Educational Technology

There are three observations from Blackboard’s users conference that we feel are important to share before we pull together our thoughts for more comprehensive posts, and all three issues build off of Blackboard’s strong focus at the conference on Learn Ultra as the future of their LMS product line.

Learn Ultra “In Production” or “Using Ultra”

The first issue is terminology around Learn Ultra. Blackboard ((Disclosure: Blackboard is a client of the e-Literate LMS Market Analysis service and a participating sponsor in our Empirical Educator Project.)) is pushing the metric that there are 61 or 62 Learn Ultra customers “in production” or “using Ultra”, yet we have found very few that use, or even plan to use, Learn Ultra as their primary, institution-wide LMS. What gives? What became quite clear at the conference is that when Blackboard says in production, what they mean is that the LMS administrator has enabled the Ultra global navigation, which uses the new Ultra user experience framework as the landing page / dashboard with activity feed that users see before entering a specific course. The company calls this Base Navigation, but at this point every course can be configured to be in the Original Experience or the Ultra Experience. Thus, enabling the possibility of running a course in Ultra counts as in production.


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