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Controlling the Release of Content

Adaptive release controls the release of content to users based on a set of rules you create. The rules may be related to availability, date and time, individual users, group membership, scores or attempts on any Grade Center item, calculated columns in Grade Center, or review status of an item in your course.

The following options are available:

  • Adaptive Release: Create basic rules for an item. You can only create one rule per item, but the rule can have multiple criteria, all of which must be met.
  • Adaptive Release Advanced: Create sophisticated combinations of release rules by adding multiple rules with multiple criteria to a single content item. Users must meet all the criteria of one of the rules to gain access.
  • User Progress: View the details on an item for all users in your course. This page includes information about whether the item is visible to the user and whether the user has marked the item as reviewed.

Unavailable Items and Adaptive Release Rules

Item availability set on the Add Item page supersedes all adaptive release rules. If the item is unavailable, it is unavailable to all users regardless of any rules established. This allows course developers to develop rules and only make items available when finished with rule creation.

Adaptive Release Rules and Criteria

A basic adaptive release rule consists of a set of criteria that defines the visibility of a content item to users. If a rule has multiple criteria, the user must meet all criteria before the item is available. Advanced adaptive release enables you to create multiple rules for a single content item, and each rule can consist of multiple criteria.

For example, suppose you add a rule for an assignment to allow users in Group A to view the assignment after a specific date. This rule would consist of membership criteria and date criteria. Another rule for this assignment can allow all users in Group B to view the assignment once they had completed Homework #1. This rule would consist of membership criteria and Grade Center completion criteria.

Only one membership criterion and one date criterion can be created for each rule. Multiple Grade Center criteria and review status criteria can be added to each rule.

Adaptive Release Rules During Course Copy, Archive, and Export

Adaptive release rules and user progress information are only included during a full course copy that includes users, and during archive and restore operations. Rules and user progress information are not saved during a copy of course materials into a new course or during a copy of course materials into an existing course. They are also not saved during export and import operations.

Enable and Disable the Adaptive Release Feature

Your institution controls the availability of the adaptive release feature. If this feature is made available, course developers can add basic or advanced adaptive release rules.

If the adaptive release tool is disabled by your institution, all rules that you have created will disappear. Also, adaptive release related links on the Manage page will no longer appear. If the tool is re-enabled, the links on the Manage page reappear and any data associated with adaptive release (such as the rules) will be saved. Any adaptive release rules that had previously been set also reappear.

Visibility of Items With Adaptive Release Rules

Once you have established any adaptive release rules for an item, visibility of that item is restricted to those users who meet the criteria of those rules.

For example, suppose you create a content item called "Introduction" in a content area. At this point, all course users would be able to see that content item. Next, you create a rule restricting the item to Group A users. Now, only members of Group A can see Introduction—all other course users do not see it.

Next, you add another criterion to this rule, restricting it to Group A members who have received at least 80 points on Test #1. Now, only members of Group A who have also scored 80 or greater on Test #1 will see Introduction. All other users, including Group A members who scored less than an 80 on the pre-test, will not see Introduction.

If you have created no adaptive release rules, the item is available to all users in your course depending on the item availability and date restrictions set during item creation or editing.

Note:  If you create an adaptive release rule, but define no criteria for it, the content will display to all users. This is true even if there are other rules associated with the item. One blank criterion will allow the content display to all users.

View Availability of an Item on User Progress Page

You can create one or more adaptive release rules to narrow the availability of a content item. It may be difficult to remember which users may access each piece of content. The User Progress page displays details on the visibility of a content item and the adaptive release rules pertaining to it on a user-by-user basis. If Review Status is enabled for the item, an icon is displayed to show if the user has reviewed the item along with a date and time stamp for when the review was registered for that user.

If you have created no adaptive release rules for that item, the visibility column is based simply on availability of the item itself. For example, if the item is available, the Visible icon is displayed for all users.

Differences Between Basic Adaptive Release and Advanced Adaptive Release

Basic adaptive release enables you to create one rule for a single item. That rule can contain multiple criteria.

Advanced adaptive release enables you to create multiple rules for a single item. If you want to create different criteria for different users on the same item, more than one rule is needed. For example, you can set up a rule for Group A that enables these users to view Test 1 after completing Assignment A. You can set up a separate rule for Group B that enables them to see Test 1 after completing Assignment B. 

View Content With Rules Through the Course

If you view content areas through your course as a student would with Edit Mode set to OFF, the student view is based on item availability and adaptive release rules. For example, if you use adaptive release to make an item available to a group, and you yourself are not a member of the group, you will not see the item if accessed through the course menu. The same is true for unavailable items. If you add an item to your course, but do not make it  available, then you will not see it when you access the content area through the course menu.