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  3. Blackboard Ultra Year 2 Course Structure

Blackboard Ultra Year 2 Course Structure

For 2023/24, the Medical School has moved to Blackboard’s Ultra course experience. This is a significantly improved learning and teaching environment for students. Blackboard Ultra has a modern user interface that makes it simple to access resources and learn collaboratively online.

This guide will provide an overview of Blackboard’s new Ultra course view and how Year 2 of the MB BS programme is delivered in Blackboard.

Changes to Blackboard course structure

Previously in Blackboard, all the content for the entire academic year was in one course.

For this academic year, we have made some changes to this structure to make it easier for students to find teaching and learning content related to a specific block. Each block in Year 2 of the programme will have its own Blackboard course. This will contain block specific learning resources and content such as lecture recordings, slides and learning resource units.

You will also have access to a Year specific course titled: HYMS MB BS Year 2. This course area is for year specific programme information, assessment submission and key teaching such as BioPracticals and Workshops that happens outside the block teaching.

When you start Year 2, you should have access to the following courses:

  • HYMS MB BS Year 2
  • HYMS MB BS Year 2: Block 09 Disease processes 2023/24.

As you work through Year 2, you will be given access to additional block courses. This should be available one week prior to the block starting.

Changes to Blackboard course view

Structurally, Blackboard Ultra courses are different to the Blackboard Original courses you have used in the past, but you can expect to see much of the functionality you are familiar with.

A Blackboard Ultra course is divided into three sections:

  • Course Navigation (which allows you to quickly access key areas of the course such as the calendar, announcements page and gradebook).
  • Course Content (where all the teaching, learning and assessment resources can be found)
  • And Details & Actions (where you are able to see other course tools and functionality).

When you enter a Blackboard Ultra course, you will see course content immediately visible in the course content area.

The content area of the course is where all the resources and collaborative learning activities are posted. Course content is organised in folders and learning modules. You can click on a folder or learning module to access content, such as documents, web links, and recordings.

Here is an example of a learning module in the HYMS MB BS Year 2: Block 09 Disease processes 2023/24 course.

In the top right hand corner of the content area, it is now also possible to search for course items such as documents and folders.

Across the top navigation menu you can access tabs to the Blackboard default calendarcourse announcementsdiscussions, and the gradebook.

Course calendar

The course calendar displays default teaching events and deadlines for the course. You can switch between day and month view and filter by assignment due dates.


From the announcements tab you can access all course announcements posted by staff members. Announcements will continue to be the primary Blackboard tool the Medical School uses to communicate with students. Staff from across the school will use the Announcements forum to promote events, send reminders regarding assessments and to send other time specific information related to the programme.

Please also ensure you set your personal Blackboard notification settings to receive an individual email copy of all announcements to your HYMS email account. Please also see our howto help page for further announcements guidance.


The discussions tab displays all the discussions that have been set up in a specific Blackboard course. From the year course discussion tab, we invite you to create your own thread about any topics / points you want to discuss with your peers or the facilitators throughout the year.

Please also see further guidance at the following link: discussions guidance.


The grade book tab allows you to access course grading and feedback. We will be posting new howto help pages shortly that will provide further guidance on submission, grading and feedback in Blackboard Ultra.


Also accessible from the navigation menu is the Blackboard built-in messaging system.

We strongly recommend that staff and students do not use this. We recommend instead that all continue to make use of the existing communication methods promoted at the school. This will ensure any communications from staff or students successfully reach the intended person or group of people, and that any requests for support are dealt with via the correct support route.

Updated on 05/09/2023

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