Blackboard Cloud Hosting (SaaS) and Learn Ultra

Moving Blackboard to the Learn SaaS platform offers USD a similar Blackboard experience but delivers on a modern cloud computing architecture for increased stability, data recovery, and faster roadmap delivery. While the look and feel of our platform will undergo a few enhancements, there are significant benefits to the end-user that may not be as obvious.
These benefits include:
  • Zero impact to students and faculty during updates. New features, fixes, and enhancements are delivered with no downtime or routine maintenance windows. 
  • Scalability- The platform easily scales during high usage periods and utilizes 2 data centers for recovery and back-ups.
  • Monitoring- Blackboard support of the system is 24x7x365 with hosting on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Integrations- Utilizing industry standards, SaaS hosting allows for tighter integrations between third-party technologies, tools and publishing content.
  • Faster Roadmap Releases- SaaS allows USD to pilot Blackboard's next generation course experience, Ultra. With consolidated workflows and integration of data, faculty and students can experience the latest in this streamlined user experience. 


Cloud Hosting and Learn Ultra Migration Timeline*

Sept 1 all courses to be archived, Oct Test Migration to the cloud, fall 2018 testing, dec 26 Migrate Blackboard to the cloud, sp19 small group to pilot ultra, Options, Convert to Ultra or Stay with Learn 9.1. Users will not see any changes to their courses until Dec 26. Please remember to archive FA18 by 12/25/18. Users will see the new landing page and Bb will be operationg from the cloud 1/1/19 and on. In Sept 2019 faculty and iteam will choose to go with Ultra or stay with Learn 9.1.

Summer 2018: Planning & Implementation - Instructional Design, Training and Support team initiation and coordinating cloud migration with Blackboard support.

Fall 2018: Faculty Planning & Coordination - Faculty communications, preparations, and ATS hosted presentations / listening sessions entitled Learn@Lunch: From Bb Migration to the Ultra Experience. Salient topics on the migration timeline will be presented along with transparent discussions. Lunch will be provided. RSVP for upcoming Learn@Lunch dates: 

  • Thursday, Sept. 27th |12:15 PM - 2:15 PM | Serra 155
  • Thursday, Oct. 25th |12:15 PM - 2:15 PM | Serra 155
  • Friday, Nov. 9th | 12:15 PM - 2:15 PM (Online Webinar)
  • Friday, Nov. 30th | 12:15 PM - 2:15 PM | Serra 156A

Late December 2018: Platform Migration - Technical migration of courses, data, and infrastructure to Cloud hosting with Blackboard (~5 days of downtime expected).

Spring 2019: Ultra Learn Early Adopters Phase 1 - Faculty/Department Opt-in to pilot teach a course in the Learn Ultra Format.

Summer 2019: Ultra Learn Adoption Phase II - Ramp-up training and Instructional Design support of Learn Ultra course in preparation for program-wide adoption.

Fall 2019: Learn Ultra Conventional Adoption Phase - Learn Ultra open for all faculty to opt-in for the use in their teaching.

*This timeline is intended to provide a graphical overview of migration and adoption of the Learn Ultra platform. The actual project plan and milestones are subject to change based on various factors such as resource, testing, and feature roadmap/rollout.

Please direct any inquiries requiring the migration and rollout to
Read Frequently Asked Questions about Blackboard Migration!

  • Apply now to pilot Blackboard Cloud Hosting and Blackboard Learn Ultra with your Blackboard course or learn how you can preview your current course in Blackboard Learn Ultra.