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This report explores the features of Blackboard Learn Ultra, which enhances Learn's workflows to provide the most effective and efficient educational experience possible for instructors and students.


  • As of September 2018, there are 423 institutions across 25 countries now deploying Learn on SaaS, and 91 institutions with Ultra in production.
  • Ultra is not a new LMS offering entirely separate from Blackboard's existing LMS, Learn, but is instead a new interface that provides a different, more modern user experience.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes the differences between Learn Original and Learn Ultra.
  • Identifies the benefits of moving to a SaaS-based LMS.

Key questions answered

  • What are the experiences of institutions moving to Learn Ultra?
  • How does Blackboard Learn Ultra differ from Blackboard Learn Original?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for institutions
  • Recommendations for the vendor

Unpacking Ultra

  • What is Ultra?
  • Ultra is generally adopted in stages, easing the transition

Improving educational quality and engagement at Stetson University

  • Background
  • Stetson's move to Ultra Base Navigation
  • Next steps: extending Ultra and the Blackboard experience

Deriving greater LMS value with a hybrid approach to Blackboard Ultra at IIT

  • Background
  • Creating and maintaining a hybrid LMS environment
  • Next steps: continuing the Ultra journey across IIT

Final takeaways

  • An incremental journey to Ultra, coupled with strong support for faculty, delivers the best outcome


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author