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The following features highlight some of the most important improvements provided by Ultra Course View.

Discussions Can Be Created AnywhereYou can now add a discussion anywhere you like in a course. This allows instructors to situate discussions directly alongside relevant course content. Discussion forums have been removed from ultra courses, but instructors can use folders to organize conversations in whatever way they like.
Discussion AnalyticsDiscussion analytics provide information about student participation allowing you to see who has and has not been active in a discussion. Analytics can be viewed at the top level and by post, student, or group.
Class ConversationsWhen creating items in an ultra course, an instructor can elect to enable a conversation associated with it. This allows students to post and reply to questions about the item for view by the instructor and students. These conversations are separate from discussions you create and do not appear on the discussions page.
Grade Center Filter and SearchAn instructors ability to filter and search the Grade Center is greatly improved. You can search by student name and filter by assignment status. The new gradebook also provides a comprehensive view of submission status and gradable items by student or by assignment.
Automatic ZerosUn-submitted  can be set to count as zero in ultra courses after the due date has passed. Instructors no longer have to manually enter zeros for un-submitted work and students receive stronger indications of missing materials when they receive zero grades. You can still allow students to submit after an automatic zeros is assigned and you can still grade as normal.
Content EditingThe new content editor creates more accessible content and includes enhancements like as MathML. It will soon support copy/paste of LaTex.
Documents Replace ItemsThere is a new content type in ultra courses called a "Document." It allows instructors to author blocks of content that mix text and images with files that are displayed in the browser in-line with other text. Because the materials in a document are modular, it is easy to reorder and edit them.
Test Question Filtering for StudentsStudents can more flexibly navigate tests with filters that allow them to look at all questions of a single type or only see unanswered questions.

Changed Tools

Some features in Ultra Course View are significantly different than those in Original Course View. This list is not exhaustive, but highlights some notable differences between ultra and original courses.


The following features are either not fully developed in ultra courses or will not be included them. Instructors transitioning from original to ultra course view should be aware of the following in case they depend on any of these features in their courses.

Name in OriginalName in UltraNotesStatus
Adaptive ReleaseConditional ReleaseIn original courses, instructors can release content when a student has made an attempt on an item, regardless of its grading status or score. In ultra, additional content is only released based on the grade an item receives. In ultra courses, if an assessment used as a condition, it must be graded before new content is released to the student.Unknown
BlogsForthcomingBlogs are not yet available in ultra courses.Future Development
Content CollectionContent CollectionUsers can add content to an ultra course from the content collection, but the content collection manager is no longer available inside of ultra course view. Instead it is accessed from the "Tools" area of the main navigation menu.Final
Content EditorContent Editor

The following are not yet available in the ultra content editor:

  • Emoticons
  • Find/Replace
In Development
Course DurationNoneCourse duration can no longer be edited by the instructor — it can only be changed by a system administrator. Final
Course LinksCourse LinksIt is not yet possible to create a link from one area of an ultra course to an item created elsewhere in the course. By extension, you can not create a link in an Announcement that takes a student directly to a piece of course content.Expected 2022
Course MenuNoneThe course content page has replaced the course menu in ultra courses. Rather than create a separate menu instructors should structure their course content in folders and modules directly on the course content page. Final
Course ReportsEmbedded AnalyticsSome items, such as assessments or discussions, have some analytics built into them. Course Reports as in original courses are no longer available, including view tracking. In Development
Course MessagesMessagesIn ultra course messages there is no subject line and there are no folders to organize course messages.Final
Course SurveysForthcomingThis feature is not currently available in ultra courses. Instructors would have to use an alternate technology like Qualtrics, Google Forms, or Microsoft Forms.In Research

Discussions are available but the feature is still being enhanced:

  • Discussion board can be set for grading, but instructors may find the current grading workflow challenging. 
  • Unavailable features:
    • Search
    • Subscribe
    • Moderate/Lock
    • Anonymous Posts
In Development
Embed HTMLHTML BlocksThis is not currently available in our Blackboard system — ITS is exploring options for enabling it. Item embedded in Original Course View pages are unlikely to work in ultra. Users should re-post that content in the ultra course using the Content Editor or the Content Market.Future Release
FolderFolderUltra courses are limited to a nested folder depth of two. You can create a subfolder inside of a folder, but cannot add additional folders within a subfolder.Research
Grade CenterGradebook

There are a number of changes relevant to the Gradebook in ultra courses.

  • Instructors can define additional schemas but only one can be selected which applies to the entire gradebook. Instructors cannot create schemas to be applied to individual columns.
  • Unavailable features:
    • Tab to navigate
    • Missed deadline notification
    • Exempt grade
    • Grade history (coming July 2022)
    • Column statistics
    • Sort by first/last name (replaced by search)
    • Pass/Fail & Complete/Incomplete 
In Development
GroupsGroupsIt is not currently possible to change group membership after gradable activities have begun.In Research

The following rubric features are unavailable:

  • Evaluation report
  • Applying a rubric to a test essay question
In Research
Send EmailMessagesMessages are the core communication in tool in ultra navigation and ultra courses. When creating messages and announcements, instructors can elect to send a copy by email to the recipients. Users can elect to enable email notifications for messages in their profile area of the main navigation. Final

Ultra does not yet support the full array question types that original courses do. The following question types are currently available:

  • Essay
  • Fill in the Blank
  • Matching
  • Multiple choice (single and
    multiple correct)
  • True/False
  • Calculated Formula

Force completion is not recommended for use in original courses and will not be included in ultra tests

In Development
Tool AvailabilityNoneInstructors can no longer turn off individual tools in a course — the available tools are set at the system level by administrators.Final

Removed Tools

The following tools are being removed from Ultra Course View; Blackboard has announced that these features will not be included: