Ultra Base Navigation


Our current Blackboard version has a new "base navigation" called Ultra Base Navigation.  If you have used Blackboard for a number of semesters, this look and feel will be different. This page will show you the basics of the Ultra Base Navigation (UBN) in Blackboard

Visual Comparison

The Original/Classic Look after logging in

The new "Ultra Base Navigation" (UBN) look after logging in

UBN will provide a more streamined, cleaner, more accessible entry point for Blackboard. It will also provide more customization for faculty and students, which we will describe below.

Finding your Courses

Using the Courses tab in the left navigation, you can now see a listing of courses which you can customize. Using the "Current Courses" Filter dropdown, you can select a subset of courses to show by semester. We suggest starting with pulling down from Current Courses to a certain semester. 

Alternatively: Please use the Search box to locate them if you don't see a course. We highly recommend using the SEARCH BOX to search for a course by number (670, 744, etc.) and then to use the Star icon (Favorite) to favorite your classes so they show up at the top of your course list.

You can further filter your course list using the "All Courses" Filter to pick a subset of courses:

You can favorite a set of courses using the star icon - so they show up at the top of your Courses screen. Also, using the 3 dots on the right next to any course, you can hide a course, or make it Open to students ("Open Course") or hide it from students ("Make Course Private")

In addition to the ability to favorite a course, you can also use the Search box to locate a course. In many cases, typing the first few letters of a Faculty members last name will show you the courses in which you have access to/are enrolled in.

In this way, the new Courses tab is very customizable, and we anticipate more functional for faculty and students to more easily see the courses you want to see. 

However, if you were a fan of the old "My Courses Plus" block - because it has folders for each semester that can expand/contract and show you only those courses, the good news is: it's still there. It's just a little different, in that when you click it, it launches into a new window, on top of the navigation menu:

The Activity Stream

The "Activity Stream" is a view of recent changes and/or activity throughout your Blackboard courses. This could inclde assignments, exams, discussion posts, grades and feedback, etc. For instructors, you may see messages about student performance in the class, while students may see grading information. There is a filter dropdown menu in the upper right, which can be used to show only certain kinds of activity: 

Also on the Activity Stream, there is a gear wheel icon in the far upper right, that is for setting notifications preferences. This is a major new area for Blackboard Ultra, in that you can set up a variety of activity stream, email, or push notifications (which can work on your mobile phone with the Blackboard apps).  Click each of the 3 tab icons at the top to set up these 3 types of notifications. Each has a number of check boxes where you can determine which type of notifications you wish to receive:


Orgs are still separate from courses, and you access them from the Organizations tab in the left navigation. This works similarly to the Courses navigation described above.


The Messages feature in Blackboard Ultra provides both messages to email (like the Original Blackboard) as well as messages that are internal to Blackboard - and internal messaging system. The Messages link provides a way to see how many messages you have in each course, as well as click the + sign to send a message to other participants in any course: 


The Calendar function can show due dates, and users can enter their own calendar entries. Using the Gear wheel in the upper right, you can select which course calendars or if you will see your personal calendar (outside of courses) when viewing:

On the Calendar view, you can select Schedule or Due Dates to see one of these at a time. Clicking the + sign on the Calendars tool will bring up the possibility of adding Office Hours, a schedule, or an event to your personal calendar:


The Grades tool is handy for both faculty and students to get a sense of how grades are going. Faculty can see the average current score in the course, as well as # of ungraded items for assignments. You can click on this to go to the grade center and enter grades. You can also click "View all work" to see a listing of all grade center items in your course. 

Additional Resources

You have a wealth of more information from Blackboard.com (https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Student/Getting_Started/Navigate_Outside_a_Course#ultra-easy-navigation_OTP-2) at your fingertips, including a deep dive into what each button and toggle does for your experience.