Instructor Support for Educational Systems

Automatically Release Content for a certain time period, or after a certain date

Updated Aug 24, 2021

This article will explain how you can automatically release items and topics under content for a certain time period, or after a certain date. We will use the Manage Dates functionality to set the time restrictions.

Please note it is really important that you follow these steps in the correct order, otherwise your set dates will be overruled:

  1. Go to content and set your documents in place. Keep the Module/folder Hidden and set the content to Visible.  
  2. Go to Course Tools > Course Admin and click on Manage Dates. Set the dates you want.
  3. Go to Content and set the Module/Folder to Visible. The Module/Folder is now Visible, and the content Hidden until the start date is reached or the end date passed.
  4. Optional: Preview Content as Student. You will see the Module/Folder, but not the underlying content.

All steps are explained below.

1. Go to content and set your documents in place

Go to the Content area of your course and navigate to the module where you want to add a topic/file with a time restriction. In the example above, we have placed a pdf "Slides week 1" that we want to make automatically available after a certain date. By default the file is placed as Hidden from users.

Before we head on make sure you have set this:

  1. Set the Module (Week 1) or the folder (Lectures) to Hidden from users.
  2. Set the file you want to time restrict to Visible.

Do not worry, your students cannot yet see the file, since the Module/Folder above is set to hidden.

Important to know:

Please note that when setting the dates, the release conditions of the content items will appear in the calendar. It is not possible to hide this.

Now that we have set our file to visible, we can start to add a time restriction via Manage Dates.

2. Go to Course Tools > Course Admin and click on Manage Dates

You will see a similar screen as shown below:

Tip! Check out How do I use Manage Dates? for more information on the Filter Tool and Advanced Filter options.

You can quickly find the item you are looking for by:

  1. Select the item type under Filter by Tool
  2. Click on Apply Filter
  3. Click on Name to (reverse) alphabetical order the list.

Next, scroll down to find the file you're looking for.

  1. Click on the 2nd or 3rd dash and a pop-up window will show.
  2. In this window you can add a start date and an end date as desired.
    • If you add an end date, the file will automatically disappear from the student view after that date.
  3. Click on Save

When you see an eye icon on the right with the text "Visible if conditions met" you were succesfull in setting up the date restrictions.

Now, head back to Content.

3. Go to Content and set the Module/Folder to Visible.

  1. Now set the Module to Visible again
  2. And yes, it is correct that the Slides week 1 now show a Hidden Icon.

Once you have set up a start date, the content item will be shown as Hidden. Please DO NOT click on the eye-icon. If you do, you will see a disclaimer that date restrictions are in place. Due to a bug in the system, even if you click 'cancel' these date restrictions will be deleted and the start date will not work anymore.

Brightspace supplier D2L is working on fixing this known issue.

4. Optional: Preview Content as Student

Did you know you can preview your course as a student?

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Click on the cog next to + New Unit
  2. Next, click on Preview as Student.

An new tab will open, as shown below:

A grey bar will appear with "Previewing Content as a Student". Now you can click through your content to make sure everything is in order for your students and the item you have just set date restrictions on is not yet visible to students.

Just close this tab, when you're done.

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