← Back to News List

Ultra Tests Gain Hot Spot Questions & Pagination in November

New reports for course activity and student performance

Ultra assessments gain two new features in the November update including hot spot questions and pagination. Hot spot questions allow instructors to assess a student's knowledge of visual content, such as the parts of the skeletal structure in the human body. Assessment pagination provides a new way to organize and present related questions and content to students, allowing faculty to easily create robust test pages that focus on content or adapt the test presentation to reduce cognitive load. Pagination is exclusive to Ultra courses.

Image 1 - example of hot spot question
Image 1: Example of hot spot questions

Additional enhancements to Ultra include:

Course Activity Report: Instructors identify struggling students based on their performance and engagement within a course. The course activity page allows instructors to identify struggling students based on grade or time spent criteria and send a message to the student(s). Instructors can also receive alerts when a student has not accessed their course in a while or if their grade has dropped. The Course Activity Report replaces the Original course's Retention Center.

Image 2: Example of Course Activity Report
Image 2: Example of Course Activity Report

Student Grades Overview: This improvement to the Ultra gradebook view per student will now list any accommodations set by the instructor in the course and the student's username. Moreover, in addition to the grades for a particular student, instructors can view a Student Activity report, which shows how often and how long that student spends in their course.

Auto-Save Enhancements for Students: Blackboard further improved how students are informed about connectivity issues. Assessments will detect if a connection is lost. If this happens, students are warned. If the connection is not restored, another warning informs the student that their most recent progress is not saved. When the connection is restored, the system alerts the student and confirms that progress is saved. Exclusive to Ultra courses.

Image 3: Example of lost connection message
Image 3: Example of lost connection message

Additionally, the November update includes: 
  • Improvements to the gradebook history tool expands data selection while providing increased information within the exported file.
  • Ultra will save the last view of the gradebook (list or grid) used by the instructor as default.
  • Faculty who use the Content Collection can now add that type of content directly to their Ultra Documents.
  • Unread message indicator specifically on courses and organizations where there are messages so it's easier to find that communication.
The next update to our Ultra test environment will take place on November 8, 2022. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Additionally, our Ultra feature tracker is updated and now includes a filter for functional category (e.g., assessment, course management, grading) so you can sort only those items you might be interested in tracking the status. Please watch the FAQs, including the What's New with Ultra pageand 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: November 3, 2022, 8:22 AM