Early adoption is growing at UMBC as more than 100 faculty opted to use the new Ultra Course View during the SP2019 semester. An additional 25 faculty tried Ultra using the sandbox shells created for exploring the new course interface.Compared to FA2019, Ultra adoption increased by more than 900% -- from 14 courses to 145 courses. UMBC faculty also use Blackboard differently than most schools, further demonstrating ongoing engagement in innovation.
Although Ultra does not support all features and tools currently in the Original version of Blackboard Learn, many faculty jumped into Ultra to benefit from the streamlined workflows. “I love that the grades don't post until I post them,” said Kate Drabinski, who converted one of her courses to Ultra. “I can post all the grades at once rather than having students get their grades at different times over 1-2 weeks.”
For some departments, Ultra was also an easy stepping stone to innovate. For example, Emergency Health Services adopted Ultra in 53% of its SP2019 course offerings. Other programs, such as the online Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, coordinated training for instructors to support Ultra adoption. Use of the new course interface grew in Art, English, Psychology, Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication, and Health Administration and Policy. These departments and more can benefit from Ultra Faculty Ambassadors as peer experts.
All faculty who tried or adopted Ultra by January 31 were entered in a drawing to win an Echo Dot. Winners will be announced at TechFest on March 1, 2019. Additionally, at the Technology Test Kitchen, faculty can explore Ultra, plan an Ultra course adoption roadmap, ask questions about Ultra, or meet some of our Ultra Faculty Ambassadors.
Visit our Ultra Course Adoption Center for helpful resources and tools including a course adoption guide, course inventory, and course roadmap.
As always, if you have any questions, please consider the following options: