Blackboard Ultra Navigation

Syracuse University Blackboard has updated from Blackboard Learn to Ultra Base Navigation. The change provides users with a modernized landing page that includes a new notification system, a consolidated view of activity across their courses, and easier ways to navigate to course content. 

The update does not change any of the following: 

  • How you login to Blackboard. 
  • The way that individual courses function once you have entered them. 
  • The function of course tools such as items, announcements, assignments, test, discussion boards, etc. These will function just as before once you are inside a course. 
  • Content already built in courses. 
  • The ability of instructors to copy content, just as before. 
  • Third party integrations with textbooks, Kaltura, Zoom, Collaborate, Turnitin, etc. — these will work much as before with some small tweaks to how they are accessed. 

This change was scheduled to take place between the Summer I and Summer II terms to impact as few users as possible in on-going courses. We hope that the timing will also provide ample time for Fall 2021 instructors to grow accustomed to the change and seek technical support before the term begins. 

In addition to the summary below, users are encouraged to view the brochures created by Blackboard with a summary of improvements for instructors and improvements for learners

Support Documents on Key Differences

The following support pages are targeted to some of the key differences between Blackboard Learn and Ultra Base Navigation.


There are a number of benefits of making this change in the system navigation:

  • Greatly improved accessibility
  • Dramatic improvements for navigating the site on mobile devices
  • Reduced clicking to navigate directly to relevant areas of courses
  • Notifications that can be customized by each user 
  • Consolidated views of activity across all courses 
  • Architecture improvements that make it possible to create Blackboard Ultra Courses in the future

Sneak Preview

Global Navigation & Institution Page

Blackboard Ultra Navigation includes navigation panel to replace the current system of modules. This panel is simple and consistent for navigating your courses, accessing your activity stream, and seeing your grading or grades. In the screenshot below, you'll see the navigation panel next to the "Institution Page" where users will find system information and links to support resources. 


Course List

With the new navigation it will be easy to filter, search, favorite, and hide the Blackboard courses you are enrolled in. This will allow you to customize what courses appear first and help you get into them quickly.

Screenshot of user interface

Activity Stream

The activity stream provides a view of activity in your courses including newly posted information, due dates, and activity in discussion boards, and grades/grading among other things. Clicking on the items displayed will taking you directly to the relevant area in the course for a complete view of the material. The stream is customizable by each user so that they can display just the information they want to see.

Screenshot of user interface


Clicking grades will show students scores and feedback recently posted in their courses. Instructors will see a summary of submissions including their grading status. 

Screenshot of user interface


As stated above, the change in navigation will not change the content or functionality of the courses. The screenshot below demonstrates how the course is displayed in the new navigation.

Screenshot of user interface