UNI eLearning Suite

Blackboard Ultra

Blackboard Learn Ultra is coming! What does this mean for you? 

Beginning in the Fall Semester 2023, UNI will begin the process of implementing a new version of Blackboard Learn’s Learning Management System (LMS). The version we currently use is referred to as Blackboard Learn Original. The new version is called Blackboard Learn Ultra. Here are some of its highlights:

  • More inclusive, flexible, and insightful than any other LMS
  • The most modern LMS user experience available today
  • An expanded development team for accelerated enhancements
  • Increased faculty and student satisfaction and improved student success and retention rates
  • The only LMS that provides a fully responsive mobile experience on PCs, tablets, and smartphones
  • Hundreds of new features recently released with intuitive workflows that work on all devices
  • And there’s much more to Learn

Is Blackboard Learn Ultra (what we’ll be migrating to) significantly different from Blackboard Learn Original (what we have now)?

Yes and we are excited about it! The ETMS-Instructional Technologies Team has been spending time getting up to speed on Blackboard Learn Ultra and two faculty taught their courses in Ultra for the Spring 2023 semester. We ALL like what we see! 

Be assured we will provide numerous opportunities for you to learn more before you will have to make the transition. One such opportunity is on Blackboard Day on April 24th and 25th. 

Why is UNI moving to Blackboard Learn Ultra?

Blackboard Learn Ultra is a simple, modern, and more intuitive Learning Management System. It is easier for instructors to learn and more intuitive for students as well. Simplified tools and streamlined workflows help learners and instructors stay organized and easily engage with content and each other.

Here’s what our UNI students, instructors, and instructional designers, who have begun using Blackboard Learn Ultra, have to say:

“The Ultra environment brings out the human aspect of learning and it is quite learner-centered. It is all about the students.” --UNI faculty

“Overall Blackboard Ultra is very easy to work with. I liked the simple/easy to navigate layout and the mobile app was/is equally easy to follow. If I had a choice, I would pick to use the Ultra version in a heartbeat.” -- UNI student

"Ultra was so much cleaner and accessible. I never had issues finding things!" -- UNI student

“Developing a course in Ultra feels very streamlined. The interface seems quite intuitive. I believe our faculty and staff instructors will find it both easier to learn and more straightforward. It definitely looks more modern and is more mobile-friendly as well.” -- Senior Educational Technologist

We think you will like Blackboard Learn Ultra too!

What is the timeline for UNI's move to Blackboard Learn Ultra?

Subject to change:

  • Spring 2023
      - Blackboard Learn Ultra migration announcement
      - Blackboard Learn Ultra sandbox courses made available for all Blackboard instructors
      - Call for pilot participation requests (sign up by Mon., May 8; Those selected will be notified by May 15.)
  • Summer 2023
      - Pilot participant selection
      - Pilot participant orientation and course development
  • Fall 2023
      - Blackboard Learn Ultra pilot
      - Pilot evaluation
  • Spring 2024
      - All instructors invited to migrate to Blackboard Learn Ultra
      - Alternatively, instructors may choose to remain on Blackboard Learn Original
  • Summer 2024
      - All instructors encouraged to migrate to Blackboard Learn Ultra
      - Alternatively, instructors may choose to remain on Blackboard Learn Original (one last time)
  • Fall 2024
    - All UNI Blackboard Learn courses will be in Ultra
    - Full migration of the SIS semester-based courses complete

Self-help Resources:

Making Electronic Materials Accessible

(Also a good example of best practice course organization in Blackboard Learn Ultra using Learning Modules)

This newly available training (as of May 2023) for faculty and staff at UNI addresses accessibility of electronic materials for all users including legal considerations related to accessibility, how to make documents accessible, and resources and support options available. It addresses one of the most-voiced concerns expressed by many on UNI's climate survey...that is accessibility. This course is also available from training.uni.edu.