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Adaptive Release in Blackboard 8


Adaptive release allows instructors and course designers to release course content based on rules that they create; in other words, you can control what content is made available to which students and under what conditions they are allowed to see it. Rules can be created for individuals or groups, based on criteria related to date, time, assessment scores or attempts, and the review status of other items in the course. For example, you can:

  • Allow students to view a particular unit or resource only after they have attained a minimum score on a quiz.
  • Share different supplementary materials with groups of students working on different projects.
  • Share different schedule materials and syllabi with students in different sections but using the same course shell.
  • Restrict students from joining a discussion forum until they have reviewed relevant course materials.
  • Make the next assignment available only to those who have read a specific material.

The following options are available with the Adaptive Release tool.

  • Adaptive Release – used to create basic rules for an item. In this tool only one rule per item may be created.
  • Adaptive Release: Advanced – this feature allows instructors to create multiple rules per item. For example, if different rules apply for different Groups in a course this feature should be used.
  • Adaptive Release and Review Status: User Progress – this page displays details on the visibility of a content item and the Adaptive Release rules pertaining to it.

Adaptive Release: Basic

An Adaptive Release rule consists of a set to criteria that defines the visibility of a content item to users. Criteria are the parts that make up the rule. For example, date and membership are two different criteria types. Each content item may have multiple rules and each rule may consist of multiple criteria. To view an item, a user must meet all criteria before the item is made available.
For example, the instructor may add an Assignment to a course.

  • One rule for this Assignment may allow all users in Group 1 to view the Assignment after a specific date. For this rule you would set date and membership criteria.
  • Another rule for this assignment may allow all users in Group 2 to view the Assignment once they had passes Quiz 1. This rule would require you to set membership and gradebook criteria.
  • A third way of using Adaptive Release is to create rules that ensure that students read a piece of content before proceeding to a test, activity, or new unit. For this type of rule you would enable the review status for the content, and Review Status criteria in the Adaptive Release rules.

In the PDF documents listed below will step you through how the setup these three type of rules.

  • Restricting assignment view based on quiz score PDF document
  • Creating rules for individual students

Adaptive Release and Review Status: User Progress

Blackboard allows you to track whether learners have met the review rules established for activities within your courses. The feature is activated and reviewed from the Manage area for activities and content areas.

The following tutorials will step you through enabling review tracking and reviewing the tracking status.

Adaptive Release: Advanced

Advanced adaptive release allows you to create multiple rules for a content item. If a student fulfills one or more rules in the collection, the content item will be made available. Each rule may consist of one or more criteria; a student must satisfy all criteria to satisfy the rule. For example, if a learning unit has three rules attached to it, then a student must satisfy all the criteria in Rule 1, or all the criteria in Rule 2, or all criteria in Rule 3, to be able to see the unit.

Copying Rules

If you plan on applying multiple rules to a given content item it may be quicker to copy an Adaptive Release rules instead of creating a new one from scratch. (Note: a rule from one content item may not be copied to another content item.)

The following tutorial steps you through copy process.

Editing and Deleting Rules

Rules are managed and modified from the Adaptive Release or Adaptive Release: Advanced pages. The name change and delete rule functions are accessed through the Adaptive Release: Advanced page.

The following tutorials step you through each of the rule management functions.


Please exercise caution when copying, exporting, or importing items from old courses that were previously associated with Adaptive Release rules. It is possible to prematurely release exams and assignments when copying content that have associated rules.

To assure that previously deployed Adaptive Release items remain unavailable in your new course, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure each item (i.e., exam, quiz, assignment, etc) is unavailable in the old course before using the course copy tool.
  2. Copy the materials into the course before making the course available to students.
  3. Check the options on each item you do not wish to display.
  4. Rewrite the Adaptive Release rules on the course items hat cover the new section of students and current dates.
  5. Reset the availability options on the items and/or course.

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2010 by in Blackboard 8, Distance Education, Tutorials.

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