Survival Guide for Blackboard Ultra Navigation

In December 2019, Blackboard LEARN updated to Ultra Navigation: a refreshed look and feel that changed how users interact with the Blackboard system. Some of the most noticeable changes are described below.

Finding Courses

Following the Ultra Navigation update, there are multiple ways to find courses in the Courses tab on the left side of LEARN. From the Courses tab, there are two main options for displaying courses, either as tiles or as a list. Many instructors prefer the list view because it allows more courses to be visible at one time.

Tile View

Tile View of Courses

List View

List View of Courses

To switch between these two different views, locate the switch icon in the top-left of the Courses page.

Courses Page

Clicking the leftmost option with the three lines will display the list view of courses.

List View

Clicking the window icon will switch to the tile view of courses.

Tile View

Changing Terms

At the top of the page, there is a course term selection bar that allows users to navigate to old terms or to upcoming courses. There is also a drop-down menu that can be made available by clicking the down-arrow at the center of the page.

Term menu

This menu will show all the terms with available courses. By default, this option is set to display “Current Courses”.

It is also possible to favorite a course, which will ensure that it always shows at the top of the page when in the Current Courses tab. In order to favorite a course, select the star icon in either the tile view or the list view.

Course favorites

When using the favorites feature in LEARN, it is important to know that favorites are sorted by the selected course term. Favorite courses from previous terms will not show up under the Current Courses term selection. In order to access old favorites, change the selected term to that of the desired course.

Course Searching

In LEARN, it is possible to look up courses by course title on the Courses page. Locate search bar on the Courses page, and enter the name of the course you are searching for to find the related section.

Course Search Feature


With the upgrade to Ultra Navigation, there are more notifications than before. If you have been getting more notifications than you prefer, consider visiting your notification settings and reviewing the defaults. From the left-hand navigation, click on the tab that displays your name. Once this tab opens, click anywhere within the Global Notification Settings area.

System Settings

A new window will slide out from the right, with information about your notification settings. There are three main tabs that appear in this window: Stream, Email, and Push Notifications.

Notification Settings

From this menu, it is possible to adjust all three forms of notifications to your preference. However, even if you uncheck all the boxes for all three tabs, you will still receive an email of Daily Notifications that summarizes unread blogs, journal entries, and discussion activity.

After adjusting your notifications, it is important to press the Save button at the bottom of the menu to keep these changes. Your selections will not be preserved unless you click Save.

Responsive Design

In Ultra Navigation, the size of your web browser window matters. You may have noticed that when making your browser window smaller, LEARN’s interface adapts to a new size. As a result, you might find that the course navigation bar on the left will disappear.

In order to display the hidden navigation bar, there are two ways to restore the navigation menu.

Method 1

Click on the arrow at the top of the course window to bring the navigation bar back.
(If the arrow is not present, skip to Method 2)

Menu Arrow

After clicking the arrow, the navigation bar will slide back out from the left side.

Expanded Menu

Method 2

Look for the striped, teal-colored bar on the left side of the course window.

Menu bar

Hover over this bar and click on the arrow that appears. This process will restore the course navigation bar.

Expanded Menu

Should neither of these options restore the navigation menu, try maximizing the browser window to ensure LEARN has enough screen space.

For more information on LEARN’s Ultra Navigation upgrade, please contact the LeBow Instructional Technologies team.