Both original and Ultra couress will open in a layer above the base navigation. An original course will appear as expected with the course menu and control panel on the left and main course content on the right. However, depending on the size of your browser window, your course menu may collapse. If this happens, please review this FAQ -> How do I hide or un-hide my Blackboard Course menu?
By comparison, Ultra courses function entirely with layers. All of your Ultra course content appears in the main part of the course. However, when you open a piece of content, it slides out in a layer on top of the Course Content page.
Smaller layers are used to create certain content or update settings in your course. These smaller layers are called a panels, and they also slide out in a layer.
Close layers of any size by clicking on the purple [X] in the upper left corner of the layer to go back to a previous spot in your course.