Am I in Blackboard Original or Blackboard Ultra?

Navigating Between Blackboard Original and Blackboard Ultra

Fort Hays State University initiated its transition to Blackboard Ultra starting in 2019. Initially, this transition brought about noticeable changes, particularly affecting the login experience for all users. However, the majority of classes at FHSU are still conducted on the “original” Blackboard platform. As an instructor, if you haven’t intentionally migrated your course materials to Ultra or received an Ultra course from TILT (or your own department), your course probably still remains on the original platform.

Understanding Ultra involves recognizing it as having two distinct components: 1) the overarching environment housing all courses, and 2) the courses themselves. When FHSU made the shift to Ultra, only the environment changed. The university aims to transition all courses to the Ultra format by the end of Fall 2025, with instructors having the flexibility to decide when to adopt the Ultra course format.

Determining whether your class resides on the “original” Blackboard or Ultra is straightforward: simply log in. Your main Blackboard page will look the same no matter what version you are in. It will all depend on what it looks like when you click each individual course. Here is your main page:

Choose a course. If your course features a side menu resembling the following:

Then your course is still on the “original” Blackboard platform. For assistance with navigating these courses, refer to the relevant resources available on OIR’s classic Blackboard training pages. Here is what a Blackboard Original Home Page looks like.

Conversely, if your course menu displays the streamlined and standardized Ultra interface:

Then you’re accessing an Ultra course.

Here is what the modules/home page in an Ultra course look like.

Transitioning Between Worlds: Balancing Blackboard Original and Blackboard Ultra

As we navigate the transition to Ultra, instructors have the flexibility to teach some courses in Blackboard Learn (“original Blackboard”) and others in Blackboard Ultra (“new Blackboard”). This setup, designed by Blackboard, facilitates a gradual adoption process. We recommend starting with one course at a time, familiarizing yourself with the features and content before moving on to the next transition. TILT’s Blackboard Conversion process will help you with that.

There are valid reasons why certain courses might require a longer transition period to Ultra. Perhaps you have extensive content that needs redesigning to align with the platform’s modern design, have several courses that need to be switched over, or are anxious about so many new and unfamiliar with new features. Contact Blackboard Help and check out upcoming events for more information. If you have signed up for our conversion process, a TILT Instructional Designer will provide you with feedback, tools and resources. Check out the blog for additional information.

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