Content Visibility and Release Conditions

Blackboard Ultra allows instructors to control the visibility of course content by making items visible or hidden to students,  or by setting content release conditions based on date time, user/group ID, or grade performance. 

By default, all newly-created content in Ultra course view is hidden from students until you make it visible. Other instructors, TA's, and course builders can see all course content regardless of its visibility setting. 

To adjust the student visibility of an item, open the dropdown menu in the item header. You can make an item visible to all students or hidden from all students. 

Release Conditions (formerly called "Adaptive Release" in Blackboard original course view) can be used to manage an item's visibility based on different criteria, including: 

  • Making an item visible only to certain students or groups
  • Setting an item to become visible at a certain date/time, and/or to be hidden after a certain date/time
  • Making an item visible based on performance on a specified graded item or Gradebook column

Instructors and TA's can change the visibility settings of an item at any time. Course builders, graders, and students do not have access to visibility settings. 

Blackboard item visibility and release conditions menu

Setting Release Conditions

To manage visibility of a course content item based on specified criteria, open the visibility dropdown for the item and select Release conditions. This will open the Release Conditions pane shown to the right. Conditions can be set based on individual users or groups, date/time, or performance; multiple conditions can be set for the same item. For example, you could set an item to become visible to all students after a certain date, but allow early access to specific individual students (such as those with a disability accommodation for early/extended access to certain course materials). 

To set a release condition based on user/group membership, select Specific members or groups. You can then search for students enrolled in the course by name or NetID. You can also set visibility by group, using either an existing group or group set, or creating a new group set within the pane.

Once the release condition is set, the item will be visible to the specified users and/or groups, and hidden from all other students. 

To set a date/time release condition, check Date/Time to open the "Show on"/"Hide after" options. Select the date(s) and time(s) to that the item will be released and/or hidden. If "Show on" is selected, the item will be hidden from students by default, then become visible at the specified date/time. If "Hide after" is selected, the item will be visible to students by default, then be hidden after the specified date/time. If both are selected, the item will only be visible to students between the two specified dates/times, and hidden before and after. 

To set a performance release condition, check Performance, then select the "Graded item" you wish to use as the release condition. You will need to use an existing graded item; at present there is no way to create a new graded item from this pane. Under "Grade requirement," the menu will automatically populate with scores from 10-90% at 10% increments, rounded to the nearest point, or you can select "custom range" to manually set minimum and maximum points thresholds. Once the performance release condition is set, the item will be hidden from students until they fulfill the requirement (for example, scoring at least 80% on the specified assignment); once a student fulfills the requirement the item will become visible. 

Although release conditions are related to student visibility settings, you can choose whether to hide an unreleased item completely, or to allow students to see the item header but not be able to open/access it. Note that this option is only available for date/time and performance release conditions; in cases where visibility is set by individual users/groups, the item is hidden from all other students by default. 

If you select Show, students will be able to see the item header in the content area of the course, with a lock icon next to the title and text reading "Content isn't available" - clicking the text will let them view information about the release conditions, i.e. "This content will be available after 2/8/23 at 12:00 AM." 

When you have set the release conditions you want, scroll to the bottom of the pane and click Save to return to the Content page. 

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