news-category: Academics

Gardner-Webb Begins Transition to Blackboard Learn Ultra on Dec. 19

a graphic to promote Blackboard Learn Ultra with two students looking at a computer

New System Has Enhanced Features and Mobile Capability

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Beginning on Dec. 19, Gardner-Webb University will start the process of migrating to Blackboard Learn Ultra. In addition to a modern, clean look, this new version of Blackboard has enhanced features, such as a mobile app for Apple and Android. The change is necessary, because technical support will end next year for Blackboard Original, the learning management system currently used by the University.

“Throughout our pilot test period, we have found Blackboard Ultra to be user-friendly, feature-rich, mobile ready, and reliable,” shared Dr. Wendy Athens, Director of Academic Innovation and Digital Learning. “Yes, there will be a learning curve because the layout has changed, yet overall, we view this as an upgrade.”

All Blackboard users will experience a new institution page starting on Dec. 19. During the 2024 Spring term, students will likely experience a mix of Ultra and Original courses. By Summer 2024, most courses will be in Ultra. Gardner-Webb will complete the migration process by the 2024 Fall Semester.

All students are encouraged to complete a new student orientation called “Learning with Technology” that will be available on the new institution page. The orientation takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete and covers essential features of Blackboard Ultra as well as Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Reader, Zoom, Teams, and video creation.

Other features of Blackboard Ultra include:

  • Mobile first — Stay connected to Blackboard from anywhere; download the free Blackboard app: Apple Store or Google Play.
  • Global calendar — All due dates for all assignments in all courses in one place, color-coded.
  • Notifications — Set your preferences.
  • Pins — Pin your favorite courses.
  • Activity stream — Up to the minute course activity; jump in and finish a task.

As always, support for Blackboard is available 24/7 every day by phone or chat support. More help is also offered at Blackboard Learn.

Additional questions may be emailed to [email protected].

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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