Title: The changing face of our virtual learning environment: Making Learn more usable, accessible, and inclusive

Author: Stuart Nicol

Theme: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Please find below links to videos that are linked from the QR codes on the poster:








A three-year, phased delivery project was recently launched to improve our virtual learning environment (VLE) by upgrading Blackboard Learn to the latest version, Learn Ultra. The upgrade will bring major improvements in usability and accessibility, giving us a modern VLE to underpin delivery of a transformed curriculum. This will be our first major upgrade of the Blackboard Learn platform in 10 years and will help us to think in new ways about our online teaching and learning interactions.

The poster focusses on improvements to the VLE that everyone in the institution will be able to take advantage of from summer 2022. This important change to the online teaching space will be relevant for all who attend the conference. The current landing page, ‘MyLearn’ and its collection of tabs and channels will be replaced by Learn Ultra Base Navigation (UBN), a cleaner, friendlier, and more modern way to interact with course spaces and tools. The poster will highlight where UBN delivers new possibilities for teaching; for example a cross-course activity stream and calendar that enable students and staff to think outside of the confines of the individual course. UBN also includes new features to promote inclusivity, such as student and staff profiles that allow users to choose pronouns and help others understand how their names are pronounced correctly. The poster will be visual, providing a comparison between old and new, and include links to short videos about the various features. It will be a quick-start guide to important changes happening in the coming year – changes that we should all be aware of. It will also highlight the support that will be provided to help colleagues through this, and future, changes to the VLE.