Frequently Asked Questions

I'm receiving lots of email notifications now, can I turn them off?

In UBN if your email notification settings are set to "Email me straight away", this can be updated to "Email me once a day".  It is not currently possible to opt out of email notifications entirely, you will still receive announcement emails once a day if you set the options to "Email me once a day" and uncheck all the notification options.

To update your notification settings you will need to:

  1. Select Activity Stream from the left-hand menu.
  2. Select the cog icon in the top right hand corner of the screen
  3. Select the envelope icon
  4. Select your preference for the frequency of email notifications
  5. Select and deselect the notifications checkboxes to reflect your preferences
  6. Click Save

NB. Staff using a "student preview" and saving the activity of the preview user when they exit student preview mode are likely to receive notifications from courses that are intended for students.  The notification settings for your preview user cannot be changed, therefore if you do not want to receive the student notifications you should choose not to save the activity of your preview user when you exit student preview mode. (This action will need to be completed for each Blackboard course you use the preview user with)

Can I change the colours of UBN?

While the Original Base Navigation allowed customers to customise the colour scheme of the interface, that is no longer possible in UBN and it will always reflect the core Imperial College London branding and colour schemes.

Can I convert my Original style course to a new Ultra style course?

There will be an activity involving Blackboard, ICT and Faculty Ed-Tech Labs to review Ultra style courses and review the possibility of piloting the new functionality at Imperial.

Can I remove items from the UBN left hand menu if I don't want to see them?

This is not currently possible with the new Ultra Base Navigation.  While the view is now less cluttered than the legacy Original Base Navigation it is not possible for individual customers to change which items in the left hand menu are visible to them.

Do I have to change to Ultra Base Navigation?

Yes, Blackboard are retiring the Original Base Navigation by 2024, all Blackboard customers will be making this change.  Imperial staff and students will not need to take any action to enable the switch to Ultra Base Navigation, the change will be managed and rolled out in July 2023 by ICT.

How do I change from viewing one course to another?

Clicking the X in the top left hand corner of the screen will close the course you are currently viewing and allow you to select another from the courses list in the Ultra Base Navigation.

How do I update the image that shows on the "Course Card"?

The "Course Card" image is an automatic crop of your course banner; please see our help page on Course Banners for instructions on how to update or add a course banner in your Blackboard course.

I have seen the course list as tiles with pictures, how do I do that?

At the top left of the course list there are two icons, one with three horisontal lines and one that has a "window" icon.  Clicking the window icon will change your view of the course list to the cards with pictures.

I just sent a course announcement, why can't I see it in the Activity Stream?

The Activity Stream does not instantly update, it polls the system every few minutes looking for new items to add.  It may take a short period of time for the announcement to appear in the Activity Stream.

When will Imperial switch on Ultra Base Navigation?

Ultra Base Navigation will be switched on July 10 2023. Swiching on UBN will not involve any downtime to Blackboard.

Where did the useful student support & ICT links from the My Blackboard page go?

The useful links that used to be part of the "My Blackboard" page can now be found on the "Institution Page".

Where should I look for system announcements from ICT?

While system announcements used to appear on the "My Blackboard" landing page, they will now appear as part of the "Activity Stream".  Blackboard are currently reviewing the possiblity of also allowing us to surface system announcements on the "Institution Page".

Why can I no longer change the colour of my course menu?

As part of the move to UBN Blackboard have made the decision to add a greater level of uniformity to the interface to make it easier for students to navigate.  Customisation of the course left hand menu for the choice of links or buttons, text and background colour have now been removed from the interface.

Why do my bookmarks to Blackboard no longer work?

Enabling Ultra Base Navigation (UBN) makes some changes to how the URL's used for Blackboard are generated.  We recommend re-creating any bookmarks to your courses after we have enabled UBN so that you don't experience any display or navigation issues after the upgrade.

Why do the URL's in Blackboard no longer change when I move between course pages?

Blackboard have changed this functionality as part of their implementation of Ultra Base Navigation, it is now only possible to link to the landing page for courses.

Will the annual "course rollover" process change with UBN?

No, there will be no changes to the rollover processes as a result of updating to Ultra Base Navigation.  Rollover processes can be completed in the same way as usual as soon as courses for the 23/24 Academic Year have been created from Banner.

Will there be any changes to my courses?

Enabling UBN will not cause any major changes to Original style courses.

The key differences are:

  • The left hand menu will now have a consistent colour scheme of a grey background with white text.
  • The Imperial College branded banner that was always on screen with the Original base navigation, will no longer appear across the top of the screen so there will be more room on screen for your course content.
  • To close your course you will no longer have the "My Blackboard" link at the top of the screen, you will have an X in the top left of the screen to close your course and exit back to the Ultra Base Navigation.

Will there be any downtime to Blackboard on July 10?

No, the upgrade to Ultra Base Navigation does not involve any downtime and the service will remain available.