The decision to convert or design your Original Blackboard course for Ultra depends on four factors:

1. What is the current folder organization of your course?

You can create up to two levels of folders to organize your content. After you already have two levels of folders, you can't create a third level or upload a folder into the second-level folder. You can have as many first or second level folders as you need, but you cannot have deeply nested folders. Content that is imported or converted will be bumped out of its Original structure to the second level.

 Please review this FAQ -> Why can't I create more than 2 levels of folders in an Ultra course?

2. Which native Blackboard tools do you use?

Ultra course tools provide you with functionality to manage content, support student engagement, assess students, and track grades. If the tool you normally use is not yet available or it's been discontinued, you have two options;

    • You can modify the activity to use another tool or workflow to meet the same goals
    • You can wait to adopt Ultra until the tool you need is available

For example, we know Journals are in development and we hope to see them soon; however, Wikis will not be ported to Ultra. Therefore, if your course uses the wiki tool, it will be important for you to consider other activities or tools before you migrate to Ultra.

 Please review this FAQ periodically to see which tools are available in Ultra -> What tools are available in an Ultra course?

3. What third-party tools do you use (if any)?

Individual vendors develop tools at different paces depending on available integrations. Some vendors work closely with us for testing tools while others do not provide a clear timeline for Ultra support. Note: Tools may appear in Ultra under another name or form and with different functionality and customizations. If you don't see a tool you need or prefer to use, please open an RT ticket.

  Please review this FAQ periodically to see which third-party tools are available in Ultra -> What third-party tools can I use in my Ultra course?

4. How much time do you have?

 Ultra is very easy to learn and to use. However, your course adoption strategy may depend on how much time you have to accomplish your goals:

Adoption StrategyWhat Happens?Good for Courses with...Estimated Time
Convert your course as isThe Original course is converted to Ultra with no changes made to the organization or content.

Face to face delivery methods

Basic content: Simple folder structure, minimal tool usage.

1-3 weeks
Clean up after converting to UltraThe Original course is converted to Ultra and then re-organized and updated based on the Ultra Course Preview exception log.

Hybrid / flipped (more F2F than online)

Example of changes:

  • Folders may need some reorganization
  • Some files need to be updated.
  • Rubrics may need to be reviewed & updated.
  • Tests & assignments should be reviewed to remove incompatible settings.
2-4 weeks 
Clean up before converting to Ultra

The Original course is updated before converting to Ultra.

Faculty might use the Ultra Course Preview tool and exception log as a guide to making improvements in the Original course and minimizing errors before converting to Ultra.

Hybrid / flipped (more online than F2F)

Example of changes:

  • Folders need a lot of reorganization.
  • Many files need to be updated or removed.
  • Discussions should be recreated or updated. 
  • Eliminate course links in announcements & other content areas.
  • Rubrics may need to be reviewed & updated.
  • Tests & assignments should be reviewed to remove incompatible settings.
3-6 weeks 
Start fresh & redesignThe Original course is used as a reference, but the course is completely redesigned in Ultra.

Fully Online or Hybrid / flipped (more online than F2F)

Re-conceptualize both your pedagogical and organizational approach to your course content.

What would you do differently from what you do now?

7-10 weeks

Up to a full semester 


Which approach is best?

Ultimately, the choice is up to you -- however, if allow yourself as much time as possible to prepare your course for Ultra, no matter which path you choose, you will be ready.


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