Ultra Course View FAQ

The May 2019 upgrade to Blackboard at NIU included the option to adopt the Ultra Course View. The Ultra Course View features a cleaner, more modern design, easy-to-use workflows, and powerful new tools. All courses will continue to use the Original view by default, and faculty can choose whether to enable the Ultra Course View on one or more of their courses.

Questions and Answers

Can I convert my course back to the Original Course View if I have confirmed the conversion to the Ultra Course View?

No, once you have previewed your course in the Ultra Course View and then selected the option to keep the Ultra Course View, the conversion is permanent and cannot be reversed. You will be able to preview the course first in the Ultra Course View to determine whether you want to keep the Ultra Course View or return to the Original Course View. If you select to keep the Ultra Course View and then confirm the decision (this requires 2 clicks), the change will be permanent.

How do I drop a grade (such as the lowest quiz grade) from my Gradebook in the Ultra Course View?

The Original Course View has the option to drop one or more grades when you include a category in your Total or Weighted Total calculations. This feature is not yet available in the Ultra Course View, although it is planned for future development. In the meantime, you can create a calculation as a workaround to drop one lowest grade from a category.

First, ensure that all of the graded items to be compared are in the same category, and that there are no other items in that category. For example, if you are dropping the lowest quiz grade, you need to be sure that all of the quizzes are in the same category and that there isn't a test or other assignment in that category. The easiest way to verify this is to switch the Gradebook to the Grid View (click the grid icon below the word Gradebook) and then use the search field in the upper right to search for the category by name. This will filter the list of columns to only those in that category. To edit any grade items that are in the wrong category, click the column header and then click Edit.

The next step is to create a calculation that will drop the lowest grade in the category:

  1. Hover your cursor between two grade items and click the plus icon that appears
  2. Name your calculation (e.g., Quiz Total)
  3. Select how you want the grade to be displayed in the schema (e.g., points or percentage)
  4. Make the calculation visible to students (optional)
  5. Type a description (optional)
  6. Create the formula to drop the lowest score
    • Under Functions and Variables, click Total
    • Click the Total box in the formula to select the category you are using (this will calculate a total of every column in the category)
    • Under Operators, click Subtract
    • Under Functions and Variables, click Minimum
    • Click the Min box in the formula to select the category you are using (this will subtract the lowest grade in the category from the category total)
  7. Click the Submit button

Once your calculation is set up to drop the lowest grade, you can modify your Overall Grade to use the calculation instead of the category or individual items. Note: This workaround cannot be used to drop more than one lowest grade.


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Last Updated: 12/02/2019