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Student guide: Blackboard Ultra Phase II course structure

Hull York Medical School has upgraded from Blackboard Original to Blackboard Ultra. Please access the below video tutorial or written guidance that provide an overview of the new Phase II Blackboard Ultra layout and key Ultra features and functionality.

Video tutorial

Video tutorial

Written guidance

Written guidance

With an emphasis on ease-of-use, simplified workflows and accessibility, Blackboard Ultra has a simple, modern user interface that makes it easier for students to access resources and learn collaboratively. It also provides a more engaging teaching, learning and assessment experience. It is important to note that whilst the look and feel of Blackboard Ultra is very different to Original, much of the key functionally and features remain the same.

Phase II course structure

In Phase II, Year 3 and Year 4 students will continue to access a year course area for key year specific programme information, assessment content, other key information (such as information related to workshops and communication masterclasses), as well as year specific announcements and discussion board content.Ultra course layout

Students will also have access to additional courses that reflect each block of study for their current year.Ultra course search

Each block course area contains block-specific content, such as block learning content and learning outcomes, and pharmacology, prescribing and therapeutics content. Content is also structured by clinical topic.Ultra course layout

Phase II students will also gain access to other courses, such as year-specific clinical skills courses, and also the new Ultra version of the HYMS for all organisation area.Ultra course layout

It is also worth noting that organisations can be referred to as community areas in Ultra.

Key Ultra features and functionality

As mentioned previously, whilst the look and feel of Blackboard Ultra is very different to Original, much of the key functionally and features remain the same. When you enter a Blackboard Ultra course, you will see course content immediately visible under the course content area. Ultra course layoutUltra course resourcesThe 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. As within this clinical topic learning module. You can click on a folder or learning module to access content, such as documents, web links, and recordings.

Here is an example of clinical topic content within one document. The document includes learning outcomes, an Echo360 recording link and PowerPoint slides.Ultra clinical topic

Ultra searchBack on the content area in the top right hand corner, it is 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 calendar, course announcements, discussions, and the gradebook.

navigation menu

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. Ultra calendar

Please note that this does not in anyway replace your personalised HYMS timetabling content. Please also ensure you refer to any additional staff communications and content both in and outside of Blackboard regarding any events or due dates. Please also access our school howto help pages regarding the HYMS personal timetable for further essential guidance.


Announcements tabFrom 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.  Ultra discussions

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 27/07/2023

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