Blackboard Upgrade 2020

​On August 15, 2020, we upgrade Blackboard. There are two major improvements. The way Blackboard looks after logging in will be substantially different, but your courses will be nearly identical. If you've used Collaborate Ultra or the Blackboard mobile app, it will look familiar.

Watch the video below to learn how to navigate courses and organizations.


Moving to SaaS is important and efficient to allow updates, patches, and features to be added in the future without any downtime. We will be on the continuous release contract moving forward so we will see updates to our system every quarter. If there is a bug or a major feature doesn’t work, the patch will be installed as soon as it becomes available. We will identify features that are to be released on our Blackboard Updates webpage one month prior to the update.

Ultra Base Navigation

Another major change with this upgrade is the transition from our tab-based interface to the new Ultra Base Navigation to streamline access to courses and communities, as well as many new tools to help you and your students know where you stand in your courses. This upgrade will also make the system more responsive to allow users access to everything, no matter the device or screen resolution.

  • Institution Page - Everyone will land on the Institution page after logging in, which contains the latest updates and institution notifications. See the DMACC Demo.
  • Profile - You can configure your Profile, upload an image, and modify your Notification Settings, such as getting email or push notifications for import events (e.g., student work to grade, discussion posts, etc.).
  • Activity Stream and Grades - There is an Activity Stream for quick access to all of the new and upcoming events in your courses and communities. Also new, is a Grades link to display the grade information for all of your courses.
  • Courses and Organizations - You will access your Courses and Organizations (formerly called communities) directly from the links on the navigation bar.
  • Calendar - The Calendar will show you either daily or monthly items that are due. It is exportable, so once you have your due dates put into all of your courses, you can download it and import it into your other calendars (e.g., Microsoft, Google, etc.). You can also set up office hours right from the calendar to reduce the time it takes to coordinate them.
  • Messages - A new Messages button is included to access the Blackboard messaging tool so you can see and reply to all of your course messages from one screen.
  • Tools - The Tools link will provide access to system tools that may be of use to you.

Please note that Courses and Organizations will still look and act mostly the same. You will notice a change in the menu colors due to Blackboard's commitment to Universal Design and ADA. The icons inside of the courses have also been updated so you will also see a refreshed, modern look on them.