Two ways to release content

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about releasing content.

When you customize the release of content, you create a course that is more interactive and tailored to the needs of individual students. In the Original Course View, you can use adaptive release to show the appropriate content, to select individuals, at the appropriate time.

You can use two types of adaptive release:

With basic adaptive release, you can apply one rule to a content item. This rule can contain all four types of criteria, but not multiple instances of the same type. All criteria in the rule must be satisfied before the item is released. The more criteria added to a rule, the more restrictions on the release of that item. More criteria makes it more difficult for students to gain access.

With advanced adaptive release, you can set more complex release criteria. For example, you can add more criteria to a rule, or you can specify different options for releasing the content. Students must meet all of the criteria of one of the rules to gain access.

For example, one rule allows Group A members with a score above an 85 on a test to view the content item. Another rule for the same item allows Group B members to view the same content item only after a specific date.

You can only add one membership criterion and one date criterion for each rule. You can add multiple Grade Center and review status criteria to each rule.


Rules and criteria

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about using dates to release content.

Criteria are the parts that define an adaptive release rule. You can apply one or more criterion to each rule. For example, one rule may make content available after a specific date. Another rule, with multiple criteria, may make content available to a course group after a specific date.

You can add four types of criteria when you create rules:

  • Date
  • Membership
  • Grade
  • Review Status

More on rules

More on criteria


Release content based on multiple grade columns

You have advanced readings for students who receive 85% or more on both their first term assignments and their midterm exams. You can set up a rule that includes grade criteria for both items. The path to this content is narrower because both criteria must be satisfied.


Release content when students have reviewed multiple content items

Make a unit test available when students review the three content items in the unit. Add three review status criteria, one for each content item. The path to this content is narrower because students must satisfy all three criteria for the rule.


Add two or more rules to the same content item

Make a content item available to all students in Week 5, and available sooner to students who mark all previous content items as reviewed. Add one rule with review status criterion and a second rule with date criterion. Students can take two paths to gain access to the content item because they only have to satisfy one rule.


Release content on two dates or date ranges

If you want to make a study guide available the week before both the midterm and final exams, add two date rules, one for each week. You create two paths to the same content item, controlled by date.


Releasing content in action

Three professors discuss the different ways they use release content in their courses.

Shelby M.

"I organize my course into units that correspond to textbook chapters.

I don't want students to work ahead, so I set each unit to be released on a specific date. For example, Unit 1 is available when the term starts. Unit 2 isn't available until the following week."


Maria R.

"I create additional course materials for remedial purposes. I want this material to be available to students who need extra help in my course.

I set the remedial material to be available to students who received a grade of 65% or less on their midterm exams."


Tom K.

"My course is organized into weekly folders. Each folder contains an overview, a discussion, required reading, and a test.

I want students to read the material prior to the quiz. I use adaptive release to prevent students from seeing the test until they mark the reading as reviewed."


ULTRA: Release content with dates

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about releasing content.

On the Course Content page, you can access the visibility setting for each item and folder in your content list. In the visibility menu, select Conditional availability to access the item's panel.

With your keyboard, tab to the visibility list and press Enter to open the menu. Use Alt/Option + the up and down arrows to select an option.

You can show, hide, or use rules to release content to students.

You can release an item or folder on an exact date, until a certain date, or during a defined period of time.

Example: Content is covered in a specific order. You want content available only after it's discussed in class. You don't want students to work ahead.

Example: Release your final test during your institution's scheduled final tests week.

After you choose dates and times, you can also choose to show or hide the content for students before they have access.

  • Visible to students. If you choose to show the content to students before they are able to access it, your date and time choices are shown with the item on the Course Content page. Students see the date and time the content will be released and when it will no longer be available. After students' access ends, the content is still visible but they can't access it.
  • Hidden from students. If you choose to hide the content from students before they are able to access it, the content is only visible to students when they are able to access it. Students don't see the dates and times when the content will no longer be available. After students' access ends, the content is hidden from their view.

If you set a folder for release on a specific date, students can't expand or view the contents in the folder until that date, even if you make the folder visible before students have access. After the release date, if all the contents have no date restrictions, students can view everything in the folder.

Conditional availability rules appear alongside content on the Course Content page so you can quickly know when it is available for students.


ULTRA: Release content based on performance

On the Course Content page, you can access the visibility setting for each item and folder in your content list. You can release an item or folder when a student achieves a certain score on an item or gradebook column in your course. You can also find visibility settings at the top of your screen when you open course content items.

Example: Students need to complete coursework in a specific order and after they've demonstrated understanding. You want students to progress to the next item only after scoring a B or above.

Identify the piece of content you want to release to students and select Conditional availability in the visibility menu. On the Conditional Availability panel, select Performance to release the content based on a student's score on another item in your course. Select the graded item you want to base the rule on. The Grade requirement list appears with a range of scores, based on the item's grade schema and maximum point value.

Example: You want to create a conditional release rule based on a quiz worth 100 points. Students need to score 70 points or higher to access the Chapter 1 Test.

  1. Select Conditional availability in the Chapter 1 Test's visibility menu.
  2. Select Performance and select the quiz in the Graded item menu.
  3. Under Grade requirement, select the grade a student must achieve on the quiz. In this example, the requirement is 70 points or higher.
  4. Save the rule.

Students can access the Chapter 1 Test and submit attempts after they complete the practice test and earn a score of 70 points or higher.

If you choose more than one condition for your content, students must satisfy all conditions before the content is available.

If you don't find a grade requirement that suits you, you can specify a custom grade range. Select Custom range and additional fields appear. When you use a custom range, you can base the rule on the item's grade schema and maximum score, or you can use score percentage.

Visibility settings

As you create conditional availability rules, you can choose whether the item appears in the Course Content list when students don't have access.

Select Visible to students to show the content to students before they're able to access it. Students see the conditions they need to satisfy before they can access the content.

Select Hidden from students to hide the content when students don't have access. When you select this setting, the conditions don't appear to students. The content appears only when it is available, just as other pieces of content in your course that is set to Visible to students.

What do students see?

You can choose to show items with conditional availability to students before the content is available.

If you show the content when it's unavailable, students can see the conditions they need to satisfy before they can access the content. Items also appear on the course calendar and the Grades page. The content doesn't appear in students' activity streams.

If you don't show the content when it's unavailable, students won't see it anywhere until it's available.

If you base a rule on an item that's hidden to students, they won't have the opportunity to satisfy the access rule. However, the item with conditional availability may still appear on the Course Content page based on the visibility settings. In this case, students see a message explaining that they can't access the content and to contact their instructor.

Fix a broken rule

Conditional release rules break if you delete the content the rule is based on. An alert appears on the Course Content page to let you know when students are unable to access content due to broken rules. Open the Conditional Availability panel to set up a new rule.

Remove a rule

To remove a conditional release rule, select Visible to students or Hidden from students in the visibility menu for the content item. Open the Conditional Availability panel again if you want to set up a new rule.


ULTRA: Watch a video about conditional availability

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Conditional availability shows you how to set conditional availability of items in your course.