If your institution has the Original experience, your courses appear in the Original Course View.

If your institution has the Ultra experience, you may be allowed to have a mix of courses in the Ultra Course View and the Original Course View. Choose the course view that works best for each of your courses. Both course views appear seamlessly in your course list.

Compare the experiences and course views

We've compiled a list of terms for instructors new to Blackboard Learn.

Original Course View

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" terms.

Content area: Top-level containers that organize and store course content, such as lecture notes, assignments, and tests. You might also organize your content area by week, unit, chapter, lesson, or topic. You add links to content areas on the course menu.

Course entry point: The area students see when they enter your course. The default course entry point is the Home Page and contains modules that alert students to activity in your course. From the Control Panel, you can change the entry point—select an available area that appears on the course menu.

Course menu: The course menu is a panel that appears on the left side of the course window. Users select button or text links to access all course content, such as content areas, individual tools, web links, course links, and module pages.

Control Panel: You access all course management functions through links in the Control Panel. The Control Panel is located under the course menu and is only available to users with one of these defined course roles: instructor, teaching assistant, grader, course builder, or administrator. From the Control Panel, you can access the Grade Center, and determine the style of your course and which course tools are available to your students.

Delegating grading: You can assign specific users in your course to grade particular sets of student assignment submissions. Roles with default grading privileges include instructor, teaching assistant, and grader. The users who help you grade are called delegated graders and they provide provisional grades. Delegated graders follow the same grading steps you do. However, the group of assignment attempts they see is based on the options you choose. After all delegated graders provide grades and feedback, one or more final graders review the grading to determine a final grade or reconcile it.

Edit Mode: When Edit Mode is ON, all the instructor functions are shown, such as Build Content in a content area and menu options. When Edit Mode is OFF, you view the page basically how a student sees it. The Edit Mode function appears to users with a role of instructor, teaching assistant, course builder, and administrator.

Grade Center: Access all the coursework that is specific to the course you're in. The Grade Center is populated with students when they're enrolled in your course. You can grade coursework, manage items, and run reports.

Item analysis: Item analysis provides statistics on overall performance, test quality, and individual questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. Item analysis is called question analysis in the Ultra Course View.

Menu: Throughout Blackboard Learn, items that are acted upon by a user have a menu associated with them. To access the menu, move your mouse pointer over the item's title and select the downward arrow icon. The menu contains options for many components in Blackboard Learn, such as content items, course menu links, or Grade Center columns. The options in the menu vary based on the component and a user's role.

Modules: Modules can appear on the My Institution tab or on course module pages you add to courses, such as the Home Page. Modules contain information about what's happening in your courses, and you may be able to access commonly used tools. Examples of modules include My Announcements, What's New, and Calculator.

My Grades: On the My Grades page, students can view all the coursework and grades for the course they're in. After you view the student My Grades page, use your browser's back function to return to the instructor info.

Question pool: In the Original Course View, you can use pools to create tests and surveys. You can also export and import pools for use in tests in other courses. In the Ultra Course View, question pools are called question banks.

Question set: In the Original Course View, you can use question sets when you create tests. You choose how many questions you want in the set. The questions are randomly chosen each time a student takes the test. In the Ultra Course View, question sets convert to question pools.

Random block: When you create a test in the Original Course View, you can use random blocks to be sure each student receives a different version of the test. Random blocks draw questions from pools only, so you must first create at least one question pool. In the Ultra Course View, random blocks convert to question pools.


Ultra Course View

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" terms.

Assessments: "Assessments" covers both assignments and tests in the Ultra Course View.

Content Market: You can discover and add content and tools from external sources. Access valuable learning materials from Blackboard's partner publishers, such as Macmillan and Jones & Bartlett.

Conversation: If you enable class conversations when you create content, students can discuss the content with you and their classmates. They can ask for help, share sources, or answer questions others have. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant content. Conversations don't appear on the discussions page.

You can enable conversations for these content items:

  • Documents
  • Assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Tests
  • Group tests
  • Offline submissions
  • Links to teaching tools

More on conversations

Course states:

  • Open: You can open a course when you're ready for students to participate.
  • Private: You can make a course private while you add or experiment with content, and then open it to students when you're ready. Students see private courses in their course lists, but they can't access them. Private courses appear with a gray instructor image and a diagonal line.

    You can't make a course private during an active term. Contact your administrator about a course's settings.

  • Complete: You can choose to set your course to Complete when the course has ended, but you can no longer make changes to it. Students can access the content, but they can't participate in the course any longer. For example, they can't reply to discussions or submit assignments. You can return the course to Open or Private as you want. However, if a course has an end date, and the end date passes, then students can't access the course any longer. So, if you complete a course and open it again after the end date, students can't access it. Complete applies to the Ultra Course View only.
  • Hide: You can choose to hide a course from your course list to organize your view.

Document: A basic content type that allows you to combine a variety of materials to view together, such as text, multimedia, and attachments.

Global pages: In the left panel, you have access to core features in the list where your name appears. When you select any link from the list, you see a global view across all your courses. Access the activity stream that captures all the action in your courses and the grades page that shows all your grading tasks organized by course.

Gradebook: Access all the coursework that is specific to the course you're in. The gradebook is populated with students when they're enrolled in your course. You can grade coursework, manage items, and post grades.

Layer: All of your course content appears in the main part of the page. When you open a piece of content, it slides out in a layer on top of the Course Content page. Close layers to go back to a previous spot in your course.

Panel: When you create or make settings, a panel opens. In the panel, you can choose the content type you want to add or select settings.

Parallel grading: You can have specific users in your courses grade sets of assessment submissions. Graders can't see other graders' grades, feedback, annotations on student files, and rubrics. They grade in parallel and provide provisional grades. The default grading roles include instructors, graders, and teaching assistants. The instructor role is the default final grader or reconciler. The reconciler reviews the provisional grades and determines the final grades that students see.

Question analysis: Question analysis provides statistics on overall performance, assessment quality, and individual questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance. Question analysis is for assessments with questions. Question analysis is called item analysis in the Original Course View.

Question bank: You can import question banks for use in assessments in your courses. Instructors typically use banks to create a database of questions they can reuse in multiple assessments. Original Course View question pools appear as Ultra question banks after conversion.

Question pool: When you create a test in the Ultra Course View, you can use question pools to be sure each student receives a different version of the test. Your Original course's question sets and random blocks appear as question pools after conversion.