Restricting content access in D2L

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Fig 1. Switch modes
Fig 2. Edit properties of a single topic
Fig 3. Select Bulk Edit

About this article

This article demonstrates how to restrict student access to content modules and topics in a D2L table of contents (TOC). It has been updated to cover D2L Version 10.3. It is intended for instructors.

Why restrict content access?

In some courses, students have unrestricted access to all course materials and activities at all times. In others, the instructor imposes some degree of access control. For example, instructors may want to prevent students from accessing next week's material until a certain date has elapsed or until they have passed a quiz on this week's material. D2L allows instructors to control student access to elements of the TOC at the level of both the module and topic. Two forms of control are available:

  • Manual release/hide. Instructors toggle access to modules and topics on/off manually using the publish status property.
  • Conditional release/hide. Instructors set triggers on modules and topics that will automatically turn access on/off based on time, student performance, and/or other conditions.

Manually releasing/hiding content using publish status

For all instructions below, first navigate to a D2L course and select Content from the Materials menu. This will take you to the D2L Content Tool.

Modules

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module that you want to release/hide.
  2. Select either Published (released) or Draft (hide) from the content region (this will differ depending on the current mode; Figure 1). This will close the list and switch to that mode.

Single topic from TOC

  1. Select Edit Properties in Place from the topic's action menu (Figure 2).
  2. Select either Published or Draft (this will differ depending on the current mode).
  3. Select your preferred choice from the list. This will close the list and switch to that mode.

Single topic from viewer page

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module that contains the topic you want to release/hide.
  2. Select the topic to open up the topic viewer page.
  3. Select the Activity Details heading to expand.
  4. Select either Published or Draft (this will differ depending on the current mode).
  5. Select your preferred choice from the list. This will close the list and switch to that mode.

Multiple topics from TOC using bulk edit

  1. From the sidebar region, select the module or sub-module that contains the topics you want to release/hide.
  2. Select the Bulk Edit button (Figure 3).
  3. Select either Published or Draft (this will differ depending on the current mode).
  4. Select your preferred choice from the list. This will close the list and switch to that mode.
  5. Select the Done Editing button to exit bulk editing mode.

Conditionally releasing/hiding content

You can disable access to modules and/or topics until students meet certain conditions. For example, you might decide that students can't access:

  • The readings for Chapter 2 until they have passed a quiz on the Chapter 1 readings
  • The answers for a problem set until after they have deposited their own answers in a dropbox folder
  • A special extra credit assignment unless they participate in an online discussion with a guest lecturer

D2L uses a common screen to create and attach conditional rules to all sorts of course components, including content. Learn more by reading the Release conditions in D2L article.

Additional information

  • The default status of any new module or topic is Published. If you hide it by switching it to Draft status, you will need to manually switch it back to Published to reveal the content.
  • Modules and topics in Draft status are invisible to students. Those with a start date that has not yet elapsed, or with an end date that has elapsed, are visible to the student, along with the start/end dates, but the topics cannot be selected.
  • Topics and modules can be both in Draft status and have start/end dates. These two functions work independently. In terms of student visibility, publication status always takes precedence over any release conditions. A module or topic in Draft status is always invisible to students, even if it has a start/ed date or some other release condition.

Pro Tips

  • Rather than switching the publication status of all the topics in a module or sub-module one at a time, simply set the parent module to Draft status and it will hide all of its children.
  • Of course this rarely happens, but if you find yourself working on the TOC of a course that's in progress, hide the modules and topics that are under construction and only reveal the finished content to your students. That way, it doesn't look like you are behind.

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