Week 3 – Let Blackboard Work For You – Week of 01/26/15

So far we have been talking about dates, so this week we will continue along those lines. Chances are you already know when you plan to release each module of your course. Chances are you manually go in and release them, why not let Blackboard do the work for you? Did you know that you can set your course up so that modules can automatically release based on date or completion?

The tool used for this is Adaptive Release. It can seem a bit daunting, but is really easy to use. If you want to use it for an entire module, just create a folder for the module and put all of the items for the module within the folder. The items within the folder will only be able to be accessed once the folder itself if accessible.

To use Adaptive Release, click the down arrow to the right of the item’s name. Then choose Adaptive Release. You can then set up the Start and End date, Membership (Groups, or Individual Users), or Grade (Based on completion of another assignment). You can set up as many of these criteria as you like, but make sure that whatever you chose is achievable. For example, if you make it based on Grade, don’t set it based on completion of the Final Exam, when the exam won’t be taken before this item is completed. This is usually the problem people run into when trying to use Adaptive Release.

Once this is set up, students will only be able to view the item once the criteria are met. Personally, I like to set up Adaptive Release for Modules based on the completion of the assignment from the previous module, so those who may want to work ahead in an online class can do so. If you choose Advanced Adaptive Release you can set up several criteria if you chose. I like setting my courses up like this, when possible, so I can spend more time grading and working with students rather than worrying about opening and closing sections. (Although I have talked about setting up folders for Adaptive Release, you can also set up individual items.)

If you ever need to change any of the dates you have set up using Adaptive Release, did you know you can use the Blackboard Calendar to do so, like we talked about in Week 2? You can also use the Date Management Tool from Week 1 to make changes for these next semester as well.

Another benefit of opening sections up as you go, is you can arrange them in reverse order, so the Module you are currently working on is always at the top, and the previous ones are always available below for review purposes.

I hope this information on Adaptive Release is useful to you, and I encourage you to try it at least once. If you run into questions or problems throughout the semester with Blackboard, please take advantage of the COE Helpdesk.

Throughout the semester, the OAA-Instructional Technology Team will be offering Professional Development opportunities. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the COE Professional Development website. To register for any professional development sessions, please use Cornerstone.