Blackboard Ultra Project Update

Blackboard Ultra icon

It’s been a little while since we gave you a progress report on our move to Blackboard Ultra. We’ve been working hard to prepare for the start of our training programme and making sure that our integrations are working.

Technical Update

We have been focusing on our Course Creation process. To help colleagues with the move to Ultra, we are creating courses for next academic year much earlier this year.

This will also help with our training as colleagues will be preparing their live Ultra course.

Our integrations have also taken a lot of work to set up and get working:

  • Panopto: Panopto has been moved to an API connector ready for Ultra Courses.
  • Talis Aspire: Talis Aspire LTI is now enabled. We have been working with colleagues in Academic Engagement to ensure that this is as smooth as possible.
  • Turnitin: Work on moving Turnitin to a LTI connector was completed in summer 2022, and no additional changes to Turnitin are required for the move to Ultra Courses.
  • Microsoft Teams meetings: We will move to the Teams LTI in summer 2023. This tool will be for scheduling Teams meetings.

These are existing tools but one of the benefits of moving to Ultra is the introduction of Office 365 LTI integration. This allows you to upload documents from your OneDrive straight into Blackboard as well as offering students the opportunity to collaborate on a document together. For those of you who have been following our progress on our blog, you will see that this collaborative tool forms the basis of our Wiki solution.

Training Update

Our E-learning Essentials: Introduction to Blackboard Ultra training session has now been designed and is ready for staff departmental training sessions.

We have communicated with all Departmental Directors of Learning and Teaching to start arranging your departmental training session. If you are unable to make your scheduled session then we will be running them centrally.

See our training blogpost for an overview of our training package.

Required Minimum Presence

As Blackboard Ultra Courses have a completely different approach to organising and arranging content, our Required Minimum Presence has been re-written. Keep a look out for our updated RMP.

Guidance Materials

We have been working on rationalising and preparing our guidance materials, including our FAQs. One change you’ll notice once we’re in Ultra Courses is that our FAQs will link directly to Blackboard help materials. These materials are available bilingually in Welsh and English.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference

Our Annual Learning and Teaching Conference is taking place between 4 and 6 July. A key strand of the conference will be the Blackboard Ultra. Keep an eye on our blogposts as we announce our keynote speakers. A reminder that our Call for Proposals closes on 5 May – you can submit a proposal using our online Call for Proposals form.

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