What has been happening?
CQSD and DTS are working on a project to move our Virtual Learning Environment from Blackboard Learn to Blackboard Learn Ultra. This project is closely aligned with the Portfolio Review Pathway (PRP), and Blackboard Courses will start using Blackboard Learn Ultra in 2024/25.
Blackboard Organisations have migrated to Learn Ultra one year ahead of the roll-out of Ultra Courses, i.e. all active Organisations have been using Blackboard Learn Ultra from the start of the 2023/24 year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Blackboard Organisations move to Ultra early?
- As a low-stakes Phase 1 deployment (organisations are supplementary to students’ formal learning, and there is no summative assessment on organisations).
- To allow staff in Schools and Support Centres to gain familiarity with managing Ultra organisations, which can then be applied to the setup and management of Ultra Courses.
- To avoid the need for staff to migrate both courses and organisations to Ultra at the same time, in 2024.
- To give student users a first taste of using Blackboard Ultra.
- To allow TEL & DTS staff to enhance their knowledge and experience of Ultra, so as to improve the support provided for the roll-out of Ultra courses.
What is happening to old Organisations?
In the week beginning 11th September 2023, DTS made all Blackboard Original Organisations unavailable. From that point, only Blackboard Ultra Organisations should be in use with students.
Subsequently, Original Organisations will be disabled, and then deleted from Blackboard.
|11th September 2023||All Original organisations automatically set as Unavailable
i.e. students no longer able to access them.
|12th January 2024||All Original Organisations will be disabled
i.e. neither staff nor students will be able to access them.
|26th July 2024||All Original Organisations will be permanently deleted from the Blackboard system.|
How can I ensure my External Examiner Organisation is available beyond September 2023?
We are well aware that Blackboard organisations for External Examiners are a special case, operating on a different timescale to other, student-facing organisations, and the organisations you are using now need to be kept available to your external examiners until later in the Autumn term. Original External Examiner organisations will not be set as unavailable in September – timeline for retiring these organisations tbc.
If you are responsible for an External Examiner organisation, please submit a request for an Ultra version, which you can then start to prepare for the 2023/24 academic year and beyond. The new organisation will be created as a copy of a standard template – see our guidance on structuring External Examiner Organisations.
What if I need to retain content from my current Organisation for archive purposes?
If there is content on your Original organisation which is no longer required for students, but which you need to retain beyond January 2024, you should download a copy and store this securely in SharePoint / OneDrive. You can download single files directly from the course; or you can zip up and download multiple files from the course Content Collection – see Download files.
How can I tell which Organisations I am enrolled on?
Go to the Organisations page in Blackboard.
You can filter the list to show Organisations where you are
- A Leader (Organisations I lead)
- An Assistant or Builder (Organisations I support)
- A Participant (Organisations I participate in)
Can I convert an Original Organisation to Ultra?
No. This is not possible – you need to request and build a new Ultra organisation.
What do I need to consider and how do I build my new Organisation in Ultra?
See Building your Ultra Organisation for guidance.
Can I copy content from an Original Organisation to my new Ultra organisation?
Yes. See Copy Content.
Requesting an Ultra Organisation
Please liaise with colleagues in your School / Support Centre to agree what organisations are required, and to avoid duplication of effort.
For each organisation that you need in 2023/24 and beyond, you will need to complete an Ultra organisation request form.
You should do this for:
- Blackboard Learn Ultra organisations which will replace an existing Original organisation
- Completely new organisations
The form will collect information on:
- Which staff are responsible for the organisation
- Which students should be enrolled on the organisation
- Which School or department it relates to
- The type of organisation (e.g. School / Departmental ‘Briefcase’ organisation, Programme space, central university service)
The type of organisation requested will determine which template is used to create the new Blackboard space. All School / Departmental organisations will be created from a standard template, to aid consistency across the university. Other types will essentially be a blank space, but with some guidance materials, to provide basic help to staff who are building the new organisation.
Training , support and staff development
Support for staff managing Ultra Organisations is now being provided through our TEL Support site. See Getting started with Organisations.
You can also watch this recording of our Blackboard Learn Ultra – Organisation Briefing on UoRLearn.
The Briefing was for Support Centre, professional services and academic staff involved in the creation and editing of Blackboard Learn Organisations. Topics covered:
- Introduce Blackboard Learn Ultra – an improved version of Blackboard
- Explain the rationale behind moving to Blackboard Learn Ultra Organisations in September 2023
- Allow participants to explore a Blackboard Learn Ultra Organisation
- Describe the process of creating and copying content into a Blackboard Learn Ultra Organisation