Enhancing Your Online Course with AI Features in Blackboard Ultra

As faculty members at Fort Hays State University (FHSU), you’re constantly striving to improve your courses, making them more engaging, user-friendly, and effective. With the transition from Blackboard Original to Blackboard Ultra, you now have access to powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) Design Assistant that can streamline your course creation process and enhance the learning experience for your students. In this post, we’ll explore how you can leverage the AI Design Assistant to design and deliver exceptional courses in Blackboard Ultra.

What can the AI Design Assistant Do Exactly?

Creating a new course from scratch can be a daunting and time-consuming task. That’s where the AI Design Assistant comes in. This innovative tool harnesses the power of AI to help you build your course efficiently, saving you valuable time and effort. With the AI Design Assistant, you can:

  • Generate learning modules
  • Create rubrics
  • Design assessments
  • Generate discussion prompts
  • Create journals
  • And more!

Getting Started with AI Design Assistant

Whether you’re starting with a blank course shell or adding content to an existing one, the AI Design Assistant can assist you every step of the way. Here’s how to get started:

  • Auto-Generate Modules: If you’re unsure where to begin, let the AI Design Assistant guide you in structuring your course. Simply select the option to auto-generate modules, and the AI will create modules based on your course’s title and description. You can customize the modules to suit your preferences, including adjusting complexity, adding descriptions, and selecting images.
    • Click “get started” to go through the steps or find the document here.
  • Auto-Generate Discussions: Foster meaningful engagement among your students with AI-generated discussion prompts. The AI Design Assistant can create discussion topics tailored to your course, based on cognitive levels and complexity settings.

  • Generate Rubrics: Save time on grading by utilizing AI-generated rubrics. These structured frameworks ensure fairness and consistency in assessing student work, while also providing clear guidelines for students to meet learning outcomes.

  • Auto-Generate Assignment Prompts: Encourage critical thinking and real-world application with AI-generated assignment prompts. These prompts are designed to challenge students and promote deep learning experiences.
  • Auto-Generate Test Questions: Create formative and summative assessments with ease using AI-generated test questions. Choose from various question types and adjust complexity settings to suit your needs.
  • Generate Question Banks from Ultra Documents: Quickly gauge student comprehension by generating question banks from Ultra Documents. These questions can be reused across multiple assessments, saving you time and effort.

  • Insert and Adjust Images: Enhance your course content with visually appealing images generated by AI. Easily insert stock photos or AI-generated images directly into your text editor, and customize their appearance to suit your preferences.


By harnessing the power of the AI Design Assistant in Blackboard Ultra, FHSU faculty members can create courses that are engaging, user-friendly, and effective. The AI Design Assistant streamlines the course creation process, saving time and effort, while also enhancing the learning experience for students. Whether you’re designing modules, creating assessments, or fostering discussions, AI can be a valuable tool in your instructional arsenal.

New features are always being added to the Ultra AI Design Assistant so please visit this link for an updated list of features.

AI Design Assistant with Syllabus

AI Institute Videos (Spring 2024)


AI Design Assistant

Link to Original Content

Microsoft’s Responsible AI Page

Trustworthy AI Principles

Microsoft’s Transparency Note for Azure Open AI Service

Microsoft’s Data, Privacy, and Security for Azure OpenAI Service

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