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Groups & gradebook enhancements planned for Ultra in July

Improved functionality for groups support larger enrollments

The groups tool in Ultra has been redesigned for the July update to improve overall performance, particularly for large courses. This redesign includes functionality to make it easier to find specific students, filter the display of unassigned students by search criteria, and paginate through a list of students who aren't currently assigned to a group. Batch enrollment of students into groups, however, must still use a separate tool.
New Ultra group enhancements

Additional functionality supports users with vision impairment to navigate through cards more efficiently and to move to the top of the page when there are enough students shown on the screen. 

Since its inception, the Ultra gradebook has only supported a letter grade schema for the overall grade that a student sees. In July, however, faculty will be able to choose between the letter grade schema and a percentage. This selection will appear to both students and instructors in the gradebook. 

New setting for gradebook percentage

Faculty who prefer to use a points-based system will continue to leverage the calculated column workflow to display a running total of points earned.

Moreover, faculty can decide to turn off the visibility of the attendance column for the Blackboard attendance tool in the gradebook, grid, and list view. This functionality allows instructors to choose whether or not they want to use Blackboard’s native attendance as a grade or not. While some instructors want or need to track attendance, they don't always need it represented in the gradebook. They can remove attendance columns from the gradebook without affecting the attendance itself. Note: The native Bb attendance tool setting does not impact Qwickly’s attendance total column as Qwickly is a separate third-party tool that must be set up and used separately.

The next update to our test environment will take place on July 6, 2021. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Please watch the FAQs and myUMBC for additional information about Ultra

As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options:

Posted: June 25, 2021, 9:18 AM