Blackboard Learn and Collaborate Ultra Changes

Blackboard Learn and Collaborate Ultra Changes

Recent updates and changes to the Blackboard system will be posted here. You can also view our Archive to see older updates and changes to the Blackboard system. Please email with questions or for assistance.

Blackboard Learn Ultra

Learn more about the Blackboard Learn Ultra upgrade that took effect on May 10, 2021.

September 2021

September 9

Collaborate Ultra Version: 21.16

  1. Enhancement: Groups created in a Blackboard course are now available in the course’s Collaborate sessions for breakouts. Instructors can use their existing course groups, as per the bullets below, to create breakout groups in advance to save time.
    • Original course – group sets (not standalone groups)
    • Ultra course – course level groups
      • NOTE: This integration will be released gradually from September 9 - September 13.
  2. Enhancement: A ‘Browser soon unsupported’ warning will be displayed to users launching Collaborate Ultra in an old browser version. This message will not stop users from joining the session; it is meant to pro-actively inform users to upgrade to the latest browser version to get the best experience during the session.

September 2

Learn Version: 3900.21.0

Original Course View

  1. Issue: Preview mode for the content editor was displaying a grey background. This has been changed to transparent for better readability of the contents.
    Status: Resolved
  2. Issue: There were differences in color for certain HTML tags in the content editor between display and edit modes.
    Status: Resolved
  3. Issue: The math editor was sometimes displaying overlapped formula symbols.
    Status: Resolved

Ultra Course View

  1. Issue: When attempting to grade an assessment submission with a rubric and then clearing the rubric using the grading pill on the grading bar, the grading pill displayed as empty and colorless.
    Status: Resolved
  2. Issue: When changing the way students were sorted in the gradebook for a course's discussion, assignment, test or attendance, students were sorted alphabetically by first name instead of by last name.
    Status: Resolved
  3. Issue: In the Grade Centerof a course set as Unavailable, the Last Access column was showing students as if they had accessed the course instead of showing no activity.
    Status: Resolved
  4. Issue: Automatic zero functionality wasn’t working for some content items with release conditions set.
    Status: Resolved
  5. Issue: For the course announcements and instructor feedback features, users couldn’t use the recording option in the text editor.
    Status: Resolved
  6. Issue: The math editor was sometimes displaying overlapped formula symbols.
    Status: Resolved
  7. Enhancement: The assignment attempts screen has been widened to better display the content being graded. This includes a collapsible and expandable panel where users can navigate through tabs such as rubrics, feedback, and originality report. Users can navigate the submission view with different scroll bars to scroll up and down the submission content without affecting the side tab navigation or the header. Instructors can use rubrics to provide feedback on a specific part of the submission.
  8. Enhancement: A partial credit option has been added for Fill in the Blank test questions.
  9. Enhancement: The ‘Additional Content’ section for assignments and tests was always visible to students by default. A toggle has been added to allow instructors to show or hide the ‘Additional Content’ section.
  10. Enhancement: Email styling enhancements have been made to the below notifications to include the course ID, the course name, and the reason for the email.
    • New announcement
    • New message
    • Assessment overdue soon
    • Assessment overdue
    • Daily digest
  11. Enhancement: Peer review assignments
    • When an instructor deletes a student submission containing peer reviews, they’ll receive a warning message showing a list of affected students.
    • When grading or viewing peer reviews, the submission from a student with a disabled or unavailable enrollment status will be shown as ‘Unavailable’.
    • Peer reviews started or completed for submissions made by a student with a disabled or unavailable enrollment status will be shown as ‘Unavailable’ and can no longer be accessed.

August 2021

August 10

Collaborate Ultra Version: 21.14

  1. Enhancement: The whiteboard formatting, usability, breakout groups, and annotation persistence have been improved. This feature will gradually roll out between August 12 and August 19, 2021.
    • Formatting - The pencil thickness, fonts and font size, shapes with color fill, arrows, and more have been added to the annotation tools. 
    • Usability - You can erase part of the annotations or clear all. There are multi-line text blocks, text wrapping, and safeguards before clearing all annotations. 
    • Breakout Groups - A file can be annotated in the main room and then shared with breakout groups. A breakout group’s annotated file can be brought back to the main room together with its annotations. 
    • Annotation persistence – Annotations made to the whiteboard, or on a file, are saved in the session. You can share something new, go to a new slide, or stop sharing. Select Clear Annotations to remove all annotations. A  multi-page whiteboard feature is now available.
      • NOTE: The new whiteboard doesn’t include a pointer but you can easily draw your own by using the Shapes tool (arrow, dot) and point to different areas of the whiteboard. 
  1. Enhancement: The network indicator will show red only for the person impacted with a network issue instead of showing red for all attendees.
  2. Enhancement: The language set as your browser’s default was used as the Collaborate language. You can now set a default preferred language that is supported by Collaborate in Session Settings > Default Language. The selection is remembered by the browser on that particular device for your next sessions.

