Artificial Intelligence (AI) Design Assistant

The potential uses of Artificial Intelligence are exciting. As we look to explore the benefits AI has to offer, we are prioritizing lawful, ethical, and responsible use. We have established our Trustworthy AI principles, where we commit to:

  • humans in control,
  • fairness,
  • privacy,
  • security and
  • safety to name a few.

We recommend reviewing the documents linked below as you consider using AI within Learn Ultra. These documents are designed to support your implementation, training, and policy setting as it relates to AI usage.

  • Our Trustworthy AI Principles can be found in our Trust Center.
  • Further information on the AI Design Assistant can be found on our help pages.
  • (Link on the item above still to be created, Legal is working on the content)

We chose to partner with Microsoft to provide this functionality for many reasons. A primary reason is that Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to the ethical use of AI. Please find helpful resources from Microsoft below:


Course structure suggestions – 3900.74

Blackboard Learn SaaS
Ultra Experience
Ultra Course View
Impact: Instructors
Related topic: AI Design Assistant

Creating a course from the ground up can often feel like a daunting and time-intensive task. Some educators might find themselves without access to the necessary instructional design resources, leaving them in search of extra support.

Enter the AI Design Assistant—an innovative solution designed to tackle these very challenges. By harnessing the power of advanced AI, this assistant offers a helping hand in structuring your course. Drawing insights from the course's title, description, and contextual information, it effortlessly generates learning modules.

What sets the AI Design Assistant apart is its commitment to putting instructors in the driver's seat. Empowering educators, it allows for the provision of supplementary context, such as descriptive text or keywords. Instructors have the flexibility to add a title prefix—think "topic" or "unit"—infusing a personalized touch. Visual elements can also be seamlessly integrated, amplifying the learning experience.

In a testament to customization, instructors wield the ability to fine-tune the complexity of their content. Additionally, they can precisely dictate the quantity of learning modules to be generated, ensuring a tailored approach to their teaching journey.

Image 1: Option to auto-generate modules in an empty course

Option to auto-generate modules in an empty course

Image 2: Auto-generated modules with an option to select and add to the course

Option to auto-generate modules in an empty course

Image 3: Auto-generated modules added to the course

Auto-generated modules added to the course

All learning module images are automatically marked as decorative by default. The instructor has the ability to edit each learning module and add a specific alternative description if this image context is required.

On August 15, 2023, we will release to test/stage environments the option to generate images with the AI Design Assistant. We expect this to be a highly adopted feature. Service interruptions may occur during this time as we monitor usage. To ensure reliable use of this service, the usage data we gather may alter or defer our planned September production release of generating images.

On September 11th, 2023, we will release to production environments the option to generate course structure suggestions with the AI Design Assistant. This will need to be enabled by your system administrator and you'll need to belong to a course role with the appropriate privilege assigned.

For administrators: A new Building Block, AI Design Assistant and Unsplash, will be available after test/stage sites are updated to 3900.74. In Installed Tools, select Settings for AI Design Assistant and Unsplash. The default state is 'off.'  When this feature is ‘on,’ the privilege will need to be assigned to course roles as necessary, i.e. Instructor. The privileges that need assigning are ‘Search for images using Unsplash’ and ‘Use AI features’.

Return to September 2023 – 3900.74 Release description