How do I Selectively Share Content and Assignments to Students in Canvas?

Quick Links: | Module Prerequisites | Mastery Paths | Assignment Overrides |

Power users of Blackboard might be accustomed to the Adaptive Release feature that allowed you to share content with specific students based on various criteria. While Canvas doesn't have an identical feature, there are alternative workflows that can achieve similar outcomes. In this guide, we'll walk you through these alternatives to help you smoothly transition your content sharing practices.

Module Prerequisites

Module prerequisites in Canvas allow you to control the order in which students access content. You can require students to complete certain items before gaining access to others. While this doesn't directly target specific students, it can ensure that only students who meet specific criteria have access to certain content.

To set up module prerequisites:

  1. Create a module in your course.
  2. Organize your content within the module.
  3. Click on the three dots icon in the module header to set requirements.
  4. Choose the items that need to be completed before the module is considered completed.Adding module requirements
  5. In subsequent modules, add prerequisite modules.Selecting the previous module as a prerequisite.

Mastery Paths

Mastery paths enable you to personalize learning experiences by directing students to specific content based on their performance on previous assignments or assessments. While this is not a direct replacement for Adaptive Release, it can help tailor content to individual students' needs.

To create Mastery Paths:

  1. Create an assignment with multiple levels of achievement.
  2. Set different grading options for each level.
  3. Create additional assignments that use the Mastery Path source assignment.
  4. Assign the content to the Mastery Paths you select.

Learn more about Mastery Paths:

Creating Assignments for Specific Students

You can create graded assessments, like assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions, that are assigned only to specific students or course sections in a combined course, effectively limiting content visibility to those individuals. This approach ensures that the content won't impact the grades of students who aren't assigned to the assignment. Students who are not assigned the assignment will not be able to see it, offering a similar level of security as Blackboard's Adaptive Release feature.

To create assignments for specific students:

  1. Create an assignment in your course.
  2. Edit the assignment settings.
  3. In the Assign section, use the Assign to option to select specific students or course sections.Assign to specific students
  4. You can also create differentiated due dates for students or sections by selecting Add from the bottom of the Assign section.
    Adding a differentiated due date for a course section.


While Canvas might not have the exact "Adaptive Release" feature found in Blackboard, the platform offers powerful alternatives like module prerequisites, mastery paths, and the ability to assign content specifically to certain students. By leveraging these features, you can achieve a similar level of control over content sharing and individualized learning experiences in your Canvas course. As you explore these workflows, you'll find that Canvas provides you with flexibility and options to allow you to feel right at home.

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Article ID: 113633
Tue 9/5/23 2:31 PM
Mon 2/26/24 9:47 AM