The Ultra Experience brings a new look and workflow to many parts of Blackboard – but it also brings a new language and glossary. The following list contains important terms to know when using the refreshed Blackboard interface. It will be updated as new features, tools, and enhancements are released or as needed by the campus community.

Items are listed in alphabetical order. Whenever possible, we link to related FAQs or tags in our collection.

Jump to a letter:

Ultra Experience TermDefinitionOriginal Blackboard Term
(if applicable)


Activity StreamUp-to-the-minute action for all of your courses. Received targeted information according to your role. Students, for example, get notifications about upcoming due dates for assignments while faculty get updates about student submissions for assignments that need to be graded.Notifications


Base NavigationThe central landing page for all navigation in Blackboard's Ultra Experience, supporting access to both original and Ultra courses. You have access to core features in the left navigation. The Ultra experience look the same at every institution and cannot be customized.Dashboard, my Blackboard, tabs


Completed CourseA course that is available to students for review only.

Continuous DeliveryThe model used for delivering updates to Blackboard's cloud platform. Also known as SaaS.

Course ViewHow your individual Blackboard course looks and which features, tools, and navigation are available.
During the Ultra Experience transition, courses may appear in the original or Ultra styles, or a mix of both.


Hidden CourseA course that is removed from the course list.Edit My Courses -> Remove course


LayerA web page that slides open from the right. Layers may contain courses, content, or settings.


MessagesThe central communication tool in the Ultra Experience, accessible from base navigation and within a course.Course Messages


NotificationsDirect updates about your courses including dates, submissions, activities, messages, among others. The notification system is always on in the Ultra experience, but you can choose which notifications you receive and how (e.g., activity stream, email, or text message).Notifications


Open CourseAn available course for students to access.Available

Original Course ViewThe traditional course interface.

Original ExperienceThe traditional experience in the Learn platform.


PanelA smaller layer used to create certain content or update settings in your course.

Parallel MarkingA grading process where 2 graders are assigned to evaluate student work. The resulting grades and feedback are then reconciled by the instructor. Delegated Grading

Private CourseAn unavailable course that students cannot access.Unavailable


Responsive DesignA web design technique that displays content based on the size of the user's device for the optimal experience.


SaaSSoftware-as-a-Service. Also known as Blackboard's cloud platform.


ToolsGlobal functions located outside a Blackboard course, regardless of its Course View.


Ultra Course ViewThe new course interface.

Ultra ExperienceHow the Blackboard system interface outside a course looks and which features and navigation appear.

Last updated: May 30, 2019