Adaptive release allows an instructor to create custom learning paths through course content and activities. Content items, discussions, tests, assignments, or other activities can be released to students based on a set of criteria including: date and time, specific users, group membership, institution role, grades or attempts on a particular test or assignment, or review status of another item in the course.

For example, an adaptive release rule can be creative to require students to attempt a formative assessment activity before the summative assessment activity becomes available.  Adaptive Release can also be used to make an item available to some students but not others based on predetermined dates of availability.  This is useful if a student will be travelling during an exam period and must attempt the exam earlier or later than the general class.  To create an adaptive release rule:

  1. Enter the content area containing the item for which adaptive release rules are to be set.
  2. Click the options button directly to the right of the item, then select Adaptive Release:  Advanced on the drop-menu.

Figure 1: Advanced Adaptive Release

  1. Click the Create Rule button.


  1. Provide a name for the rule.  The default numbered name is suitable for most uses, but providing a descriptive rule name can be helpful when multiple rules are created for a single item.  Click the Submit button to continue.
  2. Hover your mouse over the Create Criteria button to narrow the ability of users to view the content item.  Select criteria from the drop-menu.


  • Date:  The date criteria establishes a timeframe of accessibility, much like the dates of availability that are set when creating an item.  Adaptive release dates will override any options of availability set for an item.
  • To limit the date of availability, click the Date option on the Create Criteria drop-menu, then assign date and time settings as desired.  The Display After and Display Until boxes must be checked for date restrictions to take effect.
  • Grade:  The grade criteria requires that a user earn a score or make an attempt on an assignment or test before gaining access to another item.  For instance, an adaptive release rule can require a student to earn a passing score on a practice quiz before being able to take the mid-term exam.
  • Click the Grade option on the Create Criteria drop-menu.
  • Select the pre-requisite grade column.
  • Establish the required pre-requisite conditions required.  This can require that the user have at least one attempt at the item, have a minimum score, or fall within a specific performance window.


  • Click Submit to create the grade criteria.
  • Membership: The membership option limits the visibility of an item to specific users.
  • Click the Membership option on the Create Criteria drop-menu.
  • Click the Browse button to search for specific users.


  • Click the Go button while leaving the search field blank to view the course roster.


  • Select the checkbox next to any users to be added to the membership criteria. Click Submit once all members have been selected.
  • Click Submit again to finalize membership criteria.

Note: To verify the visibility of a content item, click the options button to the right of the item, then choose User Progress on the drop-menu.

Users with an “open eye” graphic meet all adaptive release criteria, allowing these users to see and interact with the item.  The item is unavailable to users with a red line covering the eye.