Training and Support Resources for Moving to Ultra

Online Learning Service (OLS) and ITS are committed to providing a diverse set of resources for Syracuse University instructors as Syracuse University transitions from original to ultra course view. We appreciate that the challenges and pressures facing faculty mean that an individual's support needs and timeline may be different than their colleagues' needs. OLS is providing a variety of synchronous training opportunities with different styles and timelines in addition to asynchronous materials available anytime. Our intent is to provide a suite of resources so that faculty can have support in the format that helps them most.

With a large number of instructors and classes making the transition, OLS has limited capacity for extensive one-on-one training, but we are working to expand our capacity for individualized consultations. The earlier an instructor opts-in to teaching in ultra course view and completes group training, the better we will be able to schedule an individual meeting with you about your courses.

Keep your eye on this space for additional information about training opportunities and events, some of which will including stipends for agreeing to teach your course in the ultra format in advance of the Fall 2024 semester.

Upcoming Events

EventTime and DateDescription
Monday Office HoursMondays 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Open time with Online Learning Services staff for instructors to ask questions and get support on ultra courses. Hosted on Zoom:

Tuesday Office HoursTuesdays 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Open time with Online Learning Services staff for instructors to ask questions and get support on ultra courses. Hosted on Zoom:

Past Events

OLS preserves a record of past events in Answers. Selected recordings of events are

hosted in Kaltura.


Answers Pages

OLS has created custom documentation for Syracuse University Instructors on the core features and functions of the ultra course view. The easiest way to browse these pages is to open the sidebar and peruse the page hierarchy for the feature you are interested in. OLS documentation will expand throughout the transition. As this resource develops page names and locations may change. If you are unable to locate a resource, the top-level Blackboard documentation page will have links to ultra documentation. 

Blackboard Documentation

Blackboard provides in-depth documentation for instructors on all of ultra course view's features. When browsing Blackboard's documentation, look for text at the top of the page reading "You are viewing Ultra Course View content" to ensure that the page is for your ultra course. 


Orientation Course

The orientation course enrolls instructors in a Blackboard ultra course from the perspective of a student to give them a sense what an ultra course can be like and to provide access to video tutorials on how to use various instructional features of the ultra course view. Those enrolled also receive their own ultra course "sandbox" — an ultra course where they are enrolled as instructor for them to experiment with the new view and to create content in the ultra format that can later be copied to an ultra course they are teaching. Instructors can request access via the overview page

Live Support Meetings

Office Hours

Throughout the transition, OLS will be hosting office hours regularly via Zoom. Some of these hours will be open to any campus instructor, while others will be limited to a particular user group. For example, members of the Orientation Course and Community of Practice have access to office hours weekly. Join us by signing up for the orientation course or committing to teach in the ultra format for the upcoming term.

Course Building Sprints

Course Building Sprints are intended as meetings for instructors to work on their ultra course content while having access to instructional and technical support from Online Learning Services as well as camaraderie and ideas of their colleagues. Sprints are two-hour events structured by topic. Because they are intended as working sessions and feature Q&A, sprints are not recorded.

Individual Consultation

Online Learning Services is adding additional staffing resources to consult with faculty on the transition to teaching in the ultra format. Interested instructors should join and explore the Ultra Course View Orientation and then email to schedule a time to discuss your courses with a staff member.

Training and Informational Events


Online Learning Services will host a variety of workshops to assist instructors in using the new view. Upcoming events will be posted at the top of this webpage. Events will be recorded where possible and posted here.

Lunch and Learn Events

Ultra courses will be a regular focus of online Lunch and Learn presentation hosted by ITS throughout the transition. These events are recorded with the recordings being provided to participants. Please refer to the monthly "Technology Tips" email from ITS for information about upcoming events. Registrants will receive links to event recordings where available.

  • On April 28th, 2023, Online Learning Services hosted an event featuring a panel of faculty members that are already teaching in the ultra format, for them to share their experience of the transition. The
    event recording is now available
    (including the audio and chat transcript). 

Community Building

Community of Practice

Active instructors teaching in ultra course view are enrolled in a Blackboard course in the ultra format. This allows OLS to communicate directly to ultra instructors about new features released during the term and provides a community forum for instructors to engage with one another on ultra teaching design and practices. 

New Faculty Orientation

Beginning with the Fall 2024 semester, new faculty will receive courses in the ultra format. Online Learning Services is creating resources specifically for new faculty to provide information about using Blackboard at Syracuse University and to help them understand the suite of computing resources provided by ITS.

Teaching Squares and Faculty Learning Communities

For faculty that organize a group of colleagues that are interested in making the transition to ultra courses together, Online Learning Services will provide customized training and support or group facilitation. Depending on the size of your group and your desired time commitment, OLS has a number of models they can provide to help structure groups around the topic of teaching and learning with technology. For more information email with some information about the size of your faculty group and interest for a consultation and assistance on creating a group. 

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