What are release conditions and how can I use them?

What are release conditions?

Release conditions can be used to set conditions a student has to fulfill before being allowed to access specific course content. For example:

  • Students can only take the quiz for week two if they have received a passing grade for the quiz in the first week.
  • Students will not be able to see the final exam until they hand in all the previous assignments.
  • Students are required to post to a discussion topic before they can see a content module.

You can attach several release conditions to an item. For example:

  • Students can only hand in the final exam if they complete all previous assignments and attain a score of 50 percent or higher for every quiz.

You can also attach multiple release conditions to an item of which students only have to obtain one. For example:

  • Students can only see the materials for week two if they have handed in the assignments for week one or score 50 percent or higher for every quiz or create a discussion thread in the forum.

You should always attach a release condition to the activity you want to make available. For instance, if you want students to be able to see assignment B after scoring a passing grade for assignment A, then the release condition should be attached to assignment B. That assignment will be invisible to students until they fulfill the release condition of completing assignment A with a passing grade.

When do you use release conditions?

You can set release conditions for nearly every item in Brightspace. In the list below, you can find several examples of release conditions per item type. If you click the links, you can find instructions on how to set release conditions for each type of content.

As a student, you will be able to see this Activity or this Content topic when...

  • Assignments:
    • ... you have submitted an assignment (Submission to folder).
    • ... you have received feedback for a submitted assignment (Receive feedback on submission). 
    • ... you have received feedback with the help of a rubric (Score on associated rubric). 
    • ... you did not submit anything  (no submission to folder).
  • Awards
    • ... you have earned certain awards (Awards Earned)
  • Checklists:
    • ... you have completed the checklist (Completed checklist). 
    • ... you have completed an item on the checklist (Completed checklist item). 
    • ... you have not completed the checklist (Incomplete checklist). 
    • ... you have not completed an item on the checklist (Incomplete checklist item). 
  • Classlist:
    • ... you are member of a specific group (Group Enrollment).
    • ... you are member of a specific course (Org Unit Enrollment). 
    • ... you are member of a certain section (Section Enrollment). 
    • ... you do or do not have a specific role (Role in Current Org Unit). 
    • ... you have been enrolled a certain amount of days (Date of Enrollment in Current Org Unit). 
  • Content:
    • ... you have viewed a certain topic (Visited content topic). 
    • ... you have viewed all topics (Visited all content topics). 
    • ... you have not viewed a certain topic (Not visited content topic). 
  • Discussions (forums and topics):
    • ... you have added a certain amount of posts to a discussion topic (Posts authored in topic). 
    • ... you have received an assessment with the help of a rubric (Score on associated rubric). 
    • ... you have not posted anything in a discussion topic (No posts authored in topic). 
  • Grades (items and categories):
    • ... you have received a certain score for a certain grade item (Grade value on a grade item). 
    • ... you have received an assessment with the help of a rubric (Score on associated rubric). 
    • ... you have not received an assessment (No grade received). 
  • Quizzes:
    • ... you have received a certain score for a quiz  (Score on a quiz). 
    • ... you have completed a quiz  (Completed quiz attempt). 
    • ... you have received feedback for certain questions (Score on selected questions). 
    • ... you have received an assessment with the help of a rubric (Score on associated rubric).
    • .... you did not submit a quiz (No completed quiz attempt). 
  • Surveys:
    • ... you have submitted the survey (Completed survey attempt). 
    • ... you have not submitted the survey (No completed survey attempt). 


If you use release conditions in your course, make sure to let your students know right at the start. That way, they will know that not all content is available to them yet and that they themselves are responsible for unlocking all the content in the course. If you do not communicate this clearly, students could end up with different expectations because they did not see all the course content at once.

How do you set up release conditions?

It is possible to set up release conditions for Activities, Surveys, Grades, and Content topics:

  • For Activities and Grades you will find the release conditions under the Rescrictions tab, for example for an Assignment. You will see the heading Release Conditions.
  • For Content you will find the release conditions under the heading Edit Properties In-place.
  • Click Attach Existing (or Browse in Content) to add previously created release conditions to this component.
  • Click Create and Attach (Create in Content) to create and add a new release condition.
  1. Select the conditions the students have to meet before they can see this component (in this example, a specific score for a grade item).
  2. Enter the details of the conditions.
  3. Click Create.
  • Then select whether students have to meet all requirements or just one of them.

Best practices for release conditions

If you believe you will make use of release conditions, it is important to keep several practical matters in mind:

  • Make sure your setup regarding release conditions works as intended before students gain access to your course. That will give you time to double-check if your release conditions work properly.
  • Avoid using unnecessary release conditions. If you use too many of them, your course in Brightspace might load more slowly.
  • Avoid setting up release conditions in circles that are impossible to achieve. For instance, setting a condition to make students read document A before they can post in the discussion board, but making document A only visible after posting in the board, means it is impossible students to achieve this release condition. It is therefore prudent to be careful when designing release conditions for your course.
  • Once a release condition is created it will be saved to your computer. This can be useful when you want to use complex release conditions again at a later moment.