August 5

Learn Version: 3900.19.0

Original Course View

  1. Issue: Content editor toolbar settings such as font, size, color, and spacing were inconsistent. When existing content is selected, the content editor toolbar now updates to display the current font, size, and header settings.
    Status: Resolved
  2. Issue: Text in a table cell remained left aligned even though a different text alignment was specified within the content editor.
    Status: Resolved
  3. Enhancement: Original Course View - Files and media can be embedded in Tests, Surveys, and Pools using the Add Content button in the editor for:
    • Calculated formula: Question text
    • Essay: Answer text
    • Matching: Question/Answer pairs
    • Multiple Answer: Answer options
    • Multiple Choice: Answer options
    • Ordering: Answer options
    • Short Answer: Answer text

Ultra Course View

  1. Issue: When copying a course that contained quotes in the custom alt-text descriptions for images, the assignments and assessments in the course appeared blank.
    Status: Resolved
  2. Enhancement: Progress tracking can be enabled from the Details & Actions menu. This will allow students to mark and track their progress inside their course. The feature needs to be turned on before any student activity has taken place in the course (this includes student preview mode activity).
  3. Enhancement: The course’s top menu iconology that appeared on the right will be replaced with a text based menu on the left. The menu will remain sticky and visible to users while scrolling down the page.
  4. Enhancement: The Student Preview link has been removed from the Details & Actions menu on the left and placed at the top right of the course.
  5. Enhancement: When in the grid view of the gradebook, multiple filters can be applied for variables such as users, groups, gradable items, and categories. These filters can be bookmarked and accessed later.
  6. Enhancement: Instructors can add a link to any virtual meeting tool in a calendar event’s location field and students can launch the virtual session from their calendar.
  7. Enhancement: Student Peer Review assignment submissions for each student can be reviewed and graded by the instructor on the gradebook page. Students can access submissions available for their review by going to the course calendar event and clicking the Start Peer Reviews button.

July 2021

July 15

Learn Version: 3900.17.0

  1. Issue: Original and Ultra Course View – When making a copy of a course that contained quotes in custom alt-text descriptions for images, the assignments and assessments in the course appeared blank.
    Status: Issue: Resolved

July 8

Collaborate Ultra Version: 21.12

  1. Issue: Gallery view supports the display of 25 videos at once which can demand a lot from your network connection or device. Collaborate will monitor your experience and if the load is too much, the number of videos will automatically reduce to 4 and a notification will appear in the banner at the top of your screen. You can turn the full gallery view off to limit the videos to 4 from My Settings > Audio and Video Settings > under Video Quality Experience, uncheck Auto (recommended).
    Status: Resolved
  2. Enhancement: The Date in the recordings interface was indicating the end date and time. This now reflects the start date and time of the recording.
  3. Enhancement: A Chat profanity filter will replace inappropriate words with a series of stars. Offensive terms relating to race/national origin and gender identity/expression as well as derogatory slang for body parts or sexual acts are filtered. No such list will be complete and is likely to be over or under inclusive. To set the filter, go to My Settings > Session Settings > check Hide profanity in chat messages and end your current session. Start a new session to apply the changes to subsequent session recordings.
  4. Enhancement: Some ambiguous emojis have been removed from the emoji picker in Chat.

July 1

Learn Version: 3900.17.0

  1. Issue: Original and Ultra Course View – Users were directed to the Blackboard landing page when downloading files attached to Organization discussion boards.
    Status: Issue: Resolved
  2. Issue: Ultra Course View – An automatic zero was set for assignments delivered late and an assignment that was never submitted was just marked as late, without the zero grade.
    Status: Issue: Resolved
  3. Issue: Ultra Course View – When an instructor was grading an assignment, the page refreshed each time they moved between different sections using tab navigation.
    Status: Issue: Resolved
  4. Issue: Ultra Courses, Organizations, and Gradebook – When using the Safari browser, the page would go blank when the zoom was below 100%.
    Status: Issue: Resolved
  5. Enhancement: Ultra Course View – A Post All button is now present for manual grade columns on the Submissions page.
  6. Enhancement: Ultra Course View – A question mark bubble has been added in the lower right of Ultra courses that offers links to Blackboard Help documentation, Chat Support to ask questions to a digital chat assistant with the resulting information previewed directly in the chat window, and Session Debug to obtain debug information about an issue encountered in an Ultra course session to include with your request for assistance.
  7. Enhancement: Ultra Course View – In the Gradebook settings, instructors can change the Overall Grade to show grades by Letter (grade schema) or Percentage.
  8. Enhancement: Ultra Course View – In the Attendance settings, there is an option to use attendance as a grade which controls the visibility of the Attendance columns for students and instructors in the gradebook.
  9. Enhancement: Ultra Course View – For courses with a large roster, the Group Set configuration page allows instructors to paginate through students who aren’t assigned to a group and also offers a search for a specific student.


Last Updated: 9/8/21