same steps above but keep the content hidden from students.

Released

Publisher Integrations Content Market

Most publisher integrations are available in Ultra Course View. You should contact your publisher representative for more information.

If your publisher has not yet developed an integration for Ultra Course View, use the publisher's website directly with the Ultra Course View, and manually enter data to the Blackboard Gradebook.

Released

SCORM SCORM

To add a SCORM package in your Ultra course, select the plus sign (+) to add content, select Create > SCORM package > Upload SCORM package or Browse Content Collection.

Discontinued

SlideShare / Flickr Embed --

As an alternative, you can create your slideshow (PowerPoint) or document and upload it to Ultra Course View directly, or upload it to SlideShare and share the link on Blackboard. For Flickr images, search for the image on Flickr, copy the URL, and paste it to “Insert Image from Web” in the editor (Document). However, all files uploaded as part of a Document do not open in the browser and must be downloaded and then opened from the computer.

Released

Student Preview Student Preview

Access via the Enter student preview mode button in the Details & Actions area within an Ultra course.
Click the ellipsis (...) menu in the upper-right corner to exit student preview.

Planning to implement

Surveys --

Not yet developed, but planned for Ultra Course View and still available in Original Course View.

In the meantime you can use an external anonymous survey site, such as Qualtrics or Microsoft Forms.

Researching

Tasks --

Some use cases are met today with Progress Tracking and Activity Stream notifications. Other use cases are under review for further improvement.

The Activity Stream alerts students about upcoming due dates and assignments, and alerts you about their progress and participation.
Progress Tracking helps students determine whether they have completed course requirements.

Released

VoiceThread VoiceThread

Add through Content Market option under the plus menu (+) in Course Content or in the Books & Tools course menu item.

Released

Web Link Link

To create a link to web content, you can create a link directly in your course by selecting the plus menu (+) Create >  Link.

Discontinued

Wikis --

You can use Microsoft OneDrive for collaborative writing and editing, or try Microsoft OneNote for a shared space for note-taking. Use Google Sites or Weebly to have students create a website, or try a dedicated wiki tool available online.

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Assignments and grading

Assignments and grading
Status OCV UCV Details and comments

Released

Anonymous grading Anonymous grading

You must choose this option for each individual Assignment and Discussion you create.

Released

Collaborate Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate course room and scheduler are available in the Ultra course > Details and Actions area. When a session is in progress, the Collaborate link will flash purple for all users.

Collaborate sessions are also integrated with Assignments designated for Group submission, so that group members have a space to meet.

Available with differences

Delegated Grading Parallel Grading

Currently, parallel grading allows for two (2) non-student course members to grade the same student submission, and for a separate individual to reconcile the grades. Additional capabilities are planned.

Available with differences

Grade Center Gradebook

Most grading functions are available in the Gradebook, which is accessed by clicking the icon of a paper and pencil in the upper right of the course. Additional capabilities are planned.

The default Gradebook view is a list of the graded items, and there is a grid view that is similar to the Grade Center in the Original Course View. Only in Ultra Course View, you can automatically assign zeroes (0) for assessments that are not submitted by the due date.

Grades are not visible to students by default in the Ultra Course View; you use Post when you have grades ready for your students to see. Overall grade now supports weighted, points-based overall grade calculation and advanced calculation in the upcoming 3900.46.0 release.

The Needs Grading view is discontinued. We now provide grading indicators in the Activity Stream and on the list view of the Gradebook.

Columns can't be sorted by clicking on the headers.

Available with differences

Groups Groups

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

- Course Groups: Created in the Details & Actions area, these groups allow you to send Messages to a subset of students. They can be used for Discussions and Assignments and can be used to filter the Gradebook.

- Discussion Groups: Created in the settings for a Discussion, these groups allow you to limit students to viewing and interacting in discussion only within their group. They can be used for Assignments but not for filtering the Gradebook.

- Assignment Groups: Created in the settings for an Assignment, these groups allow students to make a single Assignment submission on behalf of their group and assigns the same grade to each member of the group (which you can override individually if necessary). With Course Conversations enabled on a group assignment, students can have asynchronous conversations or launch a Blackboard Collaborate session to work together on the assignment. You can use Assignment Groups for Discussions but not for filtering the Gradebook.

Students can't see the other members in a Course Group; they can only see the members of their discussion or assignment groups. Enhancements to groups to support collaboration are planned.

Released

Rubrics Rubrics

Rubrics are available for all assessment types, adjusted to a maximum of fifteen rows and columns. Additional capabilities are planned.

Released

SafeAssign SafeAssign

SafeAssign is available for Assignments and for Essay questions on Tests. SafeAssign for Discussions is planned.

