Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy

We are accelerating our transition to Ultra Course View with the recommendation that faculty expect to teach in the Ultra Course View for the Fall 2023 semester and planned full migration by December 31, 2023. The Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy is a great opportunity to make that transition now with the ongoing support of a CITL staff member or Ultra Ambassador as your partner! 


The Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy consists of three components:

  • Three-week online course on how to use Ultra Course View and best practices for creating an intuitive and user-friendly experience for your students
  • Collaboration with an Ultra Ambassador and peer faculty; Ambassadors are either a member of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning team or a faculty member with experience teaching in the Ultra Course View
  • Membership in the ongoing Teaching with Ultra Community at NIU (via Microsoft Teams)


  • September 18 - October 8
  • October 30 - November 19
  • Open to all faculty (including tenured / tenure-track, clinical, research, visiting, and instructional faculty), staff who teach, and teaching assistants
  • Limited to faculty who have not taught with Ultra Course View in the last 12 months
  • Digital badge that can be shared to social media
  • Printable certificate of completion for faculty service report
  • Featured on Teaching and Learning with Blackboard website as an Academy Participant


To be considered for the second fall offering (Ocober 30 - November 19), please apply by October 25 (notifications will be sent by October 27).

Apply Now!



How much time will the Academy require?

You can expect to spend at least 2-3 hours a week on activities for the online course and additional work on building your course in the Ultra Course View. 

How are participants selected for the Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy?

Everyone who is interested in the Blackboard Ultra Transition Academy will complete a short application form. We hope to have enough room for everyone who is interested in participating, but space is limited. If interest exceeds our capacity, we will be using the following priorities to select participants who are:

  • teaching fully online courses, particularly those in fully online programs
  • teaching high-enrollment courses
  • coordinating courses with multiple sections (where the course is built in Blackboard and copied to multiple sections)
  • teaching gateway courses (a course that a student needs to take within a major or is a course required to complete general studies requirements, as defined for our Higher Learning Commission Quality Initiative)
  • using the Original Course View extensively for their current courses 
Is there a stipend available for participating?New

There will be no stipend available for participating in the Ultra Transition Academy. A stipend was available for prior offerings to encourage faculty to make the transition to the Ultra Course View earlier. Because this is the final semester before the deadline and due to budget constraints, the stipend is no longer available. 

How do I know whether the Ultra Course View has the features I need?

Blackboard is currently investing significantly in developing new features for the Ultra Course View, particularly features that are available in the Original Course View but currently missing in Ultra. Check out Is Ultra Right for Me? and the Ultra Course View Feature Guide for detailed information on the tools that are currently available. What's New in Ultra? has details on the features coming soon to the Ultra Course View as well as the features recently added to it.

The Academy isn't right for me at this time. How can I learn more about the Ultra Course View?Updated

There are a lot of resources available to help you get started with the Ultra Course View! You can learn at your own pace using our self-paced Transitioning to Ultra workshop. You can watch some tutorials, attend a workshop, schedule a conversation with a CITL team member, or browse through the Ultra Course View pages on this site.

You can also try the Ultra Course View yourself or request one of our optional course templates

Ultra Ambassadors

Who are the Ultra Ambassadors?New

The Ultra Ambassadors are either members of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning team or faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, and instructional faculty) who have extensive experience teaching with the Ultra Course View.

Can I choose the Ambassador I want to work with, or who else will be part of my collaboration group?
Yes and no. You will choose which collaboration group you want to join based on the time that they meet (e.g., Tuesdays at 10 AM). You will then meet with that group for each of the 3 weeks of the Academy to have completed it. You can work with a colleague to choose the same group, if space allows, or select a gropu based on the Ambassador who is leading the group, but we recommend using your availability as the primary criterion for selecting a group.
Are you looking for additional Ambassadors?
No, we are not looking for additional Ambassadors at this time. If you have experience with the Ultra Course View and are looking to help support your colleagues, reach out to us about joining the Teaching with Blackboard Ultra community in Microsoft Teams or share your own experience with colleagues in your department. We appreciate your support!

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