Transitioning Organizations to Blackboard Ultra Course View

As a result of the 2020-2021 comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS) Review, Blackboard Learn was selected for renewal for another 5-year contract term, through August 2026. The review was predicated on the assumption that renewing with Blackboard would result in a transition to Blackboard Learn Ultra Course View.

The deadline for academic courses to transition to the Ultra Course View is December 31, 2023. All Spring 2024 courses will be taught in the Ultra Course View. However, we also have wide usage of Blackboard for other purposes through Organizations and Communities.

Organizations and Communities function very similarly to Courses, but they are not tied to a scheduled course. Instead, these spaces are used to support collaboration within committees, student organizations, departments, and academic programs. 

Timeline for Organizations to Transition to Ultra Course View

Organizations and Communities will need to transition to the Ultra Course View by May 31, 2024. Any Organizations in the Original Course View will be made unavailable at that time. Organization Leaders will continue to have access to past Organizations for historical reference and record-keeping.

Process for Transitioning to Ultra Course View

Step 1: Determine Whether a Blackboard Organization is Right for You

Many Blackboard Organizations were created at a time when there were no other web-based collaboration tools available at NIU. We now have access to Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Zoom. This is a great time to reflect on whether a Blackboard Organization is the best way for you to collaborate with your community. 

Reasons to stay in Blackboard Organizations

  • You want to utilize the Gradebook for tracking, such as for training.
  • Your community members use Blackboard frequently and prefer to stay in a single ecosystem, such as for student organizations.

Reasons to switch to another tool

  • You are primarily using the Organization for file sharing; consider using a Team, a shared folder in OneDrive, or SharePoint instead.
  • You want to have 2-way conversations among participants; consider using a Team to converse in channels or a chat in Teams with multiple members. Communication will be quicker and more engaging without the need to remember to check the discussion board in your Blackboard Organization.
  • You requested your Blackboard Organization in order to have access to Collaborate; consider using either Teams or Zoom to schedule and hold synchronous meetings.

If you determine that you no longer need your Organization, you can request that it be removed. Follow the steps in Step 2 below, but click Remove Blackboard Organization and provide the Organization name in the ticket. Note that Organizations that have been removed cannot be recovered.

Step 2: Request a New Organization

We recommend creating a new Organization that is in the Ultra Course View and moving your content to it. This will allow you to make the most of the new structure and tools in Ultra and provide an opportunity for you to refresh or remove outdated content. It also will keep your participant list shorter and easier to manage by starting fresh.

How to request a Blackboard Organization

Any NIU faculty or staff member can request a Blackboard Organization at

  1. Log in at with your NIU Account ID and password
  2. In the top navigation bar, click Request Services
  3. Click the Add/Remove Blackboard Org link in the Academic Technologies Support section
  4. Select Add a New Blackboard Organization
  5. Complete the form and click the Submit button at the top of the page

Step 3: Build a Folder Structure and Copy Content

Because the Ultra Course View doesn't include a menu like the Original Course View, the best first step is to create a number of folders in your Organization to keep your files and assessments organized. Then, you can use the Copy Content feature to pull content from your existing Organization into your new one. You can copy over individual items or entire folders.

How to add a folder

  1. On the Content page, click the plus sign (+) 
  2. Click Create in the drop down menu
  3. In the side panel, click Folder
  4. Type a Name and an optional description
  5. Click the Save button

How to copy content

  1. In the new Organization, click the plus sign (+) where you want the content to be added or click the three dots (...) at the top right of the course content
  2. Click Copy Content from the menu
  3. Identify the item(s) you want to copy from any other Organization in which you are a Leader

Step 4: Enroll Participants

There are several ways for participants to be added to your new Organization. 

How to enroll users manually

If you have a small number of participants, you can enroll them manually

  1. Click the Roster link in the Details & Actions panel to the left 
  2. Click the Enroll People icon in the upper right (a plus sign (+) in a circle)
  3. In the search box type a name or username to reveal a list of matches
  4. Select one or more people
  5. Choose a role for each selected person
  6. Click the Save button

Request a bulk enrollment

If you have a larger number of participants, you can request that DoIT enroll them in bulk. 

  1. Create an Excel spreadsheet with the Account IDs (i.e., A-IDs and Z-IDs) of the participants you would like to have enrolled
  2. Go to and log in if prompted
  3. In the top navigation bar, click Request Services
  4. Toward the bottom of the right column, click Submit Generic Request
  5. In the Detailed Description box, explain that you would like to have participants bulk enrolled in your Organization. Please include the name and/or ID of your Organization
  6. In the toolbar at the top, click the Attach menu to attach your spreadsheet
  7. Click the Submit button

Request automatic enrollments based on major or course registration

Enrollment in an Organization can be tied to some records in MyNIU, such as a student's major, minor, or enrollment in a particular course. 

  1. Go to and log in if prompted
  2. In the top navigation bar, click Request Services
  3. Toward the bottom of the right column, click Submit Generic Request
  4. In the Detailed Description box, explain that you would like to have automatic enrollments set up for your Organization. Please include the name and/or ID of your Organization and the MyNIU major codes or specific course number and section that should be included
  5. Click the Submit button

Step 5: Make the Older Organization Private

When your new Organization is ready and your participants have been enrolled, you will want to make your previous Organization Private, if it isn't already, so that your participants aren't confused by two versions of the same Organization

How to make an Organization Private

  1. Go to the Organizations page on the base navigation of Blackboard
  2. Click the ellipsis menu (...) in the upper right of the card or the far right of the row, depending on your view
  3. Click Close or make organization private in the menu
  4. Click Make Organization Private in the pop-up box

Support for Transition to Ultra Course View

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning provides extensive support for adopting the Ultra Course View, including:

If your Organization is used to support students who are enrolled in a fully online degree program, please contact us for additional assistance. Your Instructional Designer would be happy to work with you to transition your Organization to the Ultra Course View.

Login to Blackboard

Get Help

Technical Support and Student Help

Division of IT Service Desk


Teaching Support and Faculty Help

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning


Back to top