Restrict access controls are an advanced feature that most instructors can cheerfully ignore... but if you need it, it's great!
We recommend caution in using restrict access options. These settings may not always produce the effect you are looking for and you can generally achieve the same result by other means. If you do need to sequence course materials or control their availability to students beyond an activity's normal timing features, the restrict access option can be just the thing you need.
Access can be restricted by a variety of factors as shown in the illustration below. The Date restriction shown in the example is one of the more common uses of this feature, allowing you to make an item available until or after a specific date and time. The Activity completion option makes it possible to limit access to an item based on meeting completion criteria for an earlier activity. For instance, you can make access to a new section dependent on achieving a passing score on a quiz. The User profile setting allows you to provide access to an item based on an individual's first or last name.
Visibility of the conditions that you set to access an item is determined by the status of the eyeball (highlighted in the illustration below). When the eye is open, students will see the conditions that have been established for them to access the restricted item. Clicking the eyeball closed will completely hide the restricted item until the conditions have been met.
- If you are setting up a forum or other group activity, you do not need to superimpose a group restriction on the activity. The group setting itself will ensure that only members of a group may access it.
- Speaking of forums, it's important to understand that using a date restriction on a forum will prevent students from opening a forum while the restriction is in place. So while access restriction would prevent students from continuing to post to the forum, it also prevents them from reading what has been posted. Use the new Due date feature instead.
- Similarly, you don't need to use this feature for exams as long as you are using the Timing options to open and/or close the quiz. With open and close dates set, students will only be able to attempt the quiz during the times you have indicated in the quiz settings page.
- Note that you can restrict access to an entire section if you wish.
- It's important to remember if you are limiting access to an item based on activity completion that you set the conditions for completion in the element that you want students to complete. Likewise, to require a passing score on a prior activity, be sure to set that score by editing the prior activity's Grade options.
- It's possible to create a set of restrictions as shown in the brief video below.
- Limit access to a section based on completing a quiz with a passing score.
- Release the solution to a set of problems following the submission deadline.
- Ensure that students have viewed readings before they can participate in a forum.
- Maintain a section reserved for graduate students in a split level course by placing them in a group and restricting access to that group.
Feel free to ask for assistance if you need to use this feature.