Ultra Course View does not include a method for direct submission; instead, create Assignments with SafeAssign enabled.

Available with differences

Self and Peer Assessment Peer Review

Assignments can now be designated for peer review. Select Peer Review in the Assignment settings, then set up Peer Review settings such as the number of reviews per student, the due dates for initial submissions, and peer reviews. Peer reviews are entirely anonymous, although the instructor can always see the review assignments and who provided feedback.

Peer review currently only allows qualitative feedback, although you can connect it with a rubric to guide the review process. Future capabilities are planned, including quantitative scoring.

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Progress tracking

Progress tracking
Status OCV UCV Details and comments

Available with differences

Course Reports Student Activity

The Ultra Course View includes new and different reports, available for student tracking.

The Student Activity report summarizes student activity on an assignment or a test. Access it by selecting the three dots menu next to the specific assignment or test, and choose Student Activity. It provides information about whether students have opened the assessment, how long they had it open, and their grade. Select the three stripes above the list of students to reveal date opened, started, time from start to finish, and grade. You can also download the student activity details as an Excel spreadsheet.

There is currently no way to view information on when or how often students have accessed the content in the course. This feature is in development as part of a larger project related to tracking course progress, anticipated in summer 2022.

Released

Goals Goals and standards

Assessments can be aligned to specific Goals, including Assignments, Tests (including individual questions), Discussions, and Rubrics.

Researching

Performance Dashboard --

Blackboard is currently developing capabilities for tracking student progress and monitoring their performance.

In the meantime, you can view alerts within your Activity Stream, keep track of assignment submissions in the Gradebook, and view a single student’s grades by going to the Grid view in the Gradebook and search for the student in the search bar in the upper-right section of the Gradebook, under the course navigation icons (select the student’s name from the drop-down after searching and the grid will only show that student’s grades in a single row). You can view when students last accessed the course by switching to the student list view in the Gradebook.

Discontinued

Retention Center --

Many of the features of the Retention Center have been repurposed through the Activity Stream, where you will receive alerts for students falling behind, absent, and failing. You can no longer create rules for early alert criteria.

See Course Reports and Item Analysis for more information on ways to track student progress. Additional analytics and reporting features are planned.

Released

Roster Roster

Available in the Details & Actions area within an Ultra course. You can view the full student roster, enroll a teacher assistant or another Instructor, or add an accommodation for a student (such as extended timers) that apply to all assessments in the course.

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Interact with students

Interact with students
Status OCV UCV Details and comments

Released

Discussions Discussions

Discussions can be created on the content page, such as in a folder or learning module, or they can be created directly on the Discussions page. Discussions have been flattened to reflect more modern discussion tools commonly used across the web. In the Ultra Course View, 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.

Prevent students from editing or deleting their posts is unsupported, and replies remain when posts are deleted. Subscriptions are discontinued, and discussion posts are included in the Activity Stream and daily notifications.

Released

Journals Journals

Journals can be created by using the + menu to create content, selecting Participation and Engagement > Journal.

Released

Send Email Messages

The updated Messages tool allows you to communicate with students via email. Messages retain a copy of the conversations in Ultra Course View and include the option to send the contents to students via email. To access Messages, select the envelope icon in the upper-right corner of the course, or use the Messages link on the left-hand menu on the Institution Page. Additional capabilities are planned for sending messages based on course activity, course role, or group membership.

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Tests, pools and surveys

Tests, pools and surveys
Status OCV UCV Details and comments

Released

Item Analysis Question Analysis

Run Question Analysis for a single test by clicking the ellipsis (...) button next to it in the Course Content view, or by clicking the pie chart icon in the upper right. Additional capabilities are planned.

Available with differences

Tests and Pools Tests and Question Banks

Tests can include Calculated Formula, Essay, Fill-in-the-Blank (single or multiple), Matching, Multiple Choice (single or multiple correct answers), Hotspot and True/False questions.

Questions can be reused from other Tests or from Question Banks (which are added in the Details & Actions area in an Ultra Course View).

Question Randomization: Questions can be displayed in random order for each student, and can be randomly assigned from a pool (e.g., each student receives 5 random questions from a set of 10 questions). Additional capabilities are planned.

Question Display Options: Questions are displayed all-at-once or one-question-at-a-time. Prevent Backtracking is available for one-question-at-a-time display.

Feedback Display Options: After a test, if the test is available, students can see all questions on the test. A setting to prevent students from viewing their submission is available.

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The original content and layout idea for this page was inspired by a similar page from the Northern Illinois University website, and recommended to us by one of our instructors from the Ultra Advisory Board.

A person showing a set up checklist

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