Information Services

Learn upgrade: The switch to Ultra Base Navigation

The first phase of upgrading Blackboard Learn, our institutional virtual learning environment (VLE), to Learn Ultra took place in summer 2022 with the switch to Learn Ultra Base Navigation (UBN).

Ultra Base Navigation provides a modern and user-friendly approach to navigation and new ways to engage with key information across all of your courses without changing Learn courses themselves.

What is Ultra Base Navigation?

Ultra Base Navigation (UBN) provides a more focussed entry point to Learn, designed with accessibility and mobility in mind. A refined navigation menu allows users to access courses quickly and engage with key information across all courses in one place. UBN makes it easier to find course updates and see notifications. The upgrade will provide an improved digital experience for our students and staff.

How will the upgrade affect me?

The introduction of UBN has not change how your courses are delivered (unless you are part of the early adopter programme – more information can be found on the Learn Ultra project SharePoint ).

UBN is an upgrade designed to improve the overall look and feel of Learn. The main changes you will notice are to the 'My Learn' home page, or landing page, and related tabs.

You will find a more streamlined, easy-to-use and efficient virtual learning environment, along with some new features to explore.

The upgrade makes it easier to engage with key information across all of your courses, and we've therefore removed the course list in MyEd.  You can access all your Learn courses by logging into Learn.

What are the Main Benefits of Ultra Base Navigation?

Learn Ultra Base Navigation brings a number of benefits for all users:

  • It is designed to be more accessible and responsive. It also introduces new features that can support inclusivity in teaching and learning, for example by enabling you to add your pronouns and clarify the pronunciation of your name.
  • It moves away from the traditional, siloed course view and allows you to quickly get an overview of key course information in one place.
  • It introduces new functionality such as the activity stream and the cross-course calendar that can help you better manage your time. Assessment details can be found in one location and the combined courses calendar can be linked to an external calendar of your choice.
  • A new approach to navigation that opens courses and tools in layers, reducing the number of steps to move between courses and tasks.

What are the Key Feature Improvements?

Landing Page (previously My Learn)

When you first enter Blackboard Learn after the upgrade, you will land on the Ultra Base Navigation Courses page rather than the 'My Learn' page. You will no longer see tabs with pages containing various blocks of information, instead there will be a consistent and simple left-hand navigation that allows you to quickly access some of the new features and views.

Learn Ultra student tile view
A screenshot of the tile view course page as a student in Learn Ultra


The new profile page allows you to select pronouns and clarify the pronunciation of your name through phonetic spelling and audio recording.

A screenshot of the Learn Ultra Profile Page
A screenshot of the Learn Ultra Profile Page

A new Course Page

The course page helps you organise and personalise your course list. You can view courses in tile or  list view, easily navigate between term types using a filter, find courses using the search tool and favourite courses that you want to always be at the top of the page.

Learn Ultra Tile course view with filter
A screenshot of Learn Ultra Tile course view with date filter



The Ultra Base Navigation calendar allows you to see all the teaching events and deadline from all of your courses in one place. You can change between day and month view. You can also generate a dynamic link to add it to an external calendar such as Outlook.

learn ultra calendar month view
A Screenshot of the Learn Ultra Calendar in month view

The Activity Stream

The activity stream highlights key events that are coming up today and in the near future, as well as those that have recently passed, for all the courses you are enrolled on. It notifies you about due dates, marks and submissions all in one place. Previously, notifications could only be shared via email.

Learn Ultra Activity Stream student view
A screenshot of the Learn Ultra Activity Stream in Student View


This page provides a summary of all your course assignment information in one easy to find place. Staff will see if there are any assignments due for marking, and be able to link out quickly to do that task. They will see an average mark for each course once assignments are marked. Students will see a list of individual assignment and overall marks for each course. Access to marks within the individual courses is still available.

A screenshot of the Learn Ultra Marks page for Students
A screenshot of the Learn Ultra Marks page for Students with grade summary


Learn Ultra marking in instructor view
A screenshot of Learn Ultra's marking page in Instructor View

Need More Help?

Contact IS Helpline