Ultra progress tracking (Alpha release) - 3900.19.0

Blackboard Learn SaaS Continuous Delivery v3900.19.0 | Release to Production 5 August 2021
Ultra Course View

Please note that this feature will be released on Test/Stage and Production as a limited release in August, with a broader "Beta release" in September. It will be generally available starting with the October release.

Starting in August, Ultra Course View will allow students to mark and track their progress inside their courses. This new feature comes from direct client feedback and it aligns with how students and instructors think about pace and progress. Progress tracking will be initially released as an “Alpha stage” feature. This means that the feature will be limited to only new courses where no activity has taken place. Instructors will need to make a decision before their course has started whether they want to try progress tracking or not. Those who choose to turn the feature on will provide Blackboard with valuable input about how the feature functions so that we can improve it in future releases.

In addition to the feature itself, we're introducing feature flagging as part of the release of progress tracking. Progress tracking will be behind a feature toggle. This means that administrators can decide whether they want to give instructors the ability to turn this feature on at the institution level. The ability to decide when to allow access to the feature will be for a limited time only.

As noted earlier, progress tracking will be released as an “Alpha stage” feature. The feature will only be available to NEW COURSES once an administrator has turned the feature on. In other words, instructors will be able to turn progress tracking on for their students if there hasn’t been any activity inside the course. Student preview activity also counts as activity, so if anything has been done from student preview mode, instructors won’t be able to turn this feature on.

Once turned on, students can visually identify what tasks they have started, completed, or haven't interacted with. Students can also manually update their progress on specific items. This is a new level of personalization in Ultra, and it should help students see progression through their course.

Finally, while this is a starting point, it’s the beginning of the journey. This “Alpha stage” feature will be released to a set of institutions. In its initial phase, this Alpha release will only be available for English-speaking countries. We have a number of exciting enhancements that will expand the benefits of marking progress to not just students but also instructors. In later milestones we'll expand this capability to all institutions, and provide valuable insights and information on the student’s progress to higher roles.