Learn Ultra Upgrade
On December 20, 2019, Drexel Learn was upgraded to Blackboard’s Ultra Navigation. The new interface focuses on responsive design, allowing for a more seamless experience across devices, including computers, tablets, and phones.
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Inside courses the look and feel has changed; however, all the functions and tools behave the same as the old interface. There is nothing new for users to learn in order to build, facilitate, and complete their courses. The most significant changes to the user interface occur in the overall system menus.
Outside of courses, the first thing users will notice is the new look of the Institution Home Page. This landing page provides news, updates, and links to additional help resources for Learn.
The Profile tab allows users to customize their profile picture, which will display in tools like Discussion Boards, as well as customize the information displayed in the Activity Stream.
The Activity Stream provides an aggregated view of new items across all courses, as well as notifications for upcoming due dates and work that needs to be graded. It tailors the notifications based on the user’s role in the course.
The Activity Stream also can trigger some important notifications for both students and instructors, based on grades in the Grade Center. Due to this new emphasis, it is important that instructors have an accurate calculated grade in their Grade Center set as their External Grade.
Courses, as well as Organizations, have a new look which automatically sorts courses by term, as well as allowing users to select Favorite courses to keep them focused at the top of the list.
The Calendar, Course Messages, Grades, and Tools options all link out to their respective features. Calendar allows users to add externals calendars to the calendar within Learn, as well as allowing the Learn calendar to be utilized outside of the LMS. Course Messages is a single location for all courses that utilize the internal Learn Messages tool. Grades provides access to all listed grades across all courses, for both students and faculty. Tools provides access to system-wide features, like the Content Collection and Kaltura My Media.
The look and feel of the login page for Learn has also be updated with the transition to Ultra Navigation; however, the process for authentication through Drexel Connect remains the same.
With the emphasis on Responsive Design, the Course Menu will collapse if the screen size or browser zoom is below a certain threshold in order to give more space to content. This is not something we have the ability to change at this time, but we will continue to work with Blackboard to find an ideal solution.
Now that the update to Ultra Navigation is complete, the option to utilize Ultra Courses is available. Since there will be significant changes to build, facilitate, and complete Ultra Courses, we will be offering trainings in the months following the transition. Ultra Course sandboxes will be created on request starting in 2020. Original Courses, which are currently being used, will remain the default course type for the foreseeable future.