How to: Apply adaptive release on modules


Canvas, Content Creation, How to, LMS, Modules, Tutorial Leave a Comment

What is adaptive release?

This blog assumes that you already know what modules are, and how you can set them up in Canvas.  If you are not sure, we recommend you to read our blog on How to: Create and Manage Modules in Canvas first and then return to these instructions.

When working with Modules, Canvas allows instructors to release course content based on prerequisites and requirements; in other words, you can control when content is made available to students. 

It is important to understand the difference between prerequisites and requirements.  When you apply prerequisite to a module, students must have completed the prerequisite in order to access the content of that module. Module requirements are the actions that the students must take in order that the module is considered complete.

In other words, if you wish to restrict access to Module 2 based on completing certain actions in Module 1, you must add requirements for completion to Module 1, then add a prerequisite to Module 2.

How do I apply requirements to a module?

To apply requirements to a module, follow the steps below:

  1. In Course Navigation, click on Modules.
  2. Locate the name of the module and click on Settings.
  3. Select Edit.  The Edit module settings window will pop up.
  4. Under Requirements, click Add Requirements.
  5. If you want students to complete all requirements, select Students must complete all of these requirements.  You can also request students to complete requirements in a sequential order, this is done by selecting Students must move through requirements in sequential order.
  6. If you require students to complete only one requirement, select Student must complete one of these requirements.
  7. Select the module item that students must complete from the drop-down menu.
  8. You must also select the requirement for each item.  The requirement indicates to students what they are required to do for each item.
  9. To add additional requirements, click Add Requirement.
  10. Click on the Update Module button.
  11. The prerequisite(s) applied to each module will be reflected in the module header.

How do I apply prerequisites to a module?

To apply prerequisites to a module, follow the steps below:

  1. Follow steps 1 -3 above.
  2. Under Prerequisites, click the Add Prerequisite link.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select the module you want students to complete before moving on.
  4. If you wish to add additional prerequisites, click on  Add Prerequisite.
  5. Click on the Update Module button.
  6. The prerequisite(s) applied to each module will be reflected in the module header.

This function is similar but not as powerful as the Adaptive release function in Blackboard.  It allows instructors to control the release of content to students based on a rule or rules created. Unlike Blackboard you cannot use Module requirements and prerequisites to release content to students based on group membership.

For more information on modules check the guides below:

How to lock modules.

Using MasteryPaths in modules.


  • You cannot add requirements until you have added module items.
  • You can require students to complete requirements in any order, or you can require them to do them sequentially.
  • Module requirements are displayed in the order that they exist as module items.
  • For each module, you can only set prerequisite modules that come before a specific module. 
  • In order to apply a prerequisite to a module, you must have created at least one other module.


What is the difference between modules and pages?

Modules and Pages are two different things. A module is an organising structure that allows you to control the flow of your course content, while a Page is the basic tool you use to present the content in your course.  One or more pages can be arranged into a module, along with other tools, to create sequenced content. For more information, visit How to: Create and Manage Modules in Canvas.

The guides below will assist students when working with Modules:

Viewing modules.

Marking a content page in a module as done.

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