Using selective release in Concourse
After an instructor posts material on a traditional course website it is available immediately. That’s becomes impractical, though, when you have a lot of items that you want to release at different times. Concourse (Blackboard Vista) has a feature called “Selective Release” that allows instructors to set criteria for making material visible to students. Content can be released based on date, group membership, grade book score, user ID, or a combination of factors.
To use this feature, click “Selective Release” from either the Build or Teach tab. After you see the Selective Release Map, click “Set Release Criteria” and go to town. As shown below, the Selective Release Map gives the status of all items in the course. You can also click “Members” and select a student to see which items are visible to an individual. Note that when you set release dates in the assignment or assessment tool you are also using selective release.
The Hide/Show Item button is a cousin of selective release that toggles the visibility of an item. The same functionality is available by clicking the ActionLinks button on a content page. “(Hidden)” next to an icon indicates that this option is turned on. “(Conditional)” means an item that has selective release criteria set.
Here are a few sample strategies that use selective release:
- Set up a quiz on topic 1; students must pass it before they see material on topic 2.
- Students indicate interest in a topic through an online sign-up sheet ; content is then released based on group membership.
- Release content students who need an extension because they were stranded in an airport.
- Make the solutions to last night’s homework problems available at the beginning of class.
- Combine criteria to release content to members of a project group the day after a milestone is reached.
I’d love to hear about other techniques you have tried.