By Russell Davidson; Associate Director for Digital Education, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Office of Digital Education
The next time you open a newly created course site on Blackboard, you will be presented with a message suggesting you, “Try the Ultra Course View!”
In this article, we will briefly look at why you are seeing this message, what it means, and provide you with some information that may help you decide if the Ultra View is right for you.
Why am I seeing this?
Over the last year, the Office of Digital Education has seen a significant increase in the number of requests from faculty to enable the “Ultra Course View” on their course sites. This, combined with some significant improvements to the Ultra Course View itself, has led the Office of Digital Education to decide it is time to put the decision to switch into your hands.
What do I do?
If you are not interested in the Ultra Course View, just click the “I’ll keep the Original Course View for now” text link to clear this message and access your course.
If you are interested in Ultra but have not decided yet, you may want to see our page on the subject for an overview of how the Ultra Course View differs from the Original before diving in.
To use the Ultra Course View, or at least have a look at it, click the “Try the Ultra Course View” button. When you click this button, your course site will close immediately, as Blackboard converts any content you have already loaded to the Ultra experience.
On your course list, the course will be grayed out and unclickable until the conversion is complete. If there is no content in your course, the conversion should not take long at all.
The next time you open your course site, it will be in “Ultra Course Preview” mode. This is indicated by a black-backgrounded message across the top of the course site.
While in Ultra Course Preview you can upload files and add folders and items. If you keep the Ultra Course View, these items will be kept. THESE ITEMS WILL BE DELETED IF YOU REVERT TO THE ORIGINAL COURSE VIEW.
Before you make your course site open to students, you will need to decide if you want to keep the Ultra-style course view. At the bottom of your course site is an “Explore the Ultra Course View!” box. Click “Back to Original course” if you want to revert to the previous view. Click “Use the Ultra course” if you would like to use the Ultra-style course.
How do I preview Original Course View content converted to Ultra Course View?
To copy course content from a previous term, you will first want to select “I’ll keep the Original Course View for now” to access your course site in “Classic” mode.
You can copy content from a previous term’s classic (original-style) course if you would like or create new content in your Original style course site.
Once your copy is complete (or you have added your test content), click the pencil icon in the upper right corner of your original style course site to re-open the “Try the Ultra Course View” preview, then click the TRY THE ULTRA VIEW button.
Most — but possibly not all — of your course content will have been converted to Ultra. To see how the process went, and what may have been lost along the way, click VIEW DETAILS in the Welcome heading.
This will open a side panel listing the conversion details. Click the VIEW EXCEPTIONS link for each of these headings to see how your course content was impacted.
On the exceptions panel, you will get a list of the items, features, and settings that did not carry over. You will see broad headings like “Unsupported question types were removed” or “Blogs aren’t supported at this time and were removed.” Right of each of these is a down-arrow which you can click to expand the heading and see a list of the specific items that were removed or changed.
Click that arrow to see the specific items that were removed or changed.
Again, you will need to decide whether you want to stick with Ultra or revert to Original before you make your course site open to students. At the bottom of your course site is an “Explore the Ultra Course View!” box. Click “Back to Original course” if you want to revert to the previous view. Click “Use the Ultra course” if you would like to use the Ultra-style course.
If you revert to the original view, any content or settings that was changed and/or deleted in the conversion process will be restored. Any content added in Ultra as part of the preview will be lost.