Using Blackboard

TU’s Blackboard Learn environment is automatically updated monthly through our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment. This means you’ll always have the latest version of Blackboard and immediate system patches without major service interruptions.

This service and vendor documentation are cloud hosted. Updates are not controlled by Towson University. 

Navigation

TU uses Blackboard Learn with Ultra Base Navigation to deliver online courses. This new navigation has a sleek, modern look and feel and will save you time with simpler workflows and easier access to important information. With this update, instructors now have the option to move their courses to the intuitive and mobile-friendly Ultra Course View. 

Course View

Blackboard's Ultra Course View is available now for summer 2022 courses. You must opt in, as TU courses are currently in Original Course View by default. Participation recommended but optional until Blackboard moves all courses to Ultra for the fall 2024 semester. Here are some features of Ultra Course View:

  • Get automatic monthly updates, with no downtime or actions required.
  • See one streaming content area with a modern look.
  • Hold conversations between you and your students for items in your course.
  • Access Gradebook enhancements including the ability to post grades. Plus you can assign automatic "zero" grading features. 
  • Set accommodations per student that apply to all assessments.
  • Use Progress Tracking to allow students to mark and track their progress.

Questions? Contact .

FAQs

TU Blackboard Administrators are here to help and have launched an Ultra Course Organization support forum and enrolled all current Instructors. Enter the Ultra Course Organization site to attend demos, TU-specific workshops, one-on-one consultations, and access support materials to assist with the conversion process. And you can always ask a TU Blackboard Administrator your specific questions.

That’s up to you. We recommend using the preview option on an old Blackboard course. You can convert an old course or request a shell course, and/or new Blackboard course with no content.

Note: The conversion process is one-way. Instructors can convert an Original course to Ultra, but cannot go back to the Original experience. Since the course must be made unavailable and all student data is erased, we recommend that this conversion process occurs in a course that is not active with learners.

Beginning in fall of 2024, all courses will be in the Ultra Course View. You can convert your courses before the fall of 2024 or they will automatically be converted for you at that time.

 

tU's Blackboard Roadmap

Timeline

  • December 2020: Move to SaaS
  • October 2021 - August 2024: Ultra Communications
  • December 2021: Roll out Ultra Base Navigation
  • January 2022 - May 2022: Ultra Demos IITC & Departments
  • January 2022: Bb Champions Formed
  • April 2022: Bb Champions Training Complete
  • April 2022: Bb Ultra Faculty Support Organization Live          
  • April 2022 - August 2024: Demos, Workshops & One-on-one support    

Blackboard Champions

Our Blackboard Champions are the early adopters of the transition from Original Course View to Ultra Course View. Please reach out to your champion for guidance.

Champion Name Email College
Aru Rao  CBE
Briana Snyder CHP
Paul Evitts CHP
Sel Hwahng  CLA
Kimberly Katz CLA
Kandace Hoppin COE
Mahnaz Moallem  COE
Robert Caples COE
Rachel Billman COE
Blake Abbott COFAC
Kanika Jackson COFAC
Angela Cox CSM
Vanesa Beauchamp CSM
Raj Mohan FACET
Carrie Price  Library
Bria Sinnott  Libary
Lisa Sweeney Library
Brittni Ballard Library
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