Blackboard Ultra Navigation

Blackboard Ultra Navigation

Introduction

On August 1st, 2018 Blackboard Learn at Bryant University will upgrade to activate Ultra Navigation. This changes the landing page and how users find their courses in Blackboard, but makes only minor, cosmetic changes to the structure and content of courses themselves. 

Users will notice the following differences:

  1. The Landing Page (first screen after logging in) is now the Activity Stream page, identifying upcoming and recent events in the user’s active courses.

  2. A new Navigation Panel on the left-hand side of the screen provides options for accessing individual courses, the Blackboard Calendar, My Grades, and other Blackboard tools and university resources.

  3. A new Courses Page lists all courses in which the user is enrolled. Users enrolled in many courses may find the list a little unwieldy at first, but see the “Courses Page” section below, for hints on how to make it easier to find the desired courses.

  4. Blackboard actively notifies users about due dates, grades, submissions, messages, and more. These notices are posted on the Activity Stream page, and sent by email. See the section on “Managing Notifications,” below, for hints on how to adjust the notifications automatically sent by Blackboard.

  5. There is a new Institution Page, with links to selected university resources such as CoursEval, Library and Student Success.

  6. Within each course there are only small differences in the appearance of text and/or buttons in the course menu, and in the standard icons that identify different types of course content (tests, documents, assignments, links, etc.).

Blackboard Ultra Navigation will enhance the overall look and feel of Blackboard for students and faculty alike with a design that will be consistent and responsive across all devices and platforms.

Activity Stream

The default landing page now is the Activity Stream. This all-new activity feed on your Blackboard homepage, provides an always up-to-date newsfeed of all the latest activity in your courses. You will no longer see information boxes cluttering your homepage. Instead, you will see a clean and concise stream of all the recent information posted in your courses.

Here is a link to a video with more details of the Activity Stream: Activity Stream in Blackboard with Ultra Navigation

Courses Page

On the Courses page, all the courses in which you are enrolled will be listed in alphabetical order by course title. For some users with older courses, the screen might be split up, so you’ll need to click on right or left arrows near the top of the screen to find older or newer courses.

The courses page might seem unwieldy at first, but there are ways of managing the list to make it easier to find the course or courses you want:

Students and Instructors can both:

  • Be aware that the list of courses always includes both the course title and course ID number. The course ID number can help distinguish between courses that have similar titles. 
  • Type any text in the “Search your courses” box to limit the courses that appear on the list. The text you type is automatically matched to both course titles and course IDs. 
  • Mark selected courses as “favorites” by clicking on the star icon to the right of a Course Title. Starred items will appear near the top of the list until the star is removed by clicking on the icon again.
  • Use the Filter options to list open or completed courses separately (if there are courses on the list that have different status categories).

Instructors have additional options, available by clicking on the “extras” icon (three dots) to the far right of each course:

  • You can hide a course, which moves it off the main list onto a separate list of hidden courses. A course you mark as hidden is still visible and accessible to enrolled students and other enrolled users.
  • You can mark a course Private (this used to be called “unavailable”). Courses marked Private go onto a separate list of courses. Private courses are inaccessible to enrolled students.
  • You can mark a course Completed. Completed courses go on a separate list. Enrolled students can see the contents of Completed courses, but they can’t make any changes, posts, or submissions. 
  • You can use the Filter options to switch between lists of Open, Private, Completed, or Hidden courses

Course View

When you enter a course, you will notice that the same original look, with only minor cosmetic changes to the structure and content of courses are present. The landing page within your course is still the Announcement section and you still have a Syllabus, Content, Assignment, etc content areas. To exit your course, and go back to the landing page, click the purple X located in the top, left hand corner.

Managing Notifications

With Ultra Navigation, Blackboard actively notifies you when things change in your courses. It does this by posting notices on your Activity Stream page, and also by sending notices by email. You can adjust your notification settings to reduce some of these notifications, if you prefer.

To change your notification settings, click on your name on the navigation panel along the left hand side of the screen. Look for the section of the screen labeled “Global Notification Settings” then click on either “Stream notifications” or “Email notifications.”

The Notifications Settings Panel will appear, as shown below. On that panel, you can click on the globe icon to change the activity stream notification settings or click on the envelope icon to change the activity stream icon.

Institution Page

The Institution Page can broadcast important messages and links to everyone in your institution. Each user can access the Institution Page from the base navigation, making it simple and quick to find out about what’s going on around campus or online.