Home  |   A-Z Index  |   Campus Maps  |   Directory  |   MyPellissippi  |   Webmail
Distance Learning
Leather Briefcase with Faculty Help title
Student Backpack with Student Help title

Best Practices Conditional Release

Avoid Circular References

A circular reference occurs when a set of conditions reference each other in such a way that makes it impossible for a user to satisfy any of the conditions.

Example
A course has three content topics: Topic A, Topic B, and Topic C, and the following conditions are set up:

  • Topic B is only released after Topic A has been viewed.
  • Topic C is only released after Topic B has been viewed.
  • Topic A is only released after Topic C has been viewed.

In this example, students will never be able to see any of the topics because none of them will ever be released. This problem can be fixed by simply removing one of the conditions.

In this case, the condition that Topic A is only released after Topic C has been viewed would likely be removed. Students could then start by viewing Topic A, and Topics B and C would become available as the conditions for each topic are satisfied.

Circular reference example diagram

Avoid Unnecessary Conditions

Each condition that you associate with a tool will take additional time for the D2L system to process. Using as few conditions as possible to achieve your desired learning path minimizes the amount of time that students will have to wait for pages to load.

Example
A course has three topics: Topic A, Topic B, and Topic C. The instructor wants to set up release conditions so that Topics B and C are only released after a student has viewed the previous topic. The following conditions are established:

  • Topic B is only released after Topic A has been viewed,
  • Topic C is only released after Topic A has been viewed, and
  • Topic C is only released after Topic B have been viewed.

In the example above, it is unnecessary to specify that both Topics A and B must be viewed in order to access Topic C because students can only see Topic B after they have already viewed Topic A. The same results can be achieved, but faster when only the following two conditions are set:

  • Topic B is only released after Topic A has been viewed, and
  • Topic C is only released after Topic B has been viewed.

Avoid Impossible and Contradictory Conditions

Ensure that your conditions are not impossible for students to satisfy. For example, a condition that students must achieve greater than 100% on a grade item would be impossible (unless bonus marks are available for the item). If students are unable to satisfy a condition, they will be unable to access the content or tools associated with the condition.

Contradictory conditions occur when two or more conditions that cancel each other out are associated with a tool. For example, the conditions User must achieve greater than 49.9% on Grade Item 1 and User must achieve less than 50% on Grade Item 1 are  contradictory. Students would never be able to satisfy both conditions at the same time, so they would not be able to see the tools or content associated with the conditions.

Set up your Release Conditions before Students Access your Course

Avoid changing release conditions once a course has begun. Adding or changing release conditions after students have already accessed your course could confuse course participants if they are suddenly unable to view tools that they could previously access. Setting up your conditions before a course is released also allows you an opportunity to check for circular, contradictory, and unnecessary conditions.


Example Conditional Release Scenarios

This section outlines some common scenarios in which Conditional Release might be used.


Release Content Based on User Learning Ability and Course Performance

Scenario
You wish to provide extra content to students that are having difficulty with a certain assignment.

Solution
You can provide an extra content topic or module to students based on the grade they achieve on a certain quiz or grade item. You must create the extra content or module before you can set your release conditions for the extra content.

  1. On the Manage Associations page, click Create New Condition.
  2. Choose Content Topic or Content Module in the Tool drop-down list (depending on whether you want to release a single topic or an entire content module as extra content).
  3. Choose the name of the topic or module in the Instance drop-down list.
  4. Choose Grade Value on a Grade Item or Score on a Quiz from the Condition Type drop-down list. Grade Value on a Grade Item allows you to specify what grade students must achieve on a particular grade item in order to view the extra content, whereas Score on a Quiz allows you to specify the score a student must achieve on a particular quiz to view the grade item (a quiz might not necessarily be a grade item).
  5. Choose the applicable Grade Item or Quiz name from the drop-down list that displays.
  6. Set the Criteria and Grade fields as applicable.
  7. Example: To release the extra content to students that received 60% or less on the quiz or grade item, you would choose “<=” (less than or equal to) in the Criteria field, and type 60 in the Grade field.
  8. Click Save.

Your extra content will now only be visible to students that receive 60% or less on the selected Grade Item/Quiz.


Release Content Only after Students have Viewed Previous Topics

Scenario A
You want to ensure that students read content Topic A before they can view Topic B.

Solution A
Create a release condition associated with Topic B that requires students to view Topic A.

  1. On the Manage Associations page, click Create New Condition.
  2. Choose Content Topic from the Tool drop-down list.
  3. Choose the topic that you want to restrict from the Instance drop-down list. For example, following the scenario above, you would choose Topic B from the Instance drop-down list.
  4. Choose Content topic visited from the Condition Type drop-down list.
  5. In the Topics drop-down list, choose the topic that students must read before they can view the topic you chose in the Instance drop-down list (for example, Topic A from the scenario above).
  6. Click Save.

Scenario B
You want to release an entire content module (Module B) only after students have read an entire previous module (Module A).

Solution B
It is not currently possible to set a condition that checks if a student has completed an entire module. Instead, you can create a condition that requires students to have viewed the last topic of the previous module :

  1. On the Manage Associations page, click Create New Condition.
  2. Choose Content Module from the Tool drop-down list.
  3. Choose the module that you want to restrict from the Instance drop-down list. For example, following the scenario above, you would choose Module B from the Instance drop-down list.
  4. Choose Content topic visited from the Condition Type drop-down list.
  5. In the Topics drop-down list, choose the name of the last topic from Module A.
  6. Click Save.

Customize Content for Groups or Sections within a Course

Scenario
You have several groups or sections within your course and want to provide customized content to each group or section. For example, perhaps each group has been assigned a different project to work on and you would like to provide different instructions or resources to each group or section. For this scenario, suppose Topic A, Topic B, and Topic C should be released to Group A, Group B, and Group C respectively.

Solution
Create a unique content topic for each group or section. Then assign a release condition to each topic that specifies which group or section can see it.

  1. After you have created your content topics, access the Manage Associations page and click Create New Condition.
  2. Choose Content Topic from the Tool drop-down list.
  3. Choose Topic A from the Instance drop-down list.
  4. Choose Group Membership from the Condition Type drop-down list (if you use sections instead of groups in your course, choose Section Enrollment instead).
  5. Choose Group A from the Group drop-down list.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 for each group and associated topic.

Tip: You could substitute discussion forums or topics for content topics in the instructions above to assign each group their own private discussion area.


Copying Release Conditions

When you copy release conditions (by checking conditional release in step 4 in the section above), the D2L system only copies conditions that apply to other course components that you have copied from the same course.

Example
In Course A, an instructor has created release conditions that allow students to view Quiz 1 and Quiz 2 only after they have viewed Content Topics 1 and 2, respectively. The instructor then creates Course B and wants to copy the release conditions from Course A. The instructor must also copy all of the quizzes and content from Course A in order to copy the release conditions.