UMBC's Blackboard environment has not changed significantly since its arrival. The Ultra Experience will change both the system interface and, eventually, the course view. As of SU2018, the course interface is NOT expected to change unless the instructor opts in.

Important Terms to Know

Ultra Experience - How the Blackboard system interface outside a course looks and which features and navigation appear.

Course View - How 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.

The System Interface

Original BlackboardUltra Experience Blackboard
In the Original experience, your name appears in the upper-right corner of your Blackboard dashboard after you log in. You navigate to other system areas, such as courses or communities, from the tabs in the page header.

In the Ultra Experience, your name appears in the left panel of your base navigation window after you log in. You can navigate to core features outside of your courses from the list.

Courses with a gray bar are original while those with a color bar are Ultra.

Course View

Original course view
Ultra course view
Original Course ViewUltra Course View

The Original Course View includes all of the traditional workflows. The course menu appears on the left side of your window where you can create links to present tools and materials to students. There is also the Control Panel where you access the Grade Center and course tools that are not available to students.

Your content appears in the main window to the right of the course menu. You use the functions above the main window to add content, such as Build Content and Assessments. Throughout your course, most items and tools have menus.

In the Ultra Course View, you have simplified workflows, a modern look and feel, and a fully responsive interface on all devices. All of your course content appears in the main part of the page.

When you open a piece of content, it slides out in a layer on top of the Course Content page. Close layers to go back to a previous spot in your course. You can always see the left navigation area that peeks from behind layers.

Select the icons on the course's top navigation bar to open frequently used tools, such as discussions or gradebook.