Blackboard is getting a new look for next term! Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Ultra Base Navigation? 

Blackboard Ultra is Blackboard’s most recent LMS offering. It has a modern, intuitive, and fully responsive interface that is easier to use on mobile devices. It also offers some updated tools for teaching and interacting with students within the LMS. 

Blackboard Ultra is composed of two distinct components: Base Navigation and Course Sites. At this time, we are only adopting Base Navigation.

When will this change take place? 

We will be upgrading to Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation in January of 2023, following Winter Break and before courses begin for the Spring 2022 term. 

Will my courses change with Ultra Base Navigation? 

Your courses will remain in the “Original” course view. Only the main navigation of Blackboard will change.

Why are we switching to Ultra Base Navigation? 

Base Navigation is a more modern and responsive way to access your course content. It works seamlessly on mobile devices and offers greater accessibility for you and your students. It’s also much easier to see what you need to do in courses, get it done, and keep up with how your students are doing. Ultra Base Navigation should be a significant upgrade in ease of use and functionality of Blackboard. 

Can I try the full Ultra experience? 

While we are only activating the Base Navigation portion of Ultra to all courses for Spring 2023, those interested in seeing the full Ultra experience will have opportunities to pilot it. We will let you know when you can sign up. 

Will students also be affected by this change? 

Yes, students will also see the changes to Blackboard. This should make it easier for them to use Blackboard as it will be more mobile friendly and simpler to see what tasks are due or approaching for all of their courses in one place. However, we know these changes can be confusing to navigate at the start of the term. Students will be provided with support materials and can contact the Helpdesk for any questions. 

Do I have to use Ultra Base Navigation? 

Yes. All courses will have Ultra Base Navigation starting with the Spring 2023 term. 

Will Ultra affect my courses? 

Ultra Base Navigation does not change your courses. It only changes the main navigation of Blackboard. How you get to your courses and utilize tools in them will change slightly but your courses will stay the same. 

Will my integrations still work with Ultra Base Navigation? 

To our knowledge, there are no issues with Ultra Base Navigation interfering with Blackboard integrations, however until we have it live we cannot say for certain. We will let all users know if there are any issues we find as the upgrade progresses. 

How long will Blackboard be unavailable? 

At this time, we are unsure of the exact timeline for upgrading to Ultra. It’s unlikely that you will see any disruption in your courses as this will be done over winter break. 

Will there be support after the transition? 

Of course! We will be offering support sessions, training, and supplemental materials throughout the Spring 2023 term. In the meantime, you can learn more about Ultra from the Blackboard website. 

Will I lose access to any course shells from previous semesters when we switch to the new navigation?

You will not lose any content from previous, current, or upcoming semesters that was not already due to be removed from our servers. Only the navigation to those courses is changing. 

If I start building my courses for the upcoming semester, will I lose my progress? 

You will not lose the progress you have made building your courses for the upcoming semesters. No course content is being affected. 

Please contact us if you have any other questions about Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation!