Blackboard Updates 2019

May 2019 Blackboard Upgrade

Blackboard Learn, UIC’s learning management system, has made significant improvements in functionality over the past several years. In order to take advantage of these improvements, Blackboard Learn will move to a new cloud-based model for the Summer 2019 semester. This model is called “software as a service” or SaaS. This version provides seamless upgrades, which means no more downtime.

This new system will also enable the UIC campus to experience the next generation of Blackboard Learn. The upgrade will transform the current interface into a more modern, streamlined, and intuitive experience. The most critical information from all your courses is now easily accessible. It is also fully responsive (designed for computers, tablets, and smartphones) and consistent across all Blackboard products including Collaborate and the Blackboard student and faculty mobile apps.

What to expect:

  • New home page
  • Simpler, streamlined navigation
  • Quick access. See critical information to easily stay updated and take action
  • Cross-course perspective. No need to dig inside individual courses for information (e.g. grades, calendar, messages, etc.)
  • No change in course view
  • Opportunity to preview a new, upgraded course view
  • Downtime for upgrade: May 15 at 10:00pm - May 19
  • No downtime for future updates

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my courses look like after the upgrade?

Though the navigation on the home page, as shown below will change, your course view will remain the same. You will access your courses through a revised My Courses link, where Courses will appear in the default Original Course View unless a request is made to use the new upgraded Ultra Course View.

New Home Page Example

Blackboard login page

What is the Original course view?

This is Blackboard’s traditional user experience that you are accustomed to, along with all the usual features and tools, including the full grade center, learning modules, groups and student preview. Courses with original view in the SaaS platform do not require any changes and you can keep the original course view as long as you want.

What is the Ultra course view?

The Ultra Course View provides a simplified set of options, with a lighter less complicated workflow. Create content easily. Just point to where you want to add content and a plus sign appears. Drag and drop for uploading works too. Point again to reorder, edit, or delete content. The simplicity comes with some trade offs however, as features like learning modules, surveys, and student preview may not be available in Ultra Course View.

Depending on your use of Blackboard, this new course view may be good for you. Should you wish to switch any course to the upgraded Ultra Course View, you may do so by request. You can also maintain a combination of original and Ultra course views in your course list, depending on which design best suits your needs as an instructor.

The choice of using the original view or the upgraded Ultra view will be up to each individual faculty member or department. You can also preview your original courses in Ultra at anytime before deciding to enable the Ultra view.

Learn more about the new Blackboard:

For questions or comments, please contact ACCC-LTS at

Last updated: 

May 20, 2019