Announcing visual and navigation update to Blackboard in August

by UAA Instructional Design  |   

Evaluation of UAA’s next LMS continues and a final decision will be shared soon. UAA will continue to use Blackboard Learn as our primary online course space for summer and fall 2022. Fall Blackboard shells are available for editing now. 

There will be a Blackboard update in August to modernize the appearance and simplify navigation. The target date is Aug. 12, after grades are due for the five-week and 10-week summer sessions. UAF and UAS agreed to postpone this update until this summer to avoid complicating UAA’s LMS review process.

What does this mean for instructors?

This update does not change anything inside instructors’ courses. Your course menu, content areas, tools, grade center, etc. will all be the same. You do not need to do anything to your courses to prepare for this update!

We will share more detailed information in August to make sure you are comfortable navigating Blackboard. Although this may sound like another upheaval, the majority of users will find the new layout intuitive and easier to use even without that guidance.

What’s changing?

Finding your courses will be different. The Courses tab is automatically organized by semester, with a search tool to quickly find sections from previous semesters. See the new Courses tab (YouTube video, 1:05).

The institution page (UAA tab in Blackboard) will be simpler and more appealing. The new navigation also makes it easier for students to track course activity and due dates across multiple courses, which was one of the main issues students raised in the LMS feature survey this spring.

FD&IS and IT will be working with campus stakeholders to coordinate the new Blackboard experience, provide more details on this change, and ensure support staff across UAA have the resources to help.

Is this related to the LMS transition?

This update is separate from the LMS transition and does not mean UAA will transition to Blackboard Ultra. 

This update was originally scheduled for fall 2021. When UAA’s Digital Learning Technologies Committee began its work, UAF and UAS agreed to postpone the update to this summer to avoid confusion. This update affects all three institutions and our fellow institutions are eager to improve the user experience in Blackboard.

Where can I get help?

We will share more detailed information and how-to guides in August. If you have questions or concerns before then, please email or book a course design session on the Instructional Design appointment calendar to discuss.

Thank you for your patience with this process,

Benjamin Shier
Chief Information Officer

Shawnalee Whitney
Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Development & Instructional Support
Website: UAA Faculty Development & Instructional Support

Creative Commons License "Announcing visual and navigation update to Blackboard in August" is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
May Archive