Blackboard Learn Ultra Course Creation 2024-25

The recent Academic Enhancement Committee approved some changes to the annual course creation process:

  • Courses will be created blank with the University approved template
  • Course creation will always take place on the first Monday in June (this will be Monday 3rd June this year).

Some staff have asked for more information about why courses will be created blank. This blog post is designed to help explain the reasons for this decision.

Previous years’ course copy process was done using Building Blocks. Building Blocks are no longer supported by Blackboard and can’t be used (you may remember that this was one of the reasons for moving to Ultra). The Blackboard course copy tool hasn’t been updated, so we don’t have a technical way of copying courses.

The course copy workflow is easier in Ultra than it was in Original. And as we will be copying from Ultra to Ultra courses, you’ll be able to copy larger blocks of content.

Blank courses means that template updates and additional settings can be applied to  courses. Blackboard has changed a lot since last summer, and there are new settings that will be useful for next year’s courses. To use these staff would need to add them to each courses manually.

Previous course copies included gradebook columns. After several years this started to get confusing for staff and made the gradebook difficult to navigate. Copying over the links for Turnitin, Panopto and Talis also has the potential for confusion – it isn’t easy to tell whether these links have been updated or not, and staff would need to check each one manually.

Some courses won’t have been created in Ultra (for example courses that only run every two years). These need to be created blank as Ultra courses anyway.

Blank course creation will also help to avoid out-of-date content being copied over as standard.

Information about how to copy content can be found on the Blackboard help site. Guidance and support will be available over the summer, but if you have any questions, please contact us on

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