New and Improved Features in Blackboard Ultra — May 2023 Update

Using the Grading Attempt Selector to Grade Multiple Submissions

An attempt selector on the grading page has been added to help manage, evaluate, and grade multiple student submissions. The selector can be found on the top left corner of the submissions grading page.

Reusing Questions Between Question Banks

Instructors can now copy questions between question banks by selecting the new Reuse Questions option (in the drop-down menu when working in a question bank) and copy questions from existing assessments directly into their question banks.

Adding Exemptions from the Gradebook Grid View

Exemptions can now be added or edited from the gradebook grid view. When an instructor exempts an assessment/activity:

  • The exempted item is excluded from the Overall Grade
  • The exempted item is not marked late for students who do not submit
  • Students with an exemption will not receive an automatic zero

Rubrics Enhancements

Performance level descriptions are now hidden by default to streamline grading experience but can be displayed if needed. Criterion feedback is also collapsible for a cleaner view of the grading panel. Finally, it is now possible to navigate between rubric criteria with the tab and use the up/down arrows of your keyboard to select a performance level.

Messaging Students from the Submission Page

To message students from the submission page, search or filter the recipients, click the checkbox to the left of the student’s name, then select the Send Message button on the right side of the page. Selecting multiple students as recipients of a message will keep them on BCC to maintain confidentiality.

Editing LTI Items via Gradebook

Instructors can now edit gradebook columns for LTI-based activities without forcing category selection.

Control Where Web Links Open

To provide greater flexibility in designing their course content, instructors may now specify where linked content should open – in a panel in the Ultra course or a new window.

Note: When content is hosted on Blackboard, it is less likely to be blocked. In this example, opening course content in a panel in the Ultra course is a better experience for students.

Uploading Desktop Folders to the Course Content Page

To upload desktop folders to your Blackboard course, simply locate the folder on your computer and drag/drop them directly on the course content page. Upload wait time will depend on the size of the file.

Dedicated Space to Take Notes about Students

Keep track of student details in a private Notes tab on the Student Overview page. Here, instructors can add and review notes about a student. Possible uses include tracking student progress, noting extensions given to students, grading considerations, or issues/challenges pertaining to a student.