Cobra Learning - Release Conditions
About Release Conditions
Release conditions allow you to create a custom learning path through the materials in your course. When you attach a release condition to an item, users cannot see that item until they meet the associated condition. For example, you could attach a release condition to the second topic in your course’s content area that would hide that topic until users viewed the topic before it. Or you could create a condition that required users to view a content topic before gaining access to a quiz, or one that required them to post to a discussion topic before they could see a content module.
If you attach multiple conditions to an item, users may need to meet all conditions before they can access the item. For example, you could require users to visit the first three content topics in a unit before gaining access to an associated quiz. Or you can set it to completion of any of the conditions.
NOTE: if students cannot see an item, they may not know that it needs to be completed or that they need to return to Content to continue. A checklist or instructions indicating that there are more items in the module can ease confusion over the hidden items.
You can put release conditions on the following items:
- Content modules and topics
- Discussion forums and topics
- Grade items and categories
Note Once a user meets a release condition, the condition is cleared for that user and cannot be reset. For example, if you attach a release condition to a discussion topic requiring users to achieve more than 60% on a quiz before they can access that topic, and one of your participants receives 72% on the quiz but you adjust their grade to 55% they will be able to access the topic because they did meet the requirement at some point.
Best practices for creating release conditions
- Set up conditions before users access the course
Create all of your course materials and set up your release conditions before the course opens to users. This gives you a chance to check for mistakes in the conditions or for circular, contradictory, or unnecessary conditions. If you add new release conditions after users have accessed the course, users might be confused by resources disappearing. Since conditions cannot be reset, you also risk having users meet conditions before your resources are ready (e.g., accessing a content topic before it is finished).
- Avoid unnecessary conditions
Each condition you associate with a tool takes additional time for Cobra Learning to process. Using as few conditions as possible to set up a learning path minimizes the amount of time that users spend waiting for pages to load.
For example, you set up a content topic, a quiz, and a dropbox folder for the second week of class. You want users to read the topic before taking the quiz, and you want them to read the topic and attempt the quiz before submitting the week’s work to the dropbox folder. For the dropbox folder, you only need to attach the condition that users attempt the quiz. Since users must read the content topic before they can take the quiz, it is not necessary to add this same condition to the dropbox folder.
- Avoid circular references
A circular reference makes it impossible for users to satisfy a set of conditions. For example, if you set the condition that users must view a content topic before they can access a dropbox folder, and then set a condition that they must submit a file to the dropbox folder before they can access the content topic, you have a circular reference. Users can’t satisfy either condition without satisfying the other one first.
Circular references are more likely to occur with long chains of conditions. For example, a content topic that depends on a quiz that depends on a dropbox folder that depends on a checklist that depends on the content topic.
- Avoid impossible conditions
Ensure that your conditions are not impossible for users to satisfy. For example, a condition that users must achieve greater than 100% on a grade item would be impossible (unless bonus marks are available for the item). If users are unable to satisfy a condition, they are unable to access the content or tools to which the condition is attached.
Likewise on date-related items. If you set a release condition and then an end date and the user misses the assignment, they are then locked out of the remainder of the path since they cannot meet the condition.
- Avoid contradictory conditions
Contradictory conditions occur when two or more conditions that cancel each other out are associated with an item. 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. Users could not satisfy both conditions at the same time; they would not be able to see the item associated with these conditions.
Example release condition scenarios
- Scenario 1: Release content based on learning ability and course performance
You can include additional content in your course specifically for users who need extra help and release this content to users who score below a specified threshold on a quiz or grade item. Alternatively, you could release a special dropbox folder to users who attain a high score.
- Scenario 2: Release content in stages
To reveal content topics to users only after they have read prior content, attach release conditions on the later topics or modules that require users to view earlier topics. This can provide a clear path through the material and prevent users from becoming overwhelmed by a large table of contents at the start of the course.
- Scenario 3: Release content based on enrollment date
If your course has rolling enrollment, so students can begin and complete the course at various times, you can set course materials and assessments to become available relative to a users' enrollment date. This allows you to provide a structured path through the course for every user regardless of their enrollment date.
- Scenario 4: Customize content for groups within a course
If your course has group projects and you want to provide different instructions or resources for each group, you can create separate content topics or modules for each project and attach release conditions based on group enrollment. Group members working on one project will see content related to their work without being distracted by content not relevant to them.
- Scenario 5: Use a checklist to organize activities
You can create a checklist that lists the activities users should complete throughout the course. For example, a checklist for the first week might include reading the course’s introductory content, posting to an introductory discussion topic, and submitting a list of learning goals to dropbox folder. You can set release conditions based on users checking off items from their checklist. For example, you might release a news item on your course’s homepage once users check off that they have completed the first week’s activities.
Setting up release conditions
Attach a release condition
- Locate the release conditions area, found in the item's editing mode. See the documentation for the appropriate tool for help editing items in that tool.
- Click Create and Attach.
- Select the Condition Type and complete the Condition Details.
- Click Create.
- Choose whether access to the item is dependent on meeting all or any of your conditions.
- Click Save.
Content – All Content Topics Visited
This condition requires users to visit all modules within your course. You cannot specify only a single module. If you want to create a condition that would make a tool available only after a user has completed a specific module, create a condition using the Content Topic Visited option and require that they visit the last topic within the applicable content module or add each topic within the module, if all are required.
Discussions – Discussion posts authored in Topic
If posts to the selected topic require approval, this condition is only satisfied once posts are approved.
Reusing release conditions
If you’ve already created a condition and want to apply the same condition to another item, you can quickly select the condition from a list of existing conditions in your course by clicking Browse. This saves you entering the criteria a second time.
Note When you attach an existing condition from another item to a second item, the two conditions are not associated in any way. If you change the condition on either item or remove the condition from either item it has no affect on the other.
Attach an existing condition
- Go to the edit page for the item you want to attach the condition to and locate the release conditions area.
- Click Browse.
- Select the condition.
Tip To narrow the list of conditions, choose the tool the condition is based on from the View Conditions for drop-down list.
- Click Attach.
- Click Save.
Removing release conditions
- Go to the edit page for the item you want to remove the condition from and locate the release conditions area.
- Click the Remove icon beside a specific condition to remove it, or click Remove All Conditions to remove all conditions for an item.
- Click Save.