Skip to Main Content
MCPHS Library Logo

Center for Teaching & Learning: *Ultra Course Transition Information Center*

Supporting the MCPHS faculty and staff in their commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning

Monthly Feature Releases

Instructional Support Calendar of Events

Original to Ultra Feature Comparison

Brochures & Handouts

Ultra - "Good To Know"


  • You'll need to create a new announcement if you post an announcement and forget to select the "email a copy" check box.

  • If you edit the announcement and select "email a copy" and post it again, the email won't be sent. 

  • When you use the date picker to schedule announcements, if you manually type a date, it reverts to the default date when you save the announcement. 

  • Announcements can not be created and sent before the course is open. The only way to send an Announcement is if the course is open to students. 

Course Links 

  • Course links can be used for documents and assessments such as tests/quizzes/exams and papers. They cannot be used for discussion links. 

  • Do not work with learning modules where "force sequence" is enabled. If a course link exists in a learning module, it's not possible to enable force sequence.  

  • If the original item (document, assignment, test, etc.) is in a hidden folder or module, the link will remain hidden. If it is visible to students, then it will be visible.


  • When copying from an Original course, if the prompt is in an initial thread, it will not transfer to Ultra. 


  • Any type of file added to Ultra is local. If you delete the file, it does not remain in the Content Collection. To keep a file in the content collection, you must upload it there first and then add it to the course. 


  • Videos in student preview for instructors are not showing. They appear as grey or white boxes. This is only impacting the Student Preview function - students are able to view the videos.

Progress Tracking  

  • When new items are copied to an Ultra course from a previous semester, the Progress Tracking defaults to off.  Even though it gets turned off, previously stored analytics remain. The only data lost will be between when it defaulted off and when the instructor turned it back on. 

Introducing the Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Learn Ultra is Blackboard's most modern, intuitive, and personalized Blackboard Learn user experience. Learn Ultra is characterized by simplified workflows and an accessible, fully responsive design—making it easier than ever to teach and learn from any device.

Watch a video about Learn Ultra:


Ultra-Only Tools or Features We Think You'll Love!

Discussion analysis provides an in-depth look at each student’s discussion participation, critical thinking level, and sentence complexity. These performance-based insights show you which students who may need help or are out of the normal range of participation.

You can use learning modules in your course as a container for organized collections of content. Modules let students navigate from one content item to the next without distractions or extra clicks. A learning module helps immerse students in the lesson or concept you're teaching.

You can set accommodations for individual students. You can exempt students from assessment due dates or time limits. Use accommodations to help students progress in the course even though they may have difficulty with some requirements.

Setting accommodations now occurs once - you no longer need to make exceptions for each assessment in your course!

What if your students have questions about some of the course content?

If you enable class conversations for individual content items, students can discuss the content with you and their classmates. They can ask for help, share sources, or answer questions others have. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant content. Conversations don't appear on the discussions page.

You can enable conversations for these content items:

  • Documents
  • Assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Tests
  • Group tests
  • Offline submissions
  • Links to teaching tools

Progress Tracking

You can enable this functionality to give your students an easy way to keep track of what they have done in each one of their courses. When enabling progress tracking later than the beginning of the term, participatory items will be retroactively marked as complete. For example, assessments submitted previously by students will be marked as complete. Non-participatory items, like Ultra documents, will still need to be manually marked by students.

You can enable progress tracking at any time during the term.

Turn progress tracking on for your course:

  1. Select Courses from the Ultra navigation menu.
  2. Select a Course.
  3. On Details & Actions > Progress Tracking, select Turn on. 

    Details & Actions menu with progress tracking turn on option highlighted by a rectangle.

  4. Once the Progress Tracking panel opens, switch the toggle from off to on.
  5. Save your new settings. 

Your students will now see the progress of their course. Every item like content or assessments will display a circle icon showing the progress.

progress tracking status

  • Empty when a student had not yet accessed the item
  • Partially filled when a student has opened the item
  • Green checkmark when the student has completed the item

Students can mark complete items like Documents, uploaded files, or links once they have opened them. For any other items like Assessments, Tests, Journals, or Discussions, the item will automatically be marked as complete when the student has submitted. When all items in a Folder or Module have been completed, the entire folder is automatically marked as complete.

Single Student Progress Report

Instructors often desire insight into the progress students are making in their course. This information helps instructors to engage early with students or adjust the course content. Blackboard has created a new single-student progress report. This report focuses on the path each student is taking in the course. In this new report instructors can view:

  • The content they have created for their students
  • The progress the student has made with relevant date/time stamps
  • The current visibility status of each item

Instructors can access this new report:

  • By selecting a single student from the Student Progress report on a content item
  • By selecting a single student from the gradebook list view, Students tab, Student Progress tab
  • By selecting a single student from the gradebook grid view, Student Progress tab

Image 1. Student progress report

Student progress report

When grading anonymously, the student's progress status is hidden until the instructor posts grades. This ensures the student’s identity remains anonymous during the grading process.

Image 2. Anonymous test progress information hidden

Anonymous test progress information hidden

This report is only available when progress tracking is turned on in the course.


Getting Started With Blackboard Learn Ultra

Where does my picture appear?

Your profile picture appears on course content pages, course cards, rosters, discussions, conversations, and messages next to your activity. You see student profile pictures throughout your courses in the same areas and in the gradebook.

Blackboard Assist

1-click access to student support resources and teams

The tools area is located in the base navigation and provides users access to global functions that are located outside a course. On this page, you will see tools you have permission to use. The tools that you see, or do not see, are configured by the LMS system administrator.  The most important tool here is your Kaltura “My Media” gallery.

Ultra Transition FAQs

Governance Structure Outline

Blackboard Governance Workgroup Membership

The Blackboard Governance Workgroup has representation from all academic schools/programs as well as key contributors from academic and administrative offices with direct roles in the successful use of Blackboard.

Blackboard Governance Workgroup Subcommittee Structure

The Blackboard Governance Workgroup has formed 4 subcommittees focused on the following components:

  • Best practices & enhancements
  • Faculty & Staff Development
  • Policies
  • Student Success

Connect with the MCPHS Libraries via Social Media: Instagram