Thinking about adopting Ultra Experience for your course? Consider the tools you currently use in an Original course and evaluate how important they are to your transition to the Ultra course.
Low Priority Tools & Features
These tools & features are well supported in Ultra for a transition to a redesigned course experience!
Do you use points for calculating your course's overall grade? Ultra is right for you! The Ultra gradebook can be calculated with points, percentage, or advanced formulas.
Rubrics are available in Ultra courses in percentage and percentage-range formats. They are also limited to 10 rows and 10 columns. Points-based rubrics are in development and coming soon!
You can decide how assignments are graded (e.g., points, letter, percentage), but the overall gradebook only supports one type of grading scheme.
Ultra courses display the announcement as an overlay, requiring the student to dismiss the pop-up before they can access any course content. Announcements can be emailed and formatted. Students can find announcements in the Activity Stream or receive a daily digest via emaill.
Original courses allow faculty and students to subscribe to the entire discussion board or to individual discussion threads. Ultra does not support discussion board subscriptions at this time.
Ultra courses offer the Ultra Document, which allows a variety of customization options. Native tools and new integrations provide easy options to add multimedia, interactive content, and customized designs to your Ultra course.
Items and Blank Pages are replaced with Ultra Documents. Items were text blocks that appeared immediately to students while blank pages required the student to click through to access. The Ultra Document combines both approaches into a robust digital resource for students.
As with Original courses, the Ultra course view also offer folders. However, folders are limited two levels while Original folders can be nested to the point of excess.
Journals are available in Ultra courses. Both graded and ungraded options are available for courses with enrollments up to 1000 students.
The Groups tool in Ultra has come a long way from its early days! With a new tool to support batch creation and enrollment, and enhancements to the native platform for searching and sorting students, there's a lot you can do now with the Groups tool.
Group discussions are available in Ultra, but the workflow is different. You can either create the groups first and then assign the discussion, or develop the discussion and then create the group. Either way, the group discussion is available!
When you create an assessment in an Ultra course, you can use question pools to be sure each student receives a different version of the assessment. However, there is new terminology.
|Question pool||Random block & question set|
|Question bank||Question pool|
|Question analysis||Item analysis|
Individual tests cannot be imported into Ultra as archive files (zip) at this time. However, you can bring individual tests from both Original and Ultra courses into a new Ultra course using course copy. These tests will appear in a hidden folder called "Undeployed Tests" on the Course Content page.
Nearly all major publishers are available for Ultra courses now with very few exceptions.
Gamification provides creative opportunities for instructors to design classroom environments that enhance student involvement, learning, motivation, and recognition. The Badgr integration can be used to gamify a course, award badges, and display a leader board to engage students in friendly competition.
The Ultra course interface is redesigned for the mobile experience. There is no course menu to navigate. Tools exist the top and left, but these are fixed and determined by the application, not UMBC. You, the instructor, decide what content appears on the main page. The course outline now functions as your course menu.
In Ultra courses, you can send Messages to students. Messages replace the Send Email tool in Original courses. You can check a box to send the Message to students as an email. You can also send read-only messages to students.
Conditional Release criteria in Ultra courses are based on date/time, grade, or group/individual. There is no option for marking content as reviewed to release content. You can, however, create a Learning Module and enforce content to display in a sequential order. This means students must view Item A before Item B, and then Item B before Item C, and so on.
Surveys are not available in Ultra at this time, but they might be one day.
Blogs are not available in Ultra, but they might be one day.
You can specify test feedback in an Ultra course including when automatic feedback appears to students. You can also specify if/when students can see question scores and correct answers.
Learning modules let students navigate from one content item to the next without distractions or extra clicks. In Ultra courses, learning modules can be open-ended or sequentially enforced. A learning module helps immerse students in the lesson or concept you're teaching.
Wikis are not available in Ultra. There are no plans to develop them for Ultra courses.
Statistics tracking in an Original course lets you see the number of "hits" a student makes to content areas and items in your course. Ultra does not track "hits," but rather telemetry data to present a holistic engagement view of how, when, and where students are engaged in your course. These analytics are embedded within the context of an actual graded activity. Selecting the overflow menu (...) and choosing Student Activity will present the report for a specific discussion or a specific assessment. Content items are not tracked at this time.
Enhancements are in development for reporting, including content, and should be available by SP2023.
Medium Priority Tools & Features
These tools & features are supported in Ultra or have alternate workflows to provide a good foundation for your transition to Ultra.
Several question types are not available in Ultra courses including:
- File Response (use an Assignment)
- Short Answer (use Essay question type)
- Ordering (use Matching question type)
- Jumbled Sentence
Some question types will be developed and brought to Ultra, or you can substitute another question type as indicated above.
Peer Review can be enabled on Ultra Assignments to facilitate peer assessment. At this time, it only supports qualitative feedback, but quantitative scoring by peers is planned for a future release. Self-assessment is not yet available in Ultra courses, although it is planned.
In the Ultra Course View, Delegated Grading is called Parallel Grading. While it is available, there are some significant limitations. Currently, parallel grading is limited to 2 graders and assumes that each grader is grading all of the students. There is no way to use Parallel Grading to assign graders to a subset of students, as you can in the Original Course View, or to have more than 2 graders.
Enhancements are expected in 2023.
On an Original test, you can choose to grade all responses to a specific question. You can move through submissions, and view and score the same question for each student. At this time, however, Ultra test questions must be graded on a per student basis. Fortunately, there are plans to support this grading format.
This is in development and should be available by FA2023.
High Priority Tools & Features
These tools & features are not yet supported in Ultra or have missing features, which could be challenging for a transition to Ultra.
Guest access allows you to add a user to your course to view content, but not interact with anything or take assessments. In an Original course, this is helpful role for waitlisted students. However, guest access is not supported in Ultra courses at this time.
This is in development and should be available late 2023.
This page was inspired and adapted from Is the Ultra Course View Right for Me? by Northern Illinois University.