About Adaptive Release

Jump to:   Setting a Basic Adaptive Release Rule   |   Types of Basic Adaptive Release   |    Limiting Availability by Date   |   Limiting Availability by Individual Users   |   Limiting Availability by Group Membership   |   Limiting Availability by Grade   |   Using Mark Reviewed   |   Advanced Adaptive Release   |   Checking Adaptive Release Paths


Course content does not have to be released all at once, but can be released gradually as students complete the course.  In ANGEL, this was accomplished either by a simple Date or Group release or by a complicated Action Agent process.  Blackboard provides some limited but very easy to use ways to by-pass the Action Agent process for releasing content based upon other criteria beyond Date or Group membership.

You can edit an item’s settings to make it unavailable to students or to apply date and time restrictions to control when it appears. You can also apply adaptive release to an item to control which users can access it and when they can access it.

Availability of items is set on an item-by-item basis. You can also make entire course areas unavailable. For example, if you edit a learning module, lesson plan, or folder and click No for Permit Users to View this Content, the course area is no longer visible to students. This means that all items within the unavailable course area are also unavailable to students, regardless of their individual availability settings. Therefore, the display of an item to students is contingent upon the availability of its parent folder.

Items in an unavailable course area are not visible to students in that location. However, students are able to access those items if additional links to them exist in different course areas. For example, if you have an available URL in course area A that you copied to course area B, the link exists in both locations. If you make course area A unavailable, students can still access the URL in course area B. Links to tools work in the same way. If you link to a discussion forum in course area A and make course area A unavailable, students can still access the discussion forum by going directly to the discussion board by using a link in a different course area or the course menu.

Instructors can make content available based on the following:

  • Date – on, until, or between specific dates
  • Membership – to a specific student or group of students
  • Grade – to students who have submitted an assignment, attempted a test, or received a certain grade
  • Review Status – to students who have reviewed a content item

The number of rules you can create and the criteria the rules can contain, depend on whether you are using Basic or Advanced Adaptive Release. We will start by looking at Basic Adaptive Release.


Setting a Basic Adaptive Release Rule

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, making it more difficult for users to gain access.
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Setting a Basic Rule

  1. In Edit Mode, in the Content Area, click the item’s Action Link to access the contextual menu.
  2. Select Adaptive Release.
  3. Select any of the four types of criteria by filling in the information for each one. Each will be discussed in the next slides.
  4. Click Submit.

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Types of Basic Adaptive Release

Course content does not have to be released all at once, but can be released gradually as students complete the course. Instructors can make content available based on the following:

  • Date – on, until, or between specific dates
  • Membership – to a specific student or group of students
  • Grade – to students who have submitted an assignment, attempted a test, or received a certain grade
  • Review Status – to students who have reviewed a content item

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The number of rules you can create and the criteria the rules can contain, depend on whether you are using Basic or Advanced Adaptive Release. We will start by looking at Basic Adaptive Release.

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Limiting Availability by Date

If you haven’t already done so when you created the content item, you can limit availability to the item by date with Adaptive Release.

  • Select the check box next to Display After, Display Until, or both.
  • Next to Display After and Display Until, either enter the date in the format provided, or click the interactive calendar icon.
  • To set a time, enter a time in any increment or click the clock icon and select a time from the list.

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Limiting Availability by Individual Users

You can limit students ability to access content on an individual student basis or based up on their membership in Groups. For ANGEL instructors who used this latter feature, it is similar to Teams. However, its very easy to allow students to access makeup content without giving access to the rest of the class or by creating a group.
To give a student access individually, follow the process below:

  1. Click Browse next to the Username text box.
  2. A separate window will open to search for users.
  3. To list all members in the course, click Go.
  4. Add the user name(s) you wish to include by selecting the check boxes adjacent to their names.
  5. Click Submit.

Limit availability by membership via Adaptive Release

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Limiting Availability by Group Membership

You can also make your content available by Membership in a group as you currently do in ANGEL. Looking at the graphic below, imagine that your class is divided into three groups and each group has a different assignment. They are instructed to learn the topic and then present the material to the entire class. You provide materials specific to each group’s assignment as content items. You release each content item to one group only.

When a group presents the material to the class, you may then change the release rule on that content item so that it becomes available to the entire class.

  1. In the Course Groups area, click the Group name in the Available Course Groups list.
  2. Click the caret pointing to the right handed column, Selected Course Groups.
  3. Click Submit.

All users in the Selected Course Group will now have access to the course content Item, page, or folder.

NOTE: Groups and individual users can be combined as shown in the image above.

Limit availability by membership for groups in adaptive release

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Limiting Availability by Grade

You can also limit access to content based upon the score a student received in a previous content. For example, you can require that a student has achieved a score of 80% or better on the test in Chapter 4 before the contents of the Chapter 5 materials is available.

To limit availability by Grade:

  1. In the Select a Grade Center column drop-down list, select a graded item.
  2. Possible points for the item are listed in brackets beside the name.
  3. Select the condition by selecting the radio node:
    • User has at least one attempt for this item.
    • Select a Score condition: [Less than or equal to], [Greater than or equal to], or [Equal to], and then enter the score in the adjacent text box.
    • Score Between, and then enter the scores in the two text boxes.

Limit availability by grade with adapative release

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Using Mark Reviewed

You can use review status criteria to release content based on a user’s review of a specific content item. For example, you can create a criterion that makes Assignment 1 available only after students have marked Homework 1 as reviewed. You can add more criteria to a rule, in addition to review status criteria, to further narrow the availability of an item. You can apply review status to a learning module, but not to the individual files within a learning module.

Adaptive release documents

In the image above notice:

  • The item’s description can be used to indicate other content will be released after the item is reviewed. Currently, only Assignment Guidelines appears in the Content Area.
  • When the Assignment Guidelines item is marked as Reviewed, the next assignment is released.

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Advanced Adaptive Release

We have looked at creating a Basic Adaptive Release rule, containing only one instance of each of the four types of criteria. There may be times when you want to set more complex Adaptive Release criteria. For instance, you can add more criteria to a rule, or you can specify different options for releasing the content. To accomplish this, you will use Advanced Adaptive Release.

With advanced adaptive release, you can add multiple rules to a single content item. If you create multiple rules, the content is visible to a user if any of the rules are met. Each rule may have multiple criteria. For example, one rule allows users in Group A with a score above an 85 on a test to view the content item. Another rule for the same item allows users in Group B to view the same content item only after a specific date.

Dropdown menu on assignment

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Checking Adaptive Release Paths

You will want to review your Adaptive Release Paths once you have them set. To do this, select Performance Dashboard from the Evaluation section on the side panel.

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Take Note

A. Click the caret to sort the contents of a column. If the caret is not visible, click the column title.

B. View the last date students accessed the course in the Last Course Access column.

C. Click the icon in the Adaptive Release column to display a pop-up Course Map indicating which items are available to the specific student and which items have been reviewed.

D. View how many Discussion Board posts are authored by the student. The link includes links to the posts, as well as other statistics, such as length of each post, date of the last post, and the Grade, if enabled.

E. Click the icon in the View Grades column for a direct link to the Grade Center.

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