We have 15,000 students and more than 50% of them are relying on mobile devices – working in Starbucks and on Rapid Transit. We needed Blackboard’s highly responsive, clean design, the Ultra experience.

Roger Wen of Cal State East Bay
Roger Wen, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Online Campus
Cal State East Bay

Reason for moving to the Ultra experience: 

“We strive to offer our faculty and students the most innovative technologies available.”

Transition timeline:

  • September 2016  – Moved to SaaS from Managed Hosting; redeployed 3 technical support staff from Blackboard to other areas
  • June 2017 – Turned on the Ultra Base Navigation; began training on the Ultra Course View and encouraging faculty to try it
  • January 2018 – Operating in Dual Course Mode; promoting the use of Ultra Course View for live teaching, but the course view decision was left to each instructor

Perspective on Learn Ultra:

“Ultra or Original Course View: It’s the faculty member’s choice. Our focus is on supporting teaching and learning.”

“Faculty and students took well to our turning on the Ultra Base Navigation; we had been messaging the move for a long time, so they were ready.”

“The Ultra experience helps us meet our mission of offering the most innovative solutions.”

“We consult with faculty members before recommending a Course View. Based upon how they teach and the tools they use, we will recommend either the Ultra or Original Course View.”

Perspective on SaaS:

“Downtime is not a possibility. Our Online Campus has students accessing Blackboard from around the globe. We have committed to our students and our faculty to uphold a high standard of uptime and support.”

“SaaS will allow us to shift our time away from release support and will enable our team to concentrate fully on supporting faculty and students.”

“Faculty and students want the latest updates and SaaS ensures we are able to offer our users the most recent features & functionality immediately.”

“With 54% of our 15,000 students taking at least one online or hybrid course; we need to continuously innovate. With Learn Ultra, we feel like we’re using a 21st century technology.”