Getting Started with Ultra Base Navigation

When to Use?

Blackboard can be accessed at:   This article will walk you through important features found in Ultra Base Navigation - the Bb landing page. 

Blackboard Learn is the learning management system (LMS) used by GVSU faculty, staff, and students for face-to-face, blended, and online courses. Blackboard Ultra is the current, updated look and feel for Blackboard for student facing courses.

All Blackboard courses and organizations will remain the same, along with everything you can access now. However our classic Blackboard portal will be updated to use the new Ultra Base Navigation (UBN). This will affect how you navigate Blackboard to find your courses and organizations.

UBN Overview Videos : Panopto


With UBN, navigation around the system is now more accessible on multiple devices and is more user-friendly overall.

NOTE: Courses using the Original course view may be only partly mobile-responsive, and using a computer is recommended for submitting assignments or tests in a course until the upgrade is complete.

New and Improved Features

Institution PageBlackboard left menu

The Institution Page is the go-to resource where you'll find resources, useful links, and other important campus content regarding coursework.


In your profile you can decide what you want to be called, share your academic interests, add a profile picture, update your notification settings, and edit your personal information such as selecting your pronouns, recording a phonetic and oral pronunciation of your name.

Blackboard profile page highlighting edit profile picture, pronouns, pronunciation

Activity Stream

You can see what's new in all your courses and jump directly into course activities from the list. You see a prioritized list of what's relevant to you. Many notification features have been combined to help you find the targeted information you need. Over time, our system will get even smarter and help you understand which items are most time-sensitive or critical.

  • Follow student discussions as they happen, including the latest submissions.
  • Take note of how many submissions are ready to grade. You can also access new submissions from the stream. See an example.
  • Receive reminders about personal events and meetings.
  • Enjoy a bird's eye view of course activity and direct access to course items.
  • Use the Filter menu and choose to show all, see assignments and tests, grades, or feedback.


You can choose the types of notifications you receive and how they're delivered to you via the Activity Stream. On your Activity Stream page, select the Stream Settings (grey gear icon) to open the Notification Settings panel. You can also access these settings from your profile page.

You can choose to receive a daily digest of activities in any of your courses, based on which notifications are important to you. Customize the notifications you receive in your Activity Stream, enable and disable email notifications, and update the push notifications that come through the Blackboard App. Learn more about Notification Settings.


The new Courses page sorts your courses into a time line so that you can focus on active courses.

NOTE: Only active courses (not those that are unavailable) will show on the Current Courses list. All unavailable courses will only show if you look at a specific term . You can adjust which term is showing by selecting "Current Courses" drop down and choosing an alternate term or using the left and right arrows.

You can also search for courses by name or filter the view to hide or show them right from your Courses list. You can also mark courses as favorites to make it easier for you to access the courses you use most frequently. NOTE: Courses are now listed in alphabetical order by term and you cannot re-order your course list.


Access the organizations that you lead or to which you belong. Organizations behave like courses and house tools that let group members to communicate efficiently. You can post information, have discussions, and share documents. Groups that might use organizations include academic departments, study groups, student organizations, and extra-curricular activities.


View events and due dates for all your courses. From the global calendar, in the list where your name appears, you can see all your upcoming due dates and meetings across your courses and organizations together. Office hours and due dates will be added to the calendar automatically when they are added to a course. NOTE: Calendars within courses will now only show you calendar events for that course. To see all calendar items, use the global calendar from the main menu.

Note: If you are enrolled in more than 20 courses with a lot of calendar activity, it's possible the Calendar screens may be slow to respond the first time you get into them. 

You can also connect your Learn Ultra calendar to an external calendar, which will show all course events one year forward and one year back. Learn more about adding your Learn Ultra Calendar to an external calendar


View and send messages, not email, in all of your Ultra courses. Course messages are private and secure text-based communication within your course among course members. You must be logged in to a course to read and send course messages as they remain inside the system, but you don't have to worry about inaccurate email addresses.  Sending a copy of messages to an email account is an option, but not the default. 


See your grading tasks by course in alphabetical order on the global Grades page from the main menu. Select any title to open the gradebook for the course. Choose a submission and start grading or reviewing feedback.

Instructor Note: You don't need to navigate to each course to see what's ready for grading, the global Grades page functions as a global Needs Grading.


From Tools you can access global functions that are outside of your courses such as cloud storage, portfolios, Follett Discover, enterprise surveys, or the Content Collection.


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Article ID: 5395
Tue 4/26/22 12:36 PM
Tue 2/27/24 9:42 AM