Adaptive Release


Adaptive release is the process of applying rules or criteria to the release of learning materials to students. This may be dependent on student achievement or dates. Fisher, Gardner, Brinthaupts & Raffo (2014) note that adaptive (conditional) release activities can help teachers to manage how students proceed through a course, provide flexible delivery of course content or scaffold efforts to support students.

Various rules can be created to support students in the management of their learning and engagement with the content these may be based on an action e.g students have reviewed topic content, achievement eg must achieve 60% on a test, teacher determined eg content released on date.


In Practice


FIN516 Corporate Finance

Teaching Staff

Ruhina Karim


Students in this subject were not completing the end of topic quizzes, formative, non graded tasks designed to provide practice and revision of skills. There is a strong correlation between those who do not complete the end of topic quizzes, and those who struggle with the assessable tests and exam. As each topic builds on previous knowledge, the non graded revision quizzes provide the opportunity for instant feedback to identify and correct misconceptions and improve future assessment performances.


Content release in FIN516 utilised 2 adaptive rules. It was designed for release on both a score of the previous topic quiz (50%) and the date that the topic would normally be studied in the usual 14 week cycle (so no-one is disadvantaged). Students can accelerate through a topic and are in control of their learning and developing skill level. The unlimited attempts allowed students the freedom to test their knowledge and return to the test during the session.

Screenshot of Adaptive Release rules


Setting up for success

Preparing students for success


Within Blackboard you can access two types of adaptive release:

You can add four types of criteria when you create rules:

From Blackboard Help - Managing Tools.

Additional Resources

Blackboard Help Tutorials

Fisher, Gardner, Brinthaupts & Raffo, (2014). Conditional Release of Course Materials: Assessing Best Practice Recommendations, MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(2), June, p. 229.

Irwin, B., Hepplestone, S., Holden, G., Parkin, H. J., & Thorpe, L. (2013). Engaging students with feedback through adaptive release. Innovations in Education & Teaching International., 50(1), 51-